Even men get bit by the shopping bug. In Ryan Leslie’s case, he’s on a mission to find the perfect Christmas gift for his loved ones. The R&B singer may be busy promoting his sophomore album Transition, but he always finds time to get in the holiday spirit.
“I love to shop,” Leslie reveals to Rap-Up.com. “I love to give gifts.” The Harvard graduate listens for subtle clues from friends and family members when it comes to their wish lists. “[I listen] to see what they are talking about, to see what they hint at, and make sure they get it,” he says of his favorite Christmas pastime. “I make sure they’re happy.”
While he’s throwing down considerable cash on stocking stuffers for others, the only thing Ryan Leslie wants in return is to ensure that two very important people are content. “The gift that I want most—I really want my parents to be happy with this trip,” Leslie admits. “They’re coming to New York City for Christmas and that’s a gift in and of itself that I should spend Christmas with my family. The biggest piece of that gift is to know that they should have a really good time.”
Producing tracks and recording albums tends to leave the head of NextSelection Lifestyle Group with little moments to spare. “In life, that’s really all we have is time. That’s what we all share equally and I’ve been really fortunate to be in the position that I’m in to be able to afford to fly [my parents] to New York and to enjoy Christmas together.”
As he preps for his parents’ arrival, R-Les will do what he does best: sing to the tune of Christmas carols like “Joy to the World” and “Jingle Bells.” Though he’s known for his catchy hooks and soulful love songs, Leslie has dabbled in festive songwriting and debuted his tune with Rap-Up.com.
“I actually did write a Christmas song,” he shares. “Though I’m not right there to tell you face to face/ And though I don’t have much to give this year/ I’m thankful for the gift that I have received in your love each day that I live/ In the time that I’ve known you, I’ve been blessed/ And from this day to eternity, know that this Christmas I’m sending love to you from me.”
–Georgette Cline, with reporting by Monique Balcarran