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Career Development

Leslie DiNicola – singer, songwriter | Soyars Leadership Lecture Series

February 16, 2021 at 6:30pm7:50pm EST

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Nationally acclaimed singer-songwriter Leslie DiNicola has a rare gift for the sonic snapshot—through the poetic accessibility of her writing style she captures personal moments with a universal perspective.

It’s a potent sensibility that has endeared her to critics, fans, other established artists, and industry vets. Allen Foster of AXS succinctly enthuses: “DiNicola spins magic from her heart through her lips to create songs that are more powerful than mere words and music.”  Leslie has worked with such respected music biz names as Ron Allaire (David Bowie, Keith Richards, Madonna, Shakira), Julian Coryell (Aimee Mann, Leonard Cohen, Jewel, Alanis Morisette), Erich Gobel (John Mayer, Ray Charles), Mark Schulman (P!nk, Cher, Foreigner), Julie Flanders (October Project), and Ellis Traver (Diane Birch, Fischerspooner, Sean Lennon, and Mark Ronson).  Leslie experienced a creative watershed time period recording her EP, Draw Back Your Bow (2011). This was a sophisticated and imaginative covers collection that resonated deeply with the public, and her mesmerizing renditions of Journey’s “Separate Ways” and U2’s “With Or Without You” peaked on the CMJ charts all over the country. Simply put: Studying world-class pop songs helped Leslie become a sharper and more expressive songwriter.  There is a gracefulness to her follow up five-song collection; Some Greener Yard (2013) feels quaint, emotionally direct, and hopeful.

The elegantly elegiac “Weight” tenderly salutes a deceased friend. The redemptive “It’s Alright” features pastoral folk guitars and subtle gospel-y organs and sends a message of love and warmth to a friend who lost her father. And the euphoric Motown-esque-meets-1980s new wave “Stay” brightens the EP with the uplifting message that people can always fall in love and still feel that childlike wonder of new relationships.  Leslie went on to record not one, but two more projects with producer, Julian Coryell, who has been an essential artistic ally during this period of her career. “Julian doesn’t allow anything between me and the song except the truth,” she explains. With these two six-song collections, Wake Up (2014) and Love + Destruction (2016), DiNicola dove deeply into experimenting with production and vocal layering. Each of the 12 songs on these two EPs combine the emotionally resonant lyrics that her fans adore along with wildly sophisticated and catchy melodies that will echo in your head… and heart for days.

Visit Leslie’s website.

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This event was first published on February 11, 2021 and last updated on February 12, 2021.


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