Australian-born Lenka sings sweet and upbeat pop songs. She’s based in Los Angeles and her second solo album Two is currently available. Lenka tours this month.
I recently asked the singer-songwriter a few questions.
Amy Steele: How did you become a host of a television program in Australia?
Lenka: I had been an actor in Sydney for quite a few years but was studying at art college and starting to explore music. They asked me to audition and i thought it would be a fun, easy “bread-and-butter” job, which it was! We did comic skits in between the cartoons…
Amy Steele: Why did you leave acting to become a singer?
Lenka: I wanted to do something more creatively fulfilling, where i had more control over the content. And of course, i adore music and fell in love with the feeling of singing.
Amy Steele: What is different and similar about acting and performing as a singer?
Lenka: I feel like they’re fairly similar; both are performing, both are a heightened reality. But the big difference is, the character I’m now playing is myself!
Amy Steele: Who are you listening to?
Lenka: I’m loving Lykke Li’s new album and old $2 records we buy on the street.
Amy Steele: What kind of vocal training did you have if any?
Lenka: I took three lessons with an amazing vocal coach in LA to learn how to warm up and preserve my voice. I don’t like the sound of a trained voice though, so that’s all I’ve done.
Amy Steele: Did you get discovered in Australia or had you already moved to Los Angeles?
Lenka: I came to Los Angeles to tour with a band i was in, Decoder Ring, and then started doing solo music over here. So it’s really all happened in America for me.
Amy Steele: Who are your greatest musical influences?
Lenka: Old Jazz singers, Bjork, Fiona Apple, Goldfrapp.
Amy Steele: How do you like making videos? With your acting background how does that affect putting together a video?
Lenka: I love it! Gives me a chance to indulge in performing for cameras again. I’m glad to have had all that experience, I think it makes it a lot easier for me now…
Amy Steele: What do you like best about singing?
Lenka: The sensation of the release of emotion through melody and vibration.
Amy Steele: Do you find any challenges as a woman in the business?
Lenka: No not really, I’ve felt great respect and camaraderie as a woman.
Amy Steele: The music industry has changed quite a bit. How does that change the way that you write, record and perform?
Lenka: It’s become very internet-community based. Very immediate. That’s both good and bad I feel. Some of the mystique and anticipation has gone with this whole YouTube world, but then again, the way fans can be involved is absolutely amazing.
LENKA TOUR DATES:
6/10 New York, NY Bowery Ballroom
6/11 Philadelphia, PA North Star
6/12 Washington, DC DC9
6/14 Columbus, OH Basement
6/16 Pontiac, MI Crofoot Ballroom
6/17 Chicago, IL Subterranean
6/19 Minneapolis, MN 7th Street
6/29 BostonCafé 939
purchase album at Amazon: Two