Ryan Leslie ‘Transitions’ Into His Sophomore Album
R&B producer Ryan Leslie doesn’t just court a lady and keep his progress on the downlow — he documents the relationship through song. His recent summer jaunt in wooing a potential gal pal is broken down step-by-step in his sophomore album ‘Transition,’ which Leslie presented last night at Chung King Studios in New York City.
Leslie began the intimate listening session by playing a video of his 14-year-old self spitting bars at an international rotary speech competition, explaining how his passion for music carried over to what he’s doing today.
Following the release of his eponymous debut this past February, the musician stated that he was already thinking about moving on to the next project, the process for which was quickly spurred by a chance introduction to a special lady backstage at a rehearsal a show at NYC venue S.O.B.’s. Almost instantly, a song idea for ‘Never Gonna Break Up’ — the first track on ‘Transition’ — was hatched in Leslie’s mind, putting the ball into motion on both his second official release and his budding romance.
After playing the music video for the track, Leslie continued by running through cuts that doubled as a timeline of his courtship, with the chanteur opening his mind to his mystery woman’s musical taste for Feist and Tom Vek (‘Nothing’), basing their compatibility on signs (‘Zodiac’), trying to get her to give up the goods (‘Makin’ Love’) and kicking it with her at her crib (‘Sunday Night’). While presenting ‘Transition,’ Leslie showed some live show and studio footage on an adjacent screen that’s slated for inclusion on ‘Transition”s bonus DVD. He got so caught up in the music booming through the speakers that he almost unconsciously hopped on the studio’s keyboard and riffed along to the sizzling jams.
And though he doesn’t end up getting the girl in the end (she wouldn’t go public with their relationship), he’s got nothing but love for his muse — and a hard-hitting album to show for it.