Usually when someone thinks of a music hit maker what comes to mind is someone who is flashy, arrogant, conceited but none of that comes to mind when speaking about Ryan Leslie. Normally when there are music producers and artists that make hit records they have someone backing them and putting money into them through marketing and artist development turning them into a readied product for mass consumption but Ryan is not like that at all he is like many others an independent artist.
Ryan is a very smart man getting a perfect score on his SATs and is a Harvard grad, graduated at 19, and he has become one of the premiere music producers in urban music. He has made hits for many people like Fabolous, Ne-Yo and Cassie. From R&B hits like With You and You Be Killin Em’ to rap records like Fly Together he shows his versatility but he stays humble.
He like many others in this time is independent and as an artist and producer he has come up with creative ways to self-market and to get his name out to the masses. What sets him apart from his competition is the way he markets himself and he also is a singer and songwriter who also is a multi instrumentalist. He doesn’t have a huge marketing team behind him or a multi-million dollar contract with a major label but instead he connects with the fans through social media. His videos on the video sharing website, YouTube and his posts on Twitter have allowed him to be more personable. In addition, with his videos he shows how a track is constructed in an industry where secrecy is key and everything is hushed he allows the fans to have a behind the scenes look into his creative process. It also has provided for other up and coming musicians and producers an inspiration to follow their dreams and that they don’t necessarily have to have a major label’s support.
As well as the way he markets himself he has a different process when creating music. Unlike others utilize sampling or hiring session musicians to come plays instruments he actually plays the instruments that are heard in his songs from trumpet and keyboard to drums and organ. With tracks like I Get Money and Fly Together he performed drums and trumpet that are heard.
He truly is one of the talented musicians in the industry and as an industry professional I admire him for being someone who doesn’t keep himself in a box and limit himself and uses a lot the equipment in the studio as well as utilizing this digital age through social media to get known and as a listener his music is very full and has great layers, his ability to build a record is second to none and to know he has played the music he created just makes it even better.