by Ryan Leslie
'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.