attendee of the Chula Vista Academy of Fine Arts, Leslie Tom has
deep roots playing violin, piano, clarinet and guitar. The
singer’s parents divorced when she was just two, and she grew
up on the outskirts of Corpus Christi, Texas, in the town of
Calallen, a tight-knit community that challenged her, musically,
and led her to explore a wide array of sounds. By high school,
she’d joined the choir but suffered from acute stage fright.
“I could absolutely not sing by myself,” she says. Deciding
to push herself outside of a comfort zone, Leslie decided to
audition for an American Idol-type contest broadcast on NBC’s
early-morning show. Though the audition never took place the
experience led to voice lessons, and Leslie mounted her
ambitious first solo performance in front of 10,000 people at
the AT&T Center before a San Antonio Spurs game in 2004.
That was the beginning of her professional singing career, and
she hasn’t looked back.