Lennon Stella remembers being 'an excited kid' when she opened for Taylor Swift

The 20-year-old has a new album, new digs and plenty to be happy about.
July 23, 2020 5:00 p.m. EST
July 24, 2020 10:54 a.m. EST
While the pandemic meant hunkering down right where you happened to be for most of us, Canadian singer-songwriter Lennon Stella has been busy moving into her brand new digs in Nashville. Before giving an extra-special etalk Open House performance of "Jealous" off her debut album Three. Two. One., Lennon sat down virtually (on her super-long couch amid a sea of plants) with etalk's Chloe Wilde to talk all about what her life has been like the past few months.Lennon talks about getting cozy in her new place and laying her emotions bare on the album that dropped in April before reminiscing about the past—specifically performing with her little sister Maisy as a musical duo and opening for Taylor Swift at the County Music Awards in 2013.Chloe: It hasn’t been that long since we last chatted but so much has happened. Three. Two. One. is out and you’ve moved—these are big life changes happening. Lennon: I feel like when I’m being told I can’t leave, it just makes me very stir crazy so it was nice to get into a new house and just be on more land and just enjoy the time that I have off right now, really. And putting an album out in the midst of it is crazy but was weirdly perfect in a lot of ways. Just being able to sink in and bathe in the fact that I have the album out has been cool.How is life in your new house in Nashville? It’s amazing. It’s so weird—everything just switched, you know? Where it’s now so different than it has been for me for so long where it’s like, I’m so used to touring and traveling and being in writing sessions. And then now just kind of having this very scheduled repetition and everything is kind of happening the same every day and just doing stuff from home. But I’m really enjoying it and just kind of taking it as it comes and letting it happen.[video_embed id='2000610']Lennon Stella performs 'Jealous' from her debut album 'Three. Two. One.'[/video_embed]When you see that people are vibing with Three. Two. One., what does it mean to you? It’s the coolest thing. I mean, these songs, I’ve just sat on for so long, having my friends and family love them and then really seeing them kind of resonate in the world and take on a life of their own and mean something different to however many different people. It’s just a very, very cool and very fulfilling experience. And songs that mean so much to me and carry so much weight in my life and then having them actually kind of be freed—that is just, in itself—even if the reaction wasn’t was it was—that in itself is so freeing and exciting. And having the reaction be so positive and so warm was just like the dream.Some of your fans have been with you for a long time and stayed with you as your music has changed and evolved.Totally, it’s definitely really cool having it be—since I was literally 12 on a TV show [Nashville] and, very much, people kind of watching me grow up. Because they feel like they know me and feel like they’ve grown with me or watched me grow up. It feels like it kind of hits people harder and it hits me harder when I feel like I’m sharing something with people that I know. It’s just like they’ve all been there with me for so long.You said that you used to sing “sad girl songs” and now here you are making happier music. What sparked that change? I think that just growth as a person and just feeling the freedom to kind of explore and figure out what I want to make and the music I want to sing and how I want to do it. And I think having that time and just evolving as a person and as a human and kind of being on a show for six years and then having the freedom after that to explore. I think just that in itself—it just changes naturally as I change as a person and my music kind of evolves with me.[video_embed id='1976070']RELATED: Niall Horan performs 'Black and White' from his new album 'Heartbreak Weather' [/video_embed]You’re quite reflective in some of these songs. How do you strike the balance between being reflective but also looking ahead at what’s next? With a lot of this album, it is kind of like reflecting and just talking about things I went through really in the moment and just that kind of evolution and things I went through. Just singing about honest experiences and things I’ve learned about myself or discovered about the people around me or whatever it was. But now, there’s a lot of it that kind of also reflects the future stuff and if feels very like, “Okay, now that I’ve done this; now it feels like there’s a tone set.” And now I can work off of that and the songs that I put out after this just feel like there’s a different vibe and there’s so much more out in the world now. So much more of me is open to that. And just having this album be so personal and out in the world, there’s just a deeper understanding all around.Years ago, you and your sister Maisy opened at the CMAs for Taylor Swift—cutest thing in the world. What do you remember when you think back to those CMAs?It’s so interesting because I feel like as I’ve gotten older, the nerves and awareness of how scary things can be have happened, but when I was a kid that just never was there. There wasn’t any intimidation or nervousness, it was just like “This is cool! This is exciting!” and that kind of innocence and just like, almost oblivious to how intimidating it really could be for somebody, was just so pure. Both my sister and I, we were just clueless and we were just like floating around like, “Oh yeah, we’re opening for Taylor Swift,” and like "This is live and whatever," and at the time, that just wasn’t even a thing—that was just a part of it. And getting asked to do that was so exciting and she was so sweet and it was just a very easy, pleasant experience. And I think that’s something I want to always carry within me—is just that kind of light and enjoying it. Because as you get older, you realize the pressures and the stress and, “Oh my gosh, it’s live” and “This is Taylor Swift” and “Everyone’s going to see this” and all the things but really truly in the moment, it was so exciting and my sister and I were just like excited kids.What has someone like Taylor Swift meant to you while you’ve gone on to be a successful artist?My sister and I have both been so lucky along the way to have like these people who have already made a name for themselves be so supportive and just nurturing towards us both and really kind of take us under their wing. And I think because it’s happened since we were little, with like the video and just a lot of people really reaching out and wanting us to do well and wanting to guide us. It just feels like there’s such a nurturing energy and I think subconsciously a lot of those things helped get both me and my sister where we are now. I think that kind of took a wall of starstruck away—neither of us had that. They were just like nurturing and good people and that’s ultimately what it is. I think a lot of that played into kind of where we are now and the way we view all of it.
What’s that experience like—being able to share a lot of this with your sister? We are so tight, we’ve always been so tight but the last couple of years, even after the show ended, I think is when we got even closer because we were choosing to be together and it wasn’t like we were filming or we were singing—we just wanted to be together. I think we just have always been so tight and having gone through everything we’ve gone through together—you know, being on a show at such a young age and all these things—that we kind of were very much in it together. I feel very lucky for that because in my career and musically she’s like the first person I send everything to and she’s very involved in the music but also just as a human, she’s literally my best friend. So it’s very lucky.etalk Open House is a weekly series that features performances and exclusive interviews with incredible talent like The KillersJessie ReyezShaggyNiall Horan and more. Catch the series on Thursday night as part of etalk’s regular  broadcast at 7pm ET on CTV  and 7:30pm on CTV2.[video_embed id='1987731']BEFORE YOU GO: Jessie Reyez performs 'Kill Us' for etalk Open House [/video_embed]

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