NUCLASSICA electro-pop violinist Leia Rose shares what it’s like playing for Detroit’s electro-pop violin band, how she got started in music and some of her favorite musicians.
By Chelsie Dzbanski
1. Can you share a bit about yourself and your career path? My name is Leia Rose. I’m 17 years old, going into my senior year at Cranbrook Kingswood. I currently live in Bloomfield Hills with my mom, two brothers and two cats. I started playing classical violin at a young age. Early on, I really did not like playing or practicing, and definitely never thought of music as a possible career path (I was even close to quitting violin by seventh grade.) It wasn’t until I met my current artist-model manager, Jordan Allen Broder, who took my early talent and violin training in a different, more exciting direction. After working with him for a little while, he started me on the electro-pop performance path, and I received the opportunity to start playing with his electro-pop violin and DJ band, NUCLASSICA. Having the opportunity to perform for thousands of people every month in a variety of venues definitely sparked my interest and passion to pursue a career as a violinist.
2. When and why did you start playing the violin? I started playing the violin when I was 7.
3. Who or what inspired you to become a musician? I heard a girl in my grade playing the violin amazingly well and fell in love with the instrument, but it was Jordan Allen Broder who took me to the next level and helped me pursue an early career through my music.
4. How many hours a week do you practice? During the school year, because of my busy schedule, I usually practice around 6-7 hours a week (1-2 hours a day), sometimes more if there’s an upcoming booking or show. This does not take into account rehearsals with NUCLASSICA or coaching sessions with Jordan to keep developing my technique. In the summer, I practice around 2-3 hours a day.
5. Can you share some of your career highlights or any moments that you are most proud of thus far? One of my proudest moments was making my public debut with NUCLASSICA at the age of 13.
6. What’s it like being a part of the Detroit-based electro-pop violin band, NUCLASSICA? When I perform with NUCLASSICA, it’s really fun and cool to offer our audience something they aren’t expecting. We have a great time on stage, playing lots of exciting music, and it’s also an intense workout (dancing on stage while playing for 75 minutes — we’re always dripping of sweat by the end!) Performing with NUCLASSICA is also hard work — having to memorize up to two hours of repertoire as well as the movements and choreography for every song, takes practice, time and commitment.
7. Where are some of your favorite places you’ve performed at? I’ve performed for several radio station events and parties, national music festivals and fantastic corporate events for organizations like the North American International Auto Show.
8. Favorite song to play? Featured on our current NUCLASSICA tour, my newest favorite songs are Camila Caballo’s “Havana” and Clean Bandit’s “Rockabye.”
9. If you didn’t play the violin, what instrument would you play? I’ve always thought the guitar was a cool instrument. Despite what others may say, I have some amazing vocal skills too!
10. If you could play with anyone dead or alive who would it be? I think it would be fun to play violin with a hip-hop/rap artist like Drake.
11. What is a typical day/week like for you? During the school week, I’m usually busy until around 6 p.m. with academics and sports (I play varsity soccer). After school, I go home, practice the violin and finish my homework. By the time that’s done, I’m exhausted and go to bed. On the weekends, I’m either busy getting ready for a show or booking, performing on stage or out with my friends.
12. Which famous musician(s) do you admire? Why? I love Rihanna — I love her attitude, and her fashion sense is incomparable. Also, you can tell when she’s singing, she means every word and that she loves her music and what she does.
13. Your current favorite song, album or artist that you can’t stop listening to? Lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of Lizzo’s stuff — it’s really empowering and feel-good music so it puts me in a positive mood!
14. If you could perform anywhere, where would it be? Coachella.
Leia Rose with her NUCLASSICA bandmates.
15. What’s your favorite part about being a musician? As a performer with NUCLASSICA, I love when people are prepared for one thing when they see a violin, and then watching their faces light up when we bring something totally different.
16. Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Big tours with NUCLASSICA, performing around the world for as many people as possible (and Coachella of course)!
17. When not working where can we find you? When I’m not working, I’m typically hanging out with friends in Birmingham, relaxing on the water or driving my mother insane.
18. Who’s your favorite Detroit musician? Big Sean and Eminem (he’s a legend).
19. Favorite places around Metro Detroit to grab coffee, brunch, lunch and dinner? I love the food at Zoe’s House of Pancakes in West Bloomfield. Cafe Succo in Birmingham is my go-to healthy option. My family’s favorite restaurant is Olga’s — we eat there at least three times a week!
20. Favorite quote or your own personal words to live by? “On the day that you were born, you began to die. Do not waste a single moment more!” — Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
Catch Leia Rose perform with NUCLASSICA, along with performances by a variety of other young Metro Detroit artists on the rise, at ALLURIUM 2018 held at Cranbrook’s Greek Theatre on July 21 at 9 p.m. ALLURIUM 2018, presented by The National Music Institute for Young Artists, is a community supported, nonprofit music festival, dedicated to the discovery, support and showcasing of diverse, emerging talent. Program and ticket information can be found at alluriumfestival.com.