photos / Katy Pritchett
story / Koko Ntuen
I often catch myself unconsciously humming Lenka’s music. This might happen while i’m getting coffee, or riding my bike through a brisk autumn day, browsing through albums in a record shop and other whimsical activities that makes me feel like I’m starring in my own romantic comedy. Like all the sudden the guy of my dreams will accidentally bump into me, spilling coffee everywhere, our eyes meet and the rest is history…
Lenka could easily be one of Australia’s finest exports. She is an actress, cementing her place in showbiz at a young age starring in cult classic such as GP, Home and Away, Wild Side, Head Start, and Spellbinder. She is a musician,with hits like ,”The Show,” which appeared in the 2011 film Moneyball and “Everything at Once” which had a string of commercial successes. Other songs have risen to the top of charts capturing the hearts of people worldwide with her eccentric fairy like voice making anthems about positivity, strength and love.
With the release of her fourth studio album The Bright Side she takes her positivity to a new level.
What was your inspiration while writing and recording, The Bright Side To Be?
I was feeling a hard-earned sense of happiness and wanted to bottle it. So there’s a sense of embracing positivity and love. I was Inspired by a lot of different genres of music too. Different kinds of beats and grooves.
What about this album feels different from your last three?
There are less ballads, it’s a very upbeat album. And perhaps more variety in production styles.
What about your acting background do you still use in performing?
It helps when I’m trying to deliver the intent of a song, especially if I’m not in that mood at the time! Acting experience comes in handy to makes things real.
Has your sounds or experience going into showbiz changed with motherhood?
Yes definitely. At first I went all quiet and shied away from the whole pop thing, both style-wise and industry-wise. But now I have an energetic toddler it somehow feels appropriate again!
What are your favorite things to do these days?
Hang out at the park eating ice cream with my 3 year-old. Drink wine with grown-ups. Jam with my band.
How do you think the entertainment industry changed since you first started out?
The whole internet downloading and streaming thing has negatively affected the music biz even since I started out 7 years ago. It’s just a matter of being creative with smaller budgets and hoping that real fans will still do the right thing and support artists.
You have had some really high profile songs like “The Show” and “Everything At Once” Were you excepting those songs to be so huge and do you ever take that into consideration when you are writing or producing a song?
I didn’t at first and it was a surprise when my songs started to get film and TV placements. Now I am sometimes asked to write things specifically for projects and I love it. You kinda hope a song will have a long life but you can’t think about that when writing because it spoils the spontaneous moment.
Who were your favorite female singer/songwriters when you were growing up?
When I was a little girl I loved Madonna, Cyndi, The Bangles, Katrina and The Waves. As a teen it was Fiona Apple, Tori Amos, then I discovered Bjork and that was the most inspiring thing I heard. I also grew up on the ladies of jazz, courtesy of my dad. Ella, Billie, Etta…
Your videos always have such an exciting, energetic, hopeful vibe juxtaposed with a bit of sadness just like your music. Do you feel those vibes in your sound?
Yes, there is usually some sad or melancholy vibes in there. I use songwriting to help my troubles, so it’s like therapy for me. Ideally I feel happy by the second chorus!
What is the biggest difference between Lenka the entertainer and Lenka the woman?
I’m much ruder in real life. I have a rather dirty mind and I swear a lot. (I’m Aussie what can I do?!)
What would be your dream project to work on?
Something involving an orchestra and choir.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Focusing on family and balancing it with music and craft/design stuff.
Can you tell us about anything you have in the works?
I’ve been making jewelry other cute crafty things and would like to expand into that more. I love doing skill-share workshops with like-minded women.
I know you and James(LOVE HIS WORK) work together a lot. Does his art ever influence your sounds and visa versa?
Yes definitely. I feel like we evolved alongside each other and that really shows in both our practices. He helped me define my identity and vice versa. I can’t speak to whether I influence him, but sometimes I give him words if he needs them and I also help him draw women’s bodies cause he can’t do it!
Lastly tell us a few things you love!
Trees, vibraphones, quinoa, children, hot-glue guns.
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