Local singer overcomes obstacles, lands multi-album record deal - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Local singer overcomes obstacles, lands multi-album record deal

A singer from Roanoke recently got the news she'd been waiting her whole life to get -- a major Christian rock label wanted to sign her to a multi-album deal.  Now she hopes her music will inspire others to follow their dreams.

Her single and first music video may be called "Clueless" but Leslie Woods says there was never any question she wanted to be a singer.

"My parents said that I was singing before I was talking," said Woods.  "I remember I was sitting in church -- my dad is a pastor -- and he was up there preaching.  And all of a sudden, I just looked over at my mom and said I want to sing for Jesus."

Growing up, she took voice lessons and brought her passion for music with her everywhere she went.  When she was in college, her voice and upbeat personality caught the attention of a music management team, who took her under their wing and helped get her signed to a four album deal with Inov8 Music Group.

"I started jumping up and down and screaming and doing the usual girl things," said Woods.  "I couldn't believe it.  It was so surreal.  I'm very blessed."

But life hasn't always been that happy for Woods.  When she was 14, she was diagnosed with epilepsy.  She says she instantly felt singled out.

"People started looking at me differently," said Woods.  "I didn't even really know what it was.  It was like, oh, I have seizures, so what does that make me?  And I thought it made me a freak.  It really changed everything.  I lost a lot of friends because they thought I was weird.  Or even worse, they pitied me."

She says it took several years -- but her faith helped her pull through it.  And now she looks at her condition in a much more positive light.

"Had I not gone through this, had I not had to be home-schooled because it was so bad, I wouldn't be the person I am today," said Woods.  "And I wouldn't be able to sympathize with other people that are going through difficult things."

She says that's the foundation of her music -- embracing what life hands you and what makes you different.

"I just want to encourage people," said Woods.  "That's my only hope for this really.  I want to change lives.  I want people to realize you don't have to be perfect.  We all have something, some sort of quirk, that makes us different.  And it's good to be different.  That's what this CD is all about for me -- accepting who you are and being happy with it.  It's such a big thing nowadays.  People need that kind of encouragement."

Woods' debut album "Just Me" will be released on July 1.  Her first single is slated to hit radio later this Spring.  She's also preparing to go on her first tour.

Woods' video for "Clueless" is now on YouTube.  You can watch it by visiting the following link:


To learn more about Woods' and hear clips of some of her other songs, you can visit her website, http://inov8music.com/lesliewoods





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