Rising star Leslie DiNicola is featured this week in our series of interviews with the singers on the October Project recording The Book of Rounds: 21 Songs of Grace. Leslie’s gorgeous soprano voice opens the musical round “Rise,” track 10, and is also featured on “Timeless” and “Deep,” tracks 16 and 20.
Leslie DiNicola is a soprano on the Book of Rounds, featured on the song “Rise,” as well as “Timeless” and “Deep.”
Leslie grew up singing opera but – after several years competing classically – she says she became tired of music occupying such a competitive space in her life. “That’s when I started sneaking out at night to go to clubs and see rock bands,” Leslie says. “I just started playing with bands, moved to New York City, and knew that was what I wanted to do.”
To Leslie, singing on the Book of Rounds was both a powerful and personal project, as its style recalled many memories of classical singing without the stress of competition. “It was so much fun to sing a cappella at the time,” recalls Leslie. “I totally geeked out.” Returning to her classical roots, Leslie was brought in by October Project for a ten hour recording session, much of which involved sight-reading over 90 pages of sheet music – and soloing on “Rise” for the very first time. Looking back, Leslie remembers the experience as “just absolutely thrilling!”
Although Leslie has lived across the country, from New Jersey to LA, it was in Manhattan where she first met Julie, Marina, and Emil through a mutual friend. Leslie says that, dating back even before she released her first EP, Julie Flanders has always been incredibly supportive of her, lending advice and frequently offering mentorship. Today, Leslie is a singer-songwriter whose sound has been compared to Ingrid Michaelson and Sara Bareilles alike and is set to embark on a cross-country tour with John Lee in the fall. In addition, Leslie will be releasing a new album called “Love + Destruction” which will feature her most recent project – an acoustic, string-quartet version of her latest single “Boy + Girl”, which will serve as the album’s finale.
And while Leslie will be traveling all over the country for the next year, she always brings a piece of home with her in the form of the Book of Rounds. “I have yet to get on an airplane without listening to that album,” she says. “It’s become a ritual – I cannot take off without it.”
You can enjoy two Youtube videos for “Rise” –
- “Rise,” featuring the photographs of Chloe Ziff – https://youtu.be/icDn2SWCDMU
- Our new Youtube lyric video of “Rise” – https://youtu.be/6wMSoeDUj-g
By Lucy Tomasso
Lucy Tomasso is a prospective Theater Studies major at Yale and an avid a cappella singer. A member of Yale’s Redhot and Blue, she is honored be a descendant of the Redhot lineage that includes October Project’s Marina Belica. Looking forward, Lucy hopes to pursue a career in the entertainment industry, particularly writing for either the stage or screen.
The Book of Rounds: 21 Songs of Grace is available at I-Tunes and Amazon. Your 5-star rating and review mean everything to us. Please leave great reviews. It makes a big difference. It helps us a lot.