Ryan Lewis

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Ryan Lewis
Macklemore (8466299494) cropped.jpg
Lewis performing with Macklemore in February 2013
Background information
Born (1988-03-25) March 25, 1988 (age 27)
Spokane, Washington, U.S.
Origin Seattle, Washington, U.S.
Genres Hip hop
Occupation(s) Producer, DJ
Instruments Guitar
Years active 2006–present
Labels Macklemore LLC
Associated acts Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Macklemore
Website Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Official Website

Ryan Lewis (born March 25, 1988) is an American producer, musician and DJ. Along with producing his own album titled Instrumentals, Lewis produced the albums The VS. EP (2009) and The Heist (2012). In 2006, Lewis befriended rapper Macklemore on MySpace, and soon after became the behind-the-scenes partner of a successful duo, producing, recording, engineering, and mixing all of the duo's music, as well as directing the music videos for "Same Love", "Thrift Shop", "And We Danced", "Otherside (Remix)", "Can't Hold Us", "Irish Celebration", "My Oh My", "Victory Lap", "The Town" and "White Walls", and designing promotional graphics.

Early life[edit]

Ryan Lewis was born on March 25, 1988 in Spokane, Washington, to Julie and Scott Lewis. Lewis has two sisters, Teresa and Laura, four years and two years older than him, respectively.[1] At an early age, he played guitar in rock bands, and nursed a growing interest in music production around the age of 15. He attended Ferris High School in Spokane, Washington and graduated from Roosevelt High School in Seattle. He graduated from the University of Washington majoring in Comparative History of Ideas.[2]

Lewis became a professional photographer and videographer and started to take photos for Macklemore in the summer of 2006. In late 2008, after having produced a few trial run songs together, they collaborated fully on a project that later became the VS. EP.

Music career[edit]

2008: The VS. EP[edit]

Work on the EP began in 2008 with Macklemore (Ben Haggerty), and the EP was finished and released on November 27, 2009. The EP drew from contemporary influences such as Arcade Fire and Red Hot Chili Peppers.[3] The EP consisted of seven songs, yet iTunes listed it as no.7 on the hip-hop charts later that year.

In 2008, Lewis shot a video for his mash-up of 2Pac's "Crooked Nigga Too" and Franz Ferdinand's "Take Me Out."[4] In 2009, Lewis released the Symmetry & Ryan Lewis LP with Rhode Island emcee Symmetry for free online. Tracks included "Feel Right" and "Make Me Yours."[5]

2009–11: The VS. [Redux][edit]

Redux attempted to address reviews of the original EP that criticized the lack of supporting artists by bringing in new voices. Jake One, for example, made a remix of the song "Crew Cuts", adding a more instrumental and bass direction. Lewis felt obliged to make a personal remix as well, and chose to alter the song "Vipasanna".

2012–present: The Heist[edit]

On October 9, 2012, Macklemore and Lewis released The Heist. The album debuted at #2 on the Billboard charts and #1 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and Top Rap Albums, selling 78,000 copies in the first week.[6] The album also debuted at #1 on iTunes Digital Albums chart.[7] The duo's album has received more than 1 million plays on SoundCloud, over 350 million YouTube views and was accompanied by a sold-out 50-date U.S. and Canadian tour.[8]


Ryan Lewis and Macklemore's most successful single "Thrift Shop" became No. 1 on Triple J's Hottest 100 of 2012 as well as reaching No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. It has sold over 7 million copies in the US alone. "Same Love" reached No. 15 on the Hottest 100 of 2012.[9] Both songs attracted attention from Rolling Stone, NPR, TIME and GQ, especially "Same Love" for its pro-LGBT message.[10] "Can't Hold Us" reached platinum status in April 2013.[11]

Tours and performances[edit]

From 2009 to 2011, Lewis performed in Seattle, solely focusing on his personal work. After partnering with Macklemore, they initiated their first international tour in Pullman, Washington 2011, promoting their latest album at the time, VS. Redux.[12] Out of the 27 venues played, over half were sold out.

Macklemore and Lewis began recording songs "My Oh My" and "Can't Hold Us" in 2010; both songs would later appear on their album The Heist. A month after the album's release, the duo began a national tour in November 2012.[13]

On January 14, 2014, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis surprised riders by performing "Can't Hold Us" on a New York City transit bus. Their performance was captured on video as a promotion for the 56th Annual Grammy Awards.[14]



  • Instrumentals (MP3)

Albums and EPs With Macklemore[edit]

  • The VS. EP (2009)
  • The VS. Redux (2010)
  • The Heist (studio album, 2012)

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Association Category Nominated Work Result
2013 American Music Awards Artist of the Year Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Nominated
Kohls New Artist of the Year Nominated
Favorite Pop/Rock Band/Duo/Group Nominated
Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Artist Won
Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Album The Heist Won
Single of the Year "Thrift Shop" Nominated
BET Awards Video of the Year "Thrift Shop" Nominated
Best Group Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Won
BET Hip Hop Awards Impact Track "Same Love" Nominated
People's Champ Award "Can't Hold Us" Nominated
Billboard Music Awards Rap Album of the Year The Heist Nominated
Rap Song of the Year "Thrift Shop" Won
Digital Song of the Year Nominated
MTV Europe Music Awards Best Song "Thrift Shop" Nominated
Best New Act Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Won
Best Hip-Hop Nominated
Best World Stage Performance Nominated
Best US Act Nominated
2014 Grammy Awards Album Of The Year The Heist Nominated
Song Of The Year "Same Love" Nominated
Best New Artist Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Won
Best Rap Performance "Thrift Shop" Won
Best Rap Song Won
Best Rap Album The Heist Won
Best Music Video "Can't Hold Us" Nominated


  • A ^ "Wings" did not enter the Billboard Hot 100, but peaked at number 12 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart, which acts as an extension to the Hot 100.[15]
  • B ^ "Thin Line" did not enter the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, but peaked at number 4 on the Bubbling Under Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles chart, which acts as an extension to the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.[16]
  • C ^ "Make the Money" did not enter the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, but peaked at number 6 on the Bubbling Under Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles chart, which acts as an extension to the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.[16]
  • D ^ "White Walls" did not enter the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, but peaked at number 1 on the Bubbling Under Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles chart, which acts as an extension to the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.[16]
  • E ^ "Wings" did not enter the R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, but peaked at number 7 on the Bubbling Under R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, which acts as an extension to the R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.[17]


  1. ^ Sommerfeld, Seth (February 26, 2013). "A Different Beat". The Pacific Northwest Inlander. Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  2. ^ "Ryan Lewis Biography". The Biography Channel. A&E Networks. Retrieved 17 January 2014. 
  3. ^ "Macklemore x Ryan Lewis - The VS. EP (FreEP)". 2DOPEBOYZ. 2009-12-15. Retrieved 2014-08-01. 
  4. ^ "Ryan Lewis - "Pac' Vs. Ferdinand"". Thatsthatish.com. Retrieved 2014-08-01. 
  5. ^ "Fresh Espresso - "Big or Small (Ryan Lewis Remix)"". thatsthatish.com. Retrieved 2014-08-01. 
  6. ^ Caulfield, Keith (October 17, 2012). "Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' 'Heist' Album Debuts At No. 2 On Billboard 200, Mumford Holds At No. 1". Billboard. Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  7. ^ Knopper, Steve (October 17, 2012). "On the Charts: Mumford & Sons Slip, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis Impress". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  8. ^ Halperin, Shirley (24 October 2012). "The Triumph of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis: How Hip-Hop's DIY Duo Landed a No. 2 Debut With 'The Heist'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  9. ^ "Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' 'Thrift Shop' Tops Triple J's Hottest 100". Pedestrian TV. 2013-01-26. Retrieved 2013-02-07. 
  10. ^ "Bio | Career". MTV. Retrieved 2014-08-01. 
  11. ^ Thomas, Rebecca (April 30, 2013). "Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' 'Can't Hold Us': Decoding The Hook!". MTV.com. Retrieved 2013-05-10. 
  12. ^ Corsiglia, Gina (2011-02-23). "Seattle Sends Macklemore and Ryan Lewis Out on a National Tour". Seattlest. Retrieved 2014-08-01. 
  13. ^ "Heist Singles" Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.
  14. ^ "Macklemore and Ryan Lewis 'bus' a rhyme for NYC commuters". Retrieved 18 January 2014. 
  15. ^ "Macklemore – Chart History: Bubbling Under Hot 100". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved April 8, 2013. 
  16. ^ a b c "Macklemore – Chart History: Bubbling Under R&B/Hip-Hop Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved April 8, 2013. 
  17. ^ "Bubbling Under R&B/Hip-Hop Songs – Issue Date: 2012-11-17". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved November 8, 2012. 

External links[edit]