Having already been included in Forbes Magazine’s iconic 30 Under 30 list as the only Czech female singer to have a chart hit outside of her home country as well as having bagged not one but four Angel Awards - the equivalent of a Grammy, natch - it’s clear that 25-year-old Lenny is destined for stardom.
As part of our special edition In Focus magazine, we spoke to the singer ahead of her visit to this year’s ESNS, where the Czech Republic and Slovakia are this year’s joint focus countries.
Read our interview with Lenny below.
Tell us a bit about your career so far.
I’m 25 now and I’ve been doing this for ten years, but I got involved in the industry properly when I was 18. I released an EP with Universal Music in the Czech Republic and two years before that I went on tour with my Mum and played piano and backing vocals for her travelling around Australia and Canada. That gave me an insight into it all; she encouraged me to play some of my own songs and then people started asking where they could get my music. It was kind of a lightbulb moment.
You have strong links to the UK – how has that influenced your music?
I grew up in Prague but then my Mum signed me up to a British school over here so I grew up with British children. That’s one of the biggest gifts they could give me because I learnt the language.
Because of my schooling, I was kind of in an English bubble in Prague. I listened to a few Czech bands, but at the same time I loved artists like P!nk and Green Day, Simple Plan and a lot of punk rock. I’ve mainly been influenced by music from abroad.
How do you think those influences translate into what you do?
I still call what i’m doing pop because it is popular music essentially, but it’s just about combining it, not making a compromise and not putting anything into a box. When I grew up and started playing the piano I fell in love with the compositions of Carole King and Elton John but my music isn’t very similar to them. And I also love rock bands; my favourites when I’m driving are Bring Me The Horizon and Royal Blood which is nothing like what I do either, but I just love bands that transfer energy. It could be someone playing the piano or a real proper rock band, but it’s just about the energy.
“I had to carry these awards home in a Tesco plastic shopping bag!”
And you were included on the Forbes list last year! How did that happen?
It was crazy for me! They said they picked me because a few months before I’d received four Angel Awards which is the equivalent of a Grammy in the Czech Republic. That was so exciting too. I didn’t bring a bag or anything so I had to borrow this Tesco plastic shopping bag and I carried these awards home in that. Also I think it was because one of my singles got lots of radio plays in Italy and I’m basically the only Czech female who’s ever made it in the charts outside of the country. It made me realise I do have potential to go abroad.
What do you want people to get from your music?
The best moment for me is when one day I’m sitting at the piano alone composing this song, and then fast forward a few months and I’m recording it in the studio and then fast forward a few more and I’m singing it on stage and people are singing with me. That’s what I want to create, not only here but abroad as well. I’m just a Czech girl from a small country and somehow my song made it in the charts, so I’d like to show young people that anything is possible if you dream and you work hard for it.
Watch Lenny live at ESNS 2019 on Friday 18th January at Machinefabriek at 8.00pm.
Check out our special edition In Focus magazine below.