Although Ryan Leslie’ has been working under the radar, his music is still reaching thousands of listener. His decision to maintain an independent music career has not slowed down his success as a musician and renowned producer.
Leslie recently performed for a packed house at the, “Highline Ballroom,” in New York City. His performance engaged the entire crowd and afterward Leslie held a private meet and greet for a few of his fans that purchased VIP passes. Read the exclusive one on one with Leslie below.
HHW: Tell me a little about the new technology you’re using to connect with your fans.
Ryan Leslie: “SuperPhone” is really a simple concept. Imagine having a phone number on every single one of your social followers. So for me, I have over 220,000 Instagram followers, and I have a phone number on over roughly 50,000 of them, a direct phone number. So in order to do that, you need a technology platform that’s intelligent, and that’s what Super Phone is. It’s an intelligence layer on my messages. That’s my real cell phone number, the same one my mom, my girl and everyone reaches me on. It’s a platform that allows me to organize all of these inbound requests.
HHW: What was it like transitioning from being on a music label to having an independent music career?
Ryan Leslie: It was exciting. And it continues to be exciting every day. I am learning every day. Technology is changing every day, and the world is changing every day.
HHW: I’ve noticed that as soon as someone follows you on social media, the telephone number is automatically provided to your new follower. The technology is so advanced. What would you say the about the relationship between having that intimate connection with your fans is and being a successful artist?
Ryan Leslie: It’s intrinsically linked. That’s how I would describe it. There is no the story of Ryan Leslie. It’s currently under ridden by the conversations that I’m having. Right now I’m having 48,000 conversations. 48, 276 conversations to be exact, and I’m enjoying it
HHW: I haven’t heard a Ryan Leslie single on the radio in a very long time. So, seeing your fans recite your music word for word was surprising. Going independent and taking control of your career doesn’t seem to have affected your fan base.
Ryan Leslie: The independent pathway, and being an independent artist is changing every day. I feel really fortunate to be able to draw an blueprint, so that other artists can follow. And if anybody has any questions, and really wants to learn more about it, my personal telephone number is published. You can just text me.
HHW: Tell me about the new project you’re working on.
Ryan Leslie: Me and Weezy are executive producing Rich Homie Quan’s album. I already took Quan out to Jamaica which was featured in the documentary I played at A3C. I already heard a couple of records that he’s done with Weezy that sounds amazing.
And then on my side, right now it’s about mentorship. When I look around, even in this room tonight, it’s like the next generation of that next wave. Young people who understand technology, understand social media, and truly understand the way it’s changing the world. They understand the way that their message can be further distributed, and make an impact. I’m interested in surrounding myself with that next wave. People that know the game is changing, and people who want to be positioned to win and be ahead of the game. That’s really all the projects that I am working on now. You can look in the room, Look at Pat, you can look at Luther, you can look at Destiny; these are folks that even at such a young age, are already game changers. I’m honored to be able to just be in that circle.
For the full article visit Hip-Hop Weekly Magazine where my article was originally published.