Ryan Leslie is more than a producer or performer.
The avant-garde artist brings his passion for music, language, technology, digital media and fashion to everything that he touches. Few words can encompass this ingénue's overall dexterity in these areas, gained without formal training. A genuine love for all things artistic and creative has brought him to master several instruments, four different languages, business and draws him into further understanding of new media. Leslie is a curator of sorts, focusing on how to create a universe or lifestyle using pictorial expression, oration and poetry layered with sound. Though he has been known for his work in the R&B arena, the sound you will find him most inclined to is Rap. No matter the label, the idea that drives his sound is born from Teddy Riley's new jack swing mixed with the sparseness of Jermaine Dupri's R&B and Dr. Dre's rap production, the musical prowess of Stevie Wonder, Salvation Army Brass Band, Mick Jagger, Mumford & Sons, The Temper Trap, Stromae, Lenny Kravitz, Paul McCartney and visually influenced by great artistic/Technicolor moments throughout the 1970’s.
The vision is un-wavering: encompassing both singing and rapping, utilizing live instruments, making a strong poetic statement, with compelling story lines based completely on Leslie’s life and great loves, coupled with arresting visuals. His music is a forward thinking cultural statement drafted in Leslie’s multi-cultural background, Harvard education and Salvation Army upbringing. As an entrepreneur, Leslie has launched NextSelection Creative – a business dedicated to captivating the most relevant consumer base for each project – and is a shareholder in Decon, a digital media firm. His crusade is not limited to business, technology, musicianship and performance though. It extends to philanthropy and an understanding of how education and opportunity are influential around the world.
Leslie is dedicated to influencing youth both domestically and internationally. Using his own background as a case study, he developed an extensive internship program that has guided four of his past apprentices into unparalleled opportunities with Rihanna, Will.I.Am, and the William Morris Agency. The program targets fresh notable talents from around the world that Leslie hand-picks to work alongside him for an extended period of time, helps to advance both their formal and informal education, and then seeds each mentees work with appropriate influencers for career consideration. Philanthropically, his crusade extends to Africa where Leslie is using his discerning eye and ear to connect with culturally relevant artists - in several arenas - to create highly impactful projects that will highlight the importance of education and political understanding.
Ryan Leslie is a lifestyle composer dedicated to creating art that cannot be defined by one specific label. He is creating the blueprint for personal success in business and the arts, and is one of the few young entrepreneurs that are outstanding at balancing both sides of the industry.
MUSICAL BIOGRAPHY: A short selection of current and past projects.
Jay-Z - Watch the Throne Album
Kanye West - "Christian Dior Denim Flow"
Lloyd Banks - "Start It Up" & "So Forgetful"
Mary J Blige - "Said & Done"
Fabolous - "Everything, Everyday, Everywhere", "The Fabolous Life", "You Be Killin 'Em"
Ne-yo - "Crazy Love" various songs on the new album
Cory Gunz - "Give That Cash Up" & "Loco"
Chris Brown - "Famous Girl"
Asher Roth - various on new album, 2011
Keri Hilson - "Working On Loving You"
The Game - "Everything Red"
Booba - "Fast Life"
Snoop Dogg - "Heavyweights"
Cassie - "Me & U", "Long Way To Go", "Is It You", "Addiction" debut album
Jim Jones - "Precious"
Rick Ross - "Maybachs & Diamonds"
Red Cafe - "We Fly Together"
Mr. Hudson - "Breathe"
Jadakiss - "How It Was Supposed To Be" (remix)
Slim from 112 - "Good Lovin"