Harlem-raised and Harvard-educated, Ryan Leslie has been an equal threat as a producer, musician, and savvy self-marketer. He's contributed tracks behind the scenes for artists across the R&B and hip-hop section, from legends like LL Cool J and Snoop Dogg to contemporary superstars such as Beyonce. He also discovered successful R&B vocalist Cassie, signing her to his Next Selection label, a subsidiary of Puff Daddy's Bad Boy empire. In 2005, Leslie released his solo debut, JUST RIGHT, and found great success overseas. But he came to visible celebrity in the U.S. upon launching his RyanLeslieTV YouTube channel, which seized on the viral-marketing trend and drew widespread attention to his 2009 self-titled effort.
"They try to put me in a box--it's impossible!" Ryan Leslie proclaims as he opens his Top 40 R&B hit "Diamond Girl," the hit debut single from his highly anticipated self-titled U.S. debut. It's impossible to imagine a box expansive enough to contain the singer, songwriter, producer, engineer, Internet visionary and chief executive of NextSelection Lifestyle Group. The Harvard graduate is a performer at heart, a prolific musician with his own infectious brand of R&B pop. While an international following awaits the release, he keeps fans satisfied by documenting his wizardry and the restless road towards his release date on his YouTube channel RyanLeslieTV, which boasts more than 21 million video views! At age nine, Ryan taught himself to play the piano... At 15, Ryan scored 1600 on the SATs and was accepted to Harvard University. After graduation and attempting to follow his own dreams by selling beats in Boston, the hard work paid off when Leslie landed an internship with New York producer Young Lord during which he produced Beyoncé's "Keep Giving Your Love To Me" for the Bad Boys II Soundtrack, which led to a meeting with Sean "Diddy" Combs and a very busy 2003. "Britney Spears, Beyoncé, New Edition, Loon, Cheri Dennis, B5, Danity Kane-- any and everything he threw at me, we did," Leslie says of producing alongside Diddy. "And we sold records." Combs went on to sign Leslie's flagship artist Cassie, the Princess of NextSelection, to Bad Boy in 2006, releasing her No. 1 mega-hit "Me & U," written and produced by Leslie. Leslie's strong core following is a direct result of his talent and communication with fans directly. RyanLeslieTV is a controversial site that takes fans behind the scenes with over 40 videos of Ryan's remarkable creative process. Ryan shares his life with his fans...whether it's on Myspace, Video blogs, or a short film he has shot based on the song "Diamond Girl." Ryan Leslie has two singles, leading up to his current hit "How It Was Supposed To Be."
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