Exclusive Interview: Catching Up with Ryan Leslie
"I mean being in the position that I’m in, I don’t really have to do much to get a girl's attention. I don’t really have to work that hard. But to keep their attention is when you have to work hard." - Ryan Leslie
ATF: So how is it having an album out during this tough time in the music industry?
Ryan Leslie: It feels good because it’s so much out right now. So as an entertainer its fun to fight for that attention.
ATF: So you album seems to be about a transition through a relationship. What made you want to get so personal and write about that?
RL: Well I write about everything that goes on in my life, that is my blessing and my curse. I’m the type of artist that what goes on in my life inspires me to write.
ATF: it seems like the media is really involved in your personal life. Do you think because you get so personal with your lyrics and music that encourages the medias attention?
RL: yeah I do feel that it encourages them. It’s up to us as artist to say when though. I’m pretty open I must say.
ATF: So what are some of your most personal songs on the album?
RL: I really can’t stand doing that because the album is a body of work. I want it to be enjoyed that way.
ATF: Now I attended your listening session and you went a different route from most artists. You didn’t just play the album and receive feedback. You actually introduced each song and played for us. What made you want to be so different?
RL: Well I like to do things differently. Being an entertainer you want to engage your audience and I wanted to touch the audience in away they probably never been before. So they would know more about what I have to offer.
ATF: One of my favorite songs off the album is “Zodiac”, tell our readers how you came with such a dope record. What was the inspiration behind it?
RL: Well musically I had been working with my band doing a lot of live shows and I wanted to capture that element on the recording. Actually while I was on tour, I was listening to a lot of Rick James and watching his live performances, so you kind of hear that influence in the record. And from a lyrical stand point, I’d actually gone out to dinner with an actress who was into the zodiac stuff. It was just natural that it wove it’s way into the record.
ATF: Okay since you like talking about relationships and stuff, tell our readers what is it like dating Ryan Leslie.
RL: Everything I do is intense! If I’m pursuing a girl I try to do everything I can to show that I’m interested. This album is a clear example of the lengths that I would go to express the way I feel. You can expect spending time together in different location and at nice restaurants, because we all gotta eat. I also bring you into my world, like coming to my rehearsals and studio sessions. That’s just a little taste of dating Ryan Leslie.
ATF: So what is the most outrageous thing you have done to get a girls attention?
RL: I mean being in the position that I’m in, I don’t really have to do much to get a girl attention. I don’t really have to work that hard. But to keep their attention is when you have to work hard. I don’t want to say the things I do and cheapen them, but I have gone to some great lengths to keep a girls attention.
Ryan Leslie On Working With …
Fabolous: Working with Fab is always good. He always has a clear creative and musical vision. I always know it’s gonna work before we even get into the studio.
Keri Hilson: Working with Keri was really spontaneous. She is a great talent and has really good ideas. I really look forward to working with her again.
Cassie: Working with Cassie that early in her career was incredible because our voices were like the same voice. So that’s what I think made the records really special. Since then she has really spread her wings. She is exploring independently looking for that new messaging that she wants to give off to the world. I just wish her everything it takes for her to be happy. Working with her in those early stages was really magical.
ATF: So what do you got coming up next for the world?
RL: Well I got a lot coming. Be on the look out for me on Mary J. Blige & Rick Ross new albums. If we can get are schedules together I might be on Usher new album. I’m also on Chris Brown’s new album. In 2010, I will be releasing a new album entitled “LES Is More”.Interview Conducted By Ian Jarrell