Lennon Stella doesn’t mind so much that she’s releasing her debut album in the midst of a global pandemic. Despite the inability to traditionally promote or tour, sheltering in place has reminded her that the music itself is really all that matters.
“As crazy as it is to have this be the circumstance when putting out an album, it’s also kind of nice because it gets really stripped back to what really matters and what’s important,” she says.
The 20-year-old is at her home in Nashville, getting to see various family members (mom and sister are 30 minutes away, dad is 20) and also have her fair share of alone time.
“They’ll come over for dinner every couple nights, but I don’t live with them. I live alone — but honestly, the time has been nice,” she says.
Stella has managed to discover a new love of cooking, is watching Netflix’s “Outer Banks” as well as “I Am a Killer,” and is listening to lots of music — which might not sound like a surprise for a musician, but she says she’d gotten out of the habit when it came to listening to other artists as of late.
“I realized somewhere along the way that I just somehow stopped listening to music. Even when I got in my car, I just was sitting in silence,” she says. “I think because I was just listening to so many mixes of my stuff and then I just got uninspired by the things I was hearing. So it’s been so nice to have this time to get reinspired by music and listen to vinyls and actual physical albums.”
Before breaking out as a solo artist a few years ago, Stella was known as an actress, for her role on the show “Nashville,” and as one half of the duo “Lennon & Maisy” alongside her sister. Her parents were themselves a music duo, and she and Maisie grew up joining them on the road.
“That was just very much our lifestyle — it was super creative and musical and that’s what we grew up knowing,” she says. “So my sister and I just kind of naturally started singing together and making music together.”
Once “Nashville” ended, Stella started exploring what a career as a solo musician might look like, posting videos and writing songs, all leading up to this moment with her first album.
“I went from being on a TV show where you had directors and scripts and people telling you what to do, and that was it. It’s just a totally different way of growing up and way of learning,” she says. “With going out on my own, and I think really at the time in my life when I did it, being 19, 20, I feel more confident in what I want to do. It’s been an adjustment. I’m steering and I’m making the decisions. It is ultimately my decision, at the end of the day. And that was different.”
Stella views her debut record, “Three. Two. One.”, as her best offering for distraction and soothing during the current global crisis.
“I think now more than ever there’s a need and a craving for connection. And I think to contribute to that in any way is for me to put music out. You know what I mean?” she says. “It makes me feel good.”
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