Lennon poised for success

Nineteen-year-old Lennon is not your average piano player. The performer’s hard-edged sound has been referred to as “Fiona Apple meets Korn.” But Lennon says she doesn’t like comparisons.

She says that being a female musician playing the same instrument as Tori Amos but preferring a hard-driving sound—a sound influenced by the likes of Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson—she has had to carve out a niche that is unlike others. Although her music may have a harder edge than that of her piano-playing contemporaries, she’s not exactly an angry young woman. She eschews the stereotype of hard-sounding female singers promoting political causes.

“Everyone expects you to be gung-ho for women’s rights,” she says. Lennon just wants to play music.

The Tennessee native has received a lot of attention since she signed with Arista Records this past spring. With her debut album 5:30 Saturday Morning coming out Sept. 11 and a successful career looming, you would think this has been the best year of her life. However, Lennon overcame a lot of adversity this past year.

Last year, her mother died of an allergic reaction weeks before the singer-songwriter graduated from high school. Lennon, named after the famous Beatle, was thrust into parental responsibility and had to fight a custody battle for her 8-year-old sister. Through all of that, she says she has remained focused on her career and providing for her sister.

When asked if she plans to write music based on what she went through this year, she responded cryptically: "For some people’s sake, they better hope I don’t."