After years of producing tracks for other artists, Ryan Leslie, 30, is finally enjoying the release of his self-titled debut, which is buoyed by his unpolished falsetto and electronic production.
Ryan Leslie, who writes and produces all his own music, is influenced by other one-man bands like Prince, D’Angelo and Jimi Hendrix.
Ryan Leslie attends the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards with ex-love and muse Cassie. Leslie wrote and produced Cassie’s debut single, “Me & U,” which topped the Billboard charts.
“I made a record to entertain folk, and I tour and do my shows to entertain folks. And via my Web site (ryanleslie.com), I’ve let folks pretty deeply into the areas of my life that I believe to be insightful, inspirational and motivational, so the rest of it I look at it as mine,” says Ryan Leslie, when answering questions about his personal life.
Folks like Sean “Diddy” Combs began to take notice of Ryan Leslie back in 2003, after he produced Beyoncé’s “Keep Giving Your Love To Me” for the “Bad Boys 2 Soundtrack.” He hit Billboard jackpot in 2006 with Cassie’s “Me&U.”
Ryan Leslie is dapper on the Los Angeles set of his video shoot in March of last year.
What’s the album Ryan Leslie must have if he’s on a stranded island? “Stevie Wonder’s ‘Songs in the Key of Life,’ just because the album speaks for itself—the range of topics, the range of subject matter, the range of musical expression—they’ve always spoken to me and continue to speak to me as an artist and as a producer.”
Ryan Leslie, Sean “Diddy” Combs and Cassie hang out at an event in 2006. The relationship between the three has been somewhat strained after Cassie reportedly left former beau Leslie for Diddy.
Born to musician parents in Washington, Ryan Leslie, 30, has been playing music since he was young. The self-taught musician says he used to cut classes at Harvard University to be in the studio.
“I just tried to make the best music I possibly can make,” shares Ryan Leslie. “I try not to think about what people are gonna say. I’m mostly focused on music from a level of standards that I can adhere.”