Skip to main content

Lenny Martelli Interview: "Just a Thought" and Music Career

Shannon is a passionate country fan who enjoys getting to know the artists and their music. She also loves spreading joy through interviews.

Lenny Martelli

Lenny Martelli

Country Artist Lenny Martelli

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. 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 2019, when Martelli 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.

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"

The Interview

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 and 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.

"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 autobiographical?

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.

Scroll to Continue

Read More From Spinditty

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.

"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 four and writing songs since I was 10 so it's something I'm pretty protective about and will do anything to preserve.

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. It's something I look forward to going back north for, other than family and friends of course!

More Martelli


Shannon Henry (author) from Texas on January 03, 2020:

Most of the country artists that I have spoken with from across the pond there are from places like Ireland rather than England. I am glad that you enjoyed his music. I hope you come back to check out more of these fantastic musicians. Happy New Year!

Nell Rose from England on January 02, 2020:

Hi, Interesting guy, one I had never heard of before. We don't get a lot of country and western over here in England, so thanks, it was fascinating!

Shannon Henry (author) from Texas on December 02, 2019:

You must be enjoying yourself, Devika, since you commented on four interviews today. I'm so glad you're enjoying them. Thanks!

Devika Primic on December 02, 2019:

Lenny Martelli is new to me and you informed me in detail of the interview. I enjoy listening to country music.

Shannon Henry (author) from Texas on November 16, 2019:

Well, Cheryl, you have a ton of my admiration for that. Playing by ear is something that I never can do no matter how hard I try!

Cheryl E Preston from Roanoke on November 16, 2019:

I play piano by ear somewhat. I took lessons from two teachers and never caught on to reading music.

Shannon Henry (author) from Texas on November 16, 2019:

Hi, Ruby. Good to see you. I can read music, but I don't sing very well because I'm often pitchy and I don't play instruments very well either, but that's probably from not practicing enough. I was a lazy student, but I loved the instrument Hahaha.

As for the CMA winner, I like them both. But I like Garth's older songs a lot better. My favorites of his are probably "The River", "Standing Outside the Fire", "The Dance." Gosh, I could go on and they're all old hits from the 90s. I personally think Keith would've been the better win this year so I agree with you.

Shannon Henry (author) from Texas on November 16, 2019:

How very poetic of you, Demas. Also very true! Thanks for sharing.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on November 16, 2019:

I know what it feels like to not read music perfectly. My husband Ray plays the organ and has attempted to teach me. I enjoyed your interview. Lenny strikes me as an honest man who cares, maybe too much. I was soooo disappointed that Keith Urban didn't win Entertainer of the year at the country music awards, although I really do like Garth Brooks. Thanks for sharing once again.

Demas W Jasper from Today's America and The World Beyond on November 16, 2019:

Without music? Life would lack its respite moments, dancing, and the many gatherings devoted to it. Where would humming and whistling have gone? Surely God knew we would need it, and so did Saul.

Shannon Henry (author) from Texas on November 16, 2019:

Hi Pamela,

Thank you. I appreciate that. He does have one of those voices that will be instantly recognizable to fans whenever they hear it.

I watched the CMAs this year, too, and really enjoyed them. Nashville certainly has no shortage of artists who would deserve an award.

Shannon Henry (author) from Texas on November 16, 2019:

Hi Kari,

Good to see you. I agree with everything you just said. I'm glad you came by for an introduction to his music and to who he is.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on November 16, 2019:

Lenny is new to me, and what a story he has with his injuries. I really like his voice and he is a good looking man. Your interview was good, as always.

I watched the country music awards the other day, and I thought they were very good this year. I would not be surprised to see Lenny Martelli get an award. Thanks for another good article.

Shannon Henry (author) from Texas on November 16, 2019:

Hahaha, Bill. Now you sound like Theresa (Faith Reaper). I don't hold my breath for anything like that, but I have to admit, it would be pretty awesome. Stranger things have happened. I do feel like I have improved over the course of almost a decade doing interviews, though. LOL Thanks for coming by to listen and to see what he has to say. :)

Kari Poulsen from Ohio on November 16, 2019:

His is an inspiring story. I've listened to the songs and I really like him! He seems like a wonderful person and one I would be proud to meet. Thanks for letting me know about this artist.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on November 16, 2019:

Look at you! You are like a conduit to the stars. Pretty soon we'll see you on the red carpet at the CMA Awards, doing your thing, talking to the rich and famous, and I'll be able to say "I knew her when!"

Shannon Henry (author) from Texas on November 16, 2019:

Good morning, Angie. He's most definitely country. I hope we do start hearing a lot more from him on the radio. I really like that first song. I thought you would, too. Glad you listened to it. :)

A B Williams from Central Florida, USA on November 16, 2019:

Good Morning Shannon,

I've only listened to the first song, but it's a good one! He is Country, matters not where he comes from...

I am looking forward to hearing more from this young man.

Shannon Henry (author) from Texas on November 15, 2019:

You crack me up, Paula. I do agree this his voice is super sexy, though.

In person would be awesome, yes, but I do phone interviews sometimes and that is the next best thing. In fact, I really prefer phone interviews because I can get a better sense of their personalities. Some people are not as forthcoming in email interviews as Lenny was when answering questions. But my schedule lately makes it hard to keep up with the e-interviews so I haven't scheduled many phone interviews lately. The last phone interview was with Mark Chesnutt.

I've never had anyone come back and leave a comment on one of the interviews themselves. I have, however, had some artists comment on the links when I post them on social media.And someone I became friends with chat with me somewhat on FB and by phone when we do an interview.

Suzie from Carson City on November 15, 2019: wow! Lasagna, linguini and LENNY! Now that's a sweet, sexy SPICY Meatball! What a cutey...and my favorite flavor...Italian!! Not to mention he's a HERO...what an amazing journey he has had. I LOVE such heart-warming stories of personal success! He is wonderful and has certainly gained a FAN in me......Hey Lenny, I'm a very nice, loving & generous (half) Italian Grandmother, in case you ever need one!! LOL.....

Love your your songs. I wish you nothing but the very BEST!....Cheers! Paula

(Don't you wish these interviews were sometimes IN PERSON, Shan??! Good job. Do you drool much?? LOL

Do those you interview ever come back to read the comments and leave a note???

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on November 15, 2019:

Shannon ours are original, as this artist.

Shannon Henry (author) from Texas on November 15, 2019:

I've never heard that saying before, Eric. Interesting. Thanks for sharing it. Glad Lenny brings up good memories for you.

Shannon Henry (author) from Texas on November 15, 2019:

I'm glad that you enjoyed his music, manatita! Yes, that is really awesome.

manatita44 from london on November 15, 2019:

A simple and kind man. Perhaps the early setbacks helped him. I love hearing his voice and God's Grace he is a singer and composer not a footballer.

I hear that the great Leonard Bernstein was in the same musical boat. He was so gifted that he was offered the job only for them to find that he did not read music. He said to give him 3 months in which time he mastered it all. Awesome eh?

I have a friends who is extremely talented and better than many acclaimed artists. Yet his knowledge of music is minimal. Some talent seems to be innate.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on November 15, 2019:

My daddy told me to stand straight and always alone. But hug all you can. This guy reminds me of this. Thank you.

Related Articles