Lenny Martelli Has "Just a Thought" to Share
You may think that hailing from the state of Pennsylvania would be a challenge for a country artist like Lenny Martelli. After all, that particular state isn’t exactly well-known for producing country legends. However, Lenny is no stranger to overcoming challenges, using hard work and faith to accomplish his goals.
Lenny began playing both musical instruments and football at the tender young age of five. Quickly discovering a love of music and sports, he pushed himself to do better. By the time he was in high school, he had a promising football career and could play more than three instruments. And then tragedy struck.
When Lenny was 15, he took a snowboarding trip for fun but ended up facing what could very well be the biggest challenge of his life thus far. An accident on that trip left him paralyzed from the chest down. He was told that he would never be able to walk again. However, family, faith, and friends helped convince him to tap into that competitive drive inside himself to do whatever it took to overcome the odds.
Though the accident ended his football career, Lenny refused to let it end his music career as well. Recovery was not easy, though. Because of a punctured lung and the effects the paralysis had on his diaphragm, Lenny had to reteach himself to sing. In the meantime, he focused on honing his songwriting skills and performing closer to home until he was ready to write and record in Nashville.
Fast forward to today and Lenny Martelli has released his debut EP "Just a Thought." It’s an artful collection that displays how he has already grown and evolved as an artist. The title track is an inspiring new single speaking to the faith that quiets all of those unanswerable questions in life. Three of the other songs are previously released singles and then there is a bonus track included.
Recently, Lenny was kind enough to take the time to answer some questions about his life, career, and his EP. You can read his inspiring answers below while listening to some of his music. I have just one unanswered question: how does this handsome Italian gentleman produce such amazing talent without reading music as well as he’d like? I guess that’s just another one of those quirks in life that faith overpowers.
"Just a Thought"
You said, Hey, I’m staring through these stars
I’ve been where you are
I felt your pain when they hung me on that cross
And, hey, it’s okay to break
And lose a little faith so you know I’m close
I’ve been here all along
Hey, son, you’re not the only one
It’s just a thought— Lenny Martelli ("Just a Thought")
Shannon Henry: Please describe your debut EP Just a Thought.
Lenny Martelli: Just A Thought is my introduction to the country music industry. It's a little bit of everything that I try to represent through my music; honesty & emotion - whether that be positive or negative - music should always evoke SOME emotion to me and I've found the most effective way for me is to straight up with my listeners about what they're listening to.
SH: Why did you decide to take so many years to release these singles in EP form?
LM: It was something that was partly my decision and partly the course of how production was going. I wasn't living in Nashville when I started the EP so it was a lot of trips back and forth, all while coordinating both mine and Noah's crazy schedules on and off the road. Given those circumstances, I felt it would be best to release songs individually while we were finishing them so that people could not only hear and see the progression, but could have time to digest and enjoy each song without being given an overwhelming amount of new material at once. Being that it is my debut EP - I think it's a perfect example of where I've come from, and most importantly, where I'm heading as an artist.
"Boys and Their Toys"
I think my biggest strength is my biggest weakness - I'm a sponge for emotion and probably care too much.— Lenny Martelli, talking about his strengths and weaknesses
SH: Are the songs on this album auto-biographical?
LM: Absolutely - every song for the most part was written about events in my own life or the lives of people I'm closest to. I draw a lot of inspiration from what the people around me are going through, just as much as what I myself might be going through. The EP is also in chronological order—meaning the tracklist is in order of when the songs were written and recorded—with the exception of the last (bonus) track having been my very first demo turned single, Little Do You Know, done in 2015.
SH: What are your strengths as an artist? Your weaknesses?
LM: I think my biggest strength is my biggest weakness—I'm a sponge for emotion and probably care too much. The mood of the room or people around me can severely affect the way I feel—I can be brought down or brought up just by my surroundings. As a weakness, it makes it hard to do what I want because I'm concerned about my actions' effects on other people. However, as a strength, I feel an overwhelming amount of empathy. I think it's a very strange emotion to understand as a young adult—not to sound arrogant—and most people don't figure it out until much later in life. It makes for killer songs sometimes, but I have to keep a constant balance in order to stay productive and not let the opinions or feelings of anyone else hinder my goals.
"Little Do You Know"
I don't think I'd ever be content not making music or not being involved in the music industry in some way for the rest of my life.— Lenny Martelli
SH: How would you describe your sound and how has it evolved over the years?
LM: I would say my music leans a little in the alt-country direction, but I don't think you can call it anything but country. I've grown up on a lot of rock music so that still plays a big role in my sound and will definitely be a part of the music I make in the future.
SH: Is there a difference between “Nashville country” and country music from your home state of Pennsylvania?
LM: I don't know if there's necessarily a country music style that you could attribute to Pennsylvania but Philadelphia has been home to a lot of incredible musicians over the years. There's definitely a distinctness to any music produced in Nashville for sure.
SH: What one thing you could accomplish with your career and then be perfectly content if your career in the music industry ended?
LM: Hard to say, but I'd say above any award or anything, if I could sell out a headlining tour to nothing but fans of my music—that would be a huge accomplishment. I don't think I'd ever be content not making music or not being involved in the music industry in some way for the rest of my life—I've been playing music since I was 4 and writing songs since I was 10 so it's something I'm pretty protective about and will do anything to preserve.
"The Night is Young"
Just for Fun:
SH: What piece of entertainment do you wish you could erase from your mind so that you could experience it for the first time again?
LM: Guitar Hero—that was a big deal for my generation of musicians
SH: What can you not get right, no matter how many times you try?
LM: Reading music...
SH: What takes up way too much of your time?
LM: Overthinking—I overanalyze the majority of my decisions so I can be sure I've found the best, most practical way of accomplishing something.
SH: What stereotypes do you live up to?
LM: I'm pretty stubborn—as an Italian, this is pretty much expected but I try to be conscious of when my stubbornness may be useful and productive or detrimental and offensive... lol
As a country singer, the stereotype of being an outdoorsman is something I can luckily be very proud of. I love everything about being outside, especially the cold, so that may be the curveball most people don't enjoy about the outdoors that I look forward to every year. Its something I look forward to going back north for, other than family and friends of course!
"When I'm with You"
To learn more about Lenny Martelli, you can click on any of the links below.
- Country Music Notes: Lenny Martelli Releases Inspirational "Just a Thought"
A continuation of this interview with Lenny Martelli
- LennyMartelli - YouTube
Lenny Martelli YouTube channel.
- Lenny Martelli | Official Website
Listen to Lenny Martelli's debut EP - "Just A Thought" - and learn more about him and his new music!