Lifelong friends Nick Pretel and Josh Anthony never imagined a career in music, but in February, the newly formed indie rock band of 1L Music released their first single “Nobody Knows.”
The journey to becoming musicians was not an easy one. Pretel battled depression and it took a while for the duo to realize this is what they wanted to do. However, know that their song is out and more are on the way, they have a positive outlook on life.
“My interest in music is not just the feel for the notes and the chords, but it’s the connection with people,” Anthony explained. “My hope is it builds a community of people who feel how we feel.”
Pretel and Anthony, both 25 of Parkchester, have different stories, but both share a passion for music. The band mates went to school with each other through eighth grade and became like family to one another.
In high school they joined a youth group and their church choir.
“It definitely built up the possibility that maybe we could sing,” Pretel explained.
Pretel obtained his bachelor’s in architecture from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, but college was not an easy experience. He put a lot of pressure on himself and eventually became depressed.
“I burnt myself out trying to take on everything,” he explained. “That’s when I really shut myself away for a second and the person I saw I didn’t like.”
He eventually spoke with Anthony who helped him focus and stay on the right path.
Anthony grew up in a household where salsa or Marc Anthony was always playing. He went to CUNY, but the classroom wasn’t for him.
So, he dropped out and went to work in the information technology field. Having self taught himself the keyboard Anthony began to record beats and send them to Pretel who would write lyrics and sing over them.
“We were writing throughout college for fun, not making a living,” Anthony recalled. “Our musician friends told us Nick could sing.”
In 2019 the duo played some of their songs for a friend who had moved to Italy and she loved it. In fact, she was so enamored that she invited them to play at her wedding.
Pretel and Anthony made the trip and rocked the house for 200 people in Milan and everyone was dancing. Later that year the band officially formed on Sept. 5, 2019.
“It was nerve-wracking because we had never performed in front of anyone,” Anthony recalled. “After that trip we’re like we have to do this.”
Upon returning to the United States, it was their mission to focus on music. They began writing songs, performing at small venues and then COVID-19 arrived.
But, the pandemic was a blessing in disguise. It allowed the young adults to write nonstop and work with Peter Wise, their vocal coach and producer.
With inspirations ranging from Coldplay and Sam Smith to Queen and Sam Cooke, 1L Music sings about past experiences that illicit love and emotions. While this has all happened in just a few short years, the boys are on cloud nine and are excited for the future.
“This is a dream come true for me,” Anthony said.