Recently, I sent a shout out to Ryan ESL on twitter and I got a DM asking who I was. Frankly, one could have taken this the wrong way and respond, “How dare you not know me?”, or respond by downplaying the contributions one has made to society and any importance one has to this world. But because I really haven’t made any global contribution, I had to humble myself. I explained that I was a simple girl from Jamaica who writes and talks shit. I guess this was fine by him, because I got the opportunity to pick his brain- right after asking who he was, which he responded, in good fun: “I’m just a producer living in England.” Goes to show how humble and down to earth this guy is.
Truthfully,I knew who he was, and if you guys don’t know who Ryan Esl is- ESL not meaning English as a Second Language but Excessive Sound Levels, then you probably just don’t know him by name, and have no intentions of being a super producer or an artist needing the sickest beat, because that’s his skill people. He turns beats to platinum. He’s the beat alchemist.
And if you’re still clueless, try doing the ‘Stanky Leg’. That might jog your memory. The credits to Ryan’s name are no child’s play. He has produced for some of the biggest artist out to date. Think MayBach Music. No seriously, Rick Ross jokes aside, he has worked with the likes of MayBach Music, YMCMB, Nicki Minaj and Wiz Kalifa to name a few. Since his introduction to the beat scene, the change and maturity of his sound is obvious as he moves from producing solely ‘Hip Hop’ style instrumentals to dub, electro and mashups. Now living in England, I’m sure the environment plays an important role to this California native.
So without much more, here’s the bladderdashing, most unconventional interview ever, the 10under140:
JJ: When did you start producing? and hit it big?
R.E: Back in 2009 with a lil song called the stanky legg
JJ: Have you ever worked with an artist whose music you don’t respect? How do you put your prejudice aside to work with such an artist?
R.E: I don’t work with them flat out
JJ: Ok, what about artists who have songs with no meaningful message at all? Do you even think all songs should have meaning lyrically?
R.E: No b/c sometimes i just like the energy
JJ: I see that with your dance tracks. What made you want to become a producer? or at what point did you say,” I can do this!”?
R.E: I wanted to be a rapper when i was little but didn’t know how to get beatz so in 6th grade i started making em myself.. Got good at beatz/ Rapping wasnt so well haha/But i knew i could do it when every time i worked with a local artist in dallas every song was played on the radio
JJ: Now that you have many credits to your name, do you see yourself being in a video& on a track with an artist?(which many producers are doing)
R.E: Naw i dont really care to be in the videos, most of the time im not even in the same city
JJ: Who was the most memorable person to work with?
R.E: Wiz Khalifa
JJ: Top 5 dead hip hop artist you’d have love to make a beat for?
R.E: Biggie, Big L, Tupac, Left Eye, ODB
JJ: Is there a beat you wish you had made that someone else ‘beat’ you to?
R.E: Wish I had made “Who Gon Stop Me” off watch the throne instead of Flux Pavilion
JJ: Is your last name really Esl? Seriously. You know it also means English as Second Language right?
R.E: Yeah but in my case Excessive Sound Levels, fuck the other acronym
JJ: If you were doing an interview with you, what one question you’d ask yourself?
R.E: idk what id ask myself b/c im already me
JJ: You’re too much. But I hope you know I really appreciate you answering my questions.Think of it as 10 under 140
R.E: Haha aight thats cool with me, ill take that
J.J: (random throw) You want some almonds?
R.E: Sure ill take some almonds
Shout out to Ryan ESL for being such a sport. Thanks for your time and agreeing to the interview. Make sure you guys do yourself a favour and check out his beats at: http://soundcloud.com/excessivesoundlevels. As well follow him on twitter @RyanESL