“My mom was a teacher. She was the bread-winner, and my dad was the more creative one with a bohemian lifestyle…I was basically encouraged to do whatever I wanted, and it was immediately clear that it would be in arts and entertainment. I wanted to be a dancer, then I wanted to be an actor, then I wanted to be a visual artist. Then I wanted to be a musician.” -Lenka
And quite the musician she became. Aussie-born songstress Lenka crossed over from a successful acting career into music in 2008 and never looked back. She has since produced four full-length albums, the last of which, The Bright Side, came out this past June to critical acclaim. Though acting was something at which she naturally excelled, it was in writing and producing music that she found the most freedom. “I sort of just realized that I was enjoying it more, and that I was better at it. I thought maybe I had something more unique to offer through music. It’s a pretty hard job being an actor. I was never really satisfied with the small amount of work that you get and the large amount of time that you have to yourself. You can’t really do it on your own, you know, creating your own work…so it was really liberating to me when I started doing music.”
Flourishing under the creative latitude that music afforded her, Lenka quickly built a name for herself, even founding her own record label, which granted her commercial control over her work. “Now I own [my album] and no one can tell me what style to do it in because I am the one paying for it. I’m a little bit of a control freak!” Now that she is established in her career, she is pleased in retrospect with the way her creative pursuits unfolded incrementally. “I’m quite glad that it took me a while getting to it. I was twenty- four before I even decided to dabble in music, and I was thirty before my first solo record came out. But I had my head screwed on so well by then that I never fell into a single trap. Sometimes I lament and wish that I was twenty when I put out my first record to have more energy and more time…but I was kind of an idiot when I was twenty so I wouldn’t have been able to handle it.” Lenka will continue to tour this year, yet may have a few other things up her sleeve for the future. “I’ll continue to be creative, but I’m thinking about moving into things other than music. I started making merch for myself, making necklaces and stuff…I’m a real arts and crafts person!”
Photography by Indira Cesarine for The Untitled Magazine #GirlPower Issue
Fashion Editor: Indira Cesarine
Hair by Matthew Monzon
Make-up by Tina Echeverri
This article originally appeared in The #GirlPower Issue of The Untitled Magazine (2015), pick up a print edition of the issue today!