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Music Video: Ryan Leslie - Is It Real, Love?

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When I was in college, I was the only person I knew who could sit through marathon studio sessions with myself. In many cases I would hear various string, horn, guitar and bass parts and have to figure out a way to actualize what I was hearing on synthesizers or by teaching myself to play a few notes or chords on those instruments.

I became so accustomed to doing this that it took one of my mentors, Tommy Mottola, to remind me that I had access to great players when I was making my self-titled album.

In the summer of 2007, I was in LA writing a song for Cassie called Is It You that would later appear on the movie soundtrack for Step Up 2: The Streets. Kara DioGuardi, who had stopped into the session, recommended that I link with Brent Paschke for guitar work. Brent came in and really brought a great energy to that song and we became good friends and consistent collaborators.

He played on Quicksand and when I returned to LA last summer to work on my Transition album, he also knocked out a mean rhythm guitar part on the song in this vid called Is It Real, Love?

In the past few years, Ive been very fortunate to have had conversations with some of the greats in the business. Applicable here is some advice given me by Denzel Washington, who said youre an artist man so just keep being artisticand collaborate. Get good people around you and make the best music you want to make.

I really believe in collaboration as a way to exponentially increase productivity in virtually any circumstance. This record is a great example.

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