Lenny Sasso grew up on the New Jersey coast knowing he wanted to get involved in the music business somehow. In high school, he took courses such as Rock N’ Roll History and really dove into music after leaving sports behind. Lenny played bass in a few bands and in every school function possible.
When it came time to apply to college, Drexel offered the chance to explore this world of music and entertainment through the Entertainment & Arts Management (EAM) program. At Drexel, Lenny got involved with the student-run Late Night Series within the first month and continued until he graduated. On a whim in his junior year, Lenny emailed Red Light Management in New York City because he listened to several of the bands on their roster. Soon, he was working there managing Underoath, The Starting Line, The Almost, Hit The Lights, Fake Problems, Person L, and Say Anything.
After graduation and a little more time at Red Light, Lenny moved back to Philly to work with and manage a new band - June Divided. Within a few short months, the band released their debut EP, was featured in Alternative Press, performed at SXSW and on NBC, and had a music video on mtvU. That summer, June Divided performed a date on the Warped Tour and were chosen by Ernie Ball Music Man to perform in Los Angeles where they walked away with an endorsement deal and two-week run on Warped Tour 2012. In January 2012, Lenny became a permanent member of the band. The band’s first full album “Backbone” was released in July 2012. During the Warped Tour 2012, radio play picked up for the single ‘Secrets’ and the band’s music video began playing on MTV. June Divided recently performed on the CW Network show ‘Dance City.’
What are you up to right now?
I am currently managing and performing in June Divided. I’m still living in Philly, so when we aren’t on the road I’m working at World Cafe Live as a lighting designer.
What is it like being in “the biz” as a pro?
It’s challenging! Even though I’ve achieved some crazy things like being on MTV and performing on Warped Tour, it’s still a struggle every day to be heard. To be successful in the music industry you really need to eat, sleep, breathe, music. I hardly have a social life anymore as all we do is work on writing new tunes, band practice, touring, and strategizing our next move.
How did EAM help you get here?
Definitely learning about how to acquire and maintain a network of connections is what I believe is going to get you furthest in this business. When I was back in EAM I tried to get involved with as many organizations and be as active with making connections as I could. Also the other big thing to know is basic entertainment contract law. Knowing the basics will help you avoid a potential disaster.
Who are you stalking/hoping to work with next?
After we finish writing this next record we’re going to seriously shop it around at labels and try to lock in something, maybe over the summer. I’ve got my eye on several labels I’d like to be a part of and we’ve been talking with a few others so we’ll see what happens! We’re also thinking of maybe collaborating with another band or singer on a tune or two for fun, but haven’t really figured out who yet. As my work load starts to get even more intense I’m also going to find someone to help replace me as ‘manager’ so that I can just focus on the music and day-to-day operations like updating Facebook.
Who is on top of your current playlist?
The Dear Hunter just released their new record on April 4th, I’ve been listening to that a lot. HRVRD is also incredible, been listening to their new record a lot too.
Any advice for current EAM students?
I would say regardless of your track (whether it be music, film, theatre) stick with it and don’t give up. Times are going to get hard after you graduate, especially in this current economy and competition you’re against. But, surround yourself with the right people and immerse yourself in your craft. And of course, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and network with as many people as you can...you never know who might be able to help you in the future.