This week’s Swag Spotlight shines on Lena Stone, the Concord, Massachusets native that is one of the founding members of the Song Suffragettes in Nashville. Living about forty minutes outside of Boston, Stone recalls her childhood being filled with music, being the oldest of three sisters that all loved to sing. Her parents were also both music lovers, playing incredible singer-songwriters like James Taylor, Joni Mitchell and Carol King around the house. Continuing to love the great lyricists, Stone grew to love artists like Michelle Branch, Liz Phair, Sara Bareilles and of course, Taylor Swift. While visiting her grandparents in Florida when she was twelve years old, she was exposed to country music for the very first time when she heard Sugarland’s “Baby Girl” on the radio. “I just felt like this is me, this is my song, this is my story,” she tells us. “I then found Keith Urban and Rascal Flatts then right around then Carrie Underwood won American Idol so that new wave of country music started when I was starting to have my own taste in music.”
Loving story-telling and lyrics, she remembers making up stories and turning them into songs when she was in grade school, following in the footsteps of her grandmother who was a music therapist. “I just kind of grew up thinking that everyone wrote songs, I thought that was normal,” she laughs. “I thought it was like people keeping a diary and that was how people dealt with their feelings, I just started making up melodies I just stuck with it.” After picking up a guitar and seeing Taylor Swift write and record all of her own music, Stone just knew that was what she wanted to do with her life.
She attended GRAMMY Camp which is a 5-day program in L.A for high school students who want to pursue a career in the music industry. “Just being included as a high school student was such a boost of confidence for me, the music industry can be really challenging, especially when you are a 17-year-old girl living in Massachusets where there really is no country music scene, it was amazing to be inspired by other people,” Stone told us. It was during that week that she met with Darrell Brown, a songwriter who had written “You’ll Think Of Me” for Keith Urban and “Why Don’t We Just Dance” for Josh Turner and he listened to some of her songs and told her that if she wanted to pursue songwriting, she better move to Nashville. And that she did, she attended Vanderbilt, and eventually teamed up with other rising female artists in Nashville including our Swag Session album Kalie Shorr, to create Song Suffragettes. Song Suffragettes is a collective of female singer-songwriters that performs on Monday nights at The Listening Room Café in Nashville. She explains to us how proud she is to be a part of the first wave of people calling attention to the lack of females being played in country music. “We don’t want more time on the radio than men, we just want to be played on the radio and the same opportunities,” Stone explains. “I think it is such an important movement and any way I can be apart of standing up for women especially in the music industry, I am all about it.”
Stone is currently in the studio recording music that she has been writing for the past few years and tells us how excited she is for everyone to hear it. “I feel like I really got to establish myself with my first EP and I can take the next step and now I want to show you some deeper complicated, fun and interesting sides to me.” Focusing less on relationships and more on the struggles and triumphs of figuring out how to be an adult, she wants her music to reflect exactly what she is going through as a young female in today’s society.
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