‘Nashville’ Alum And Pop Singer Lennon Stella Talks Empowering New Single, Opening For The Chainsmokers

Lennon Stella

Over the past seven years, Nashville-based pop artist Lennon Stella’s career would give most newcomers envy.

In 2012, Lennon (then 12 years old) and her sister Maisy (then 8) uploaded a video of the duo offering startling sibling harmonies on a cover of Robyn’s “Call Your Girlfriend.” The duo Lennon & Maisy then went viral (earning more than 30 million views to date), and soon, the sisters joined the television show Nashville, with Lennon portraying Maddie Conrad, the musically talented, tough-minded eldest daughter of country superstar Rayna Jaymes, while Maisy portrayed younger sister Daphne. The series, which aired first on ABC then on CMT, concluded in 2018. During the show’s run, the sisters grew up before a worldwide audience.

Even in the midst of filming for Nashville, Stella began working her own music, and her own perspectives, into the show, including “Saved” and “Without Warning.”

Now 19, Stella has one solo EP to her credit, titled Love, Me, which released in 2018. The release signaled that Stella had grown into her own, both as a person and an artist.

“It’s amazing having that freedom,” she says of creating the EP. “There’s no boundaries and there’s no one telling you what you can and can’t do. You can just create with amazing people. It’s the best feeling. With the show, I was on that for six years and that gave me the time to explore and not have any pressure of ‘Oh I have to put something out,’ because I was putting music out through the show or I was filming and didn’t have time.”

Stella launched her first headlining outing, the Love, Me Tour, earlier this week with two sold-out shows in Toronto, and performs her first stateside show tonight in Boston.

“We just did all the rehearsals so I feel a little pressure, but I think it’s more the pressure I put on myself,” Stella told musicrow.com, before launching the tour. “I feel so comfortable in the people that are coming to the show. I feel accepted for who I am, and with social media I feel connected to them all already. I’ll read their DMs and know how they feel about the music so in that sense I don’t feel pressure from others as I do myself. The thing for me is to find the dynamic of the show. I’m so comfortable just playing my guitar but I also want songs where I can jump around and have fun.”

In anticipation of the run of shows, Stella just released a new track, “Bitch (takes one to know one),” which she penned with co-writers Erin McCarley, Thomas Troelsen, and Kate York, and produced by Rob Knox.

“Usually I always write from something I’m feeling or an experience, but Erin came up with the idea of the concept and brought it to me. It was the idea of a guy calling a girl a bitch and having the response of ‘It takes a bitch to know a bitch.’ It was a bit of girl power thing, and we painted a picture and made a story around that. It’s a cool message if it’s said correctly.”

The vocals for “Bitch (takes one to know one)” were recorded in Nashville, with the production via Los Angeles. Though being so well-known for her work on Nashville, when it came time to create her own solo album, Stella opted to keep her creative home in Nashville’s ever-diversifying music scene, instead of decamping for other music hotspots.

“I love the creativity that comes from here and that everyone is so loving and supportive of each other,” she says. “That’s so rare and inspiring to be around. I’ll always be in Nashville. I love to go to New York or L.A., and be able to come back and have my base here.”

Later this year, she will open shows for The Chainsmokers and 5 Seconds of Summer on their North American tour–including a show at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena.

“I’m so excited. I remember when my manager told me I got the opening slot, it was my sister’s birthday and I was on the plane and I was about to take off. I was hysterically bawling and I freaked out. At that point, I’ve never toured before, so it’s crazy that my first tour is happening the same year that I will be opening for them.”

She looks at her own headlining shows as somewhat of a warmup for those opening slots.

“After I finish my tour, I feel like I’ll have ideas of what I want to change or improve on. The Chainsmokers are a totally different genre than me, so I think that’s why they asked me to do it. So hopefully what I do with my set now, it’ll just get better for those shows.”

And yes, with all of those high-profile collaborations with the likes of Halsey and Kelsea Ballerini that The Chainsmokers are known for, it’s probable that we might see Stella making a cameo during The Chainsmokers’ set.

“That’s definitely something that’s been talked about, for sure. I can imagine that happening.”

 

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About the Author

Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at jnicholson@musicrow.com.

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