SAY LOU LOU ON ROCKER PARENTS AND TWIN CONNECTIONS – EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

Say Lou Lou – The Untitled Magazine #GirlPower Issue – Photography by Indira Cesarine. Elektra wears a shirt with gold star accents and jacket by Saint Laurent. Miranda wears a double-breasted jacket, layered over a sheer shirt by Saint Laurent.

I think being women is all we know. For both of us, it affects our work subconsciously all the time, more or less. Feminism, as a concept is something that has been incredibly important to us since we were kids.” -Say Lou Lou

The complexity of womanhood is central to Elektra Kilbey-Jansson, one half of musical pop duo Say Lou Lou. Last April the band released their debut album Lucid Dreaming. “It’s dreamy and ethereal pop music, but parts of the album have a disco undertone. It’s a bit dark, like a disco noir undertone… We draw most of the inspiration out of life and love and tragedy and relationships.”

Say Lou Lou is composed of Australian/Swedish twin sisters Miranda Anna and Elektra June Kilbey-Jansson, daughters of Steve Kilbey of Australia’s The Church and Karin Jansson, of Swedish feminist punk band Pink Champagne. “Growing up with parents as musicians, it shows you that you can actually be a musician as a profession, and also all of the bad things about being a musician. You get both sides. Growing up we were like, ‘I would never do this, I would never go on tour  and not see my family and friends.’ Now we sit on the tour bus all day thinking ” ‘We chose to do this!’ I guess it’s in our genes, too.”

SAY LOU LOU BEHIND THE SCENES VIDEO – THE #GIRLPOWER  ISSUE 8
Photography and Video Direction by Indira Cesarine

At the time of this interview Miranda was traveling in Capri enjoying some rare time off. “Miranda calls it her biannual leave from Elektra. It’s where she leaves and we try to not speak to each other too much,” jokes Elektra. Like most kids the pair rebelled against their parents growing up, but in an opposite fashion than most, by resisting rock ‘n’ roll. “When we were teenagers, we were quite rebellious towards that aspect and then we wanted to be good in school, we wanted to have normal lives, normal jobs. By the time we were nineteen, it was inevitable, I guess. We started doing demos at home, just sitting with a synth, doing little covers and stuff. That’s how we started.”

From navigating through the music industry together, the sister duo have developed a deep understanding of one another’s creative process, and have developed a way of communicating rooted in honesty. “If we don’t like something, we kill it. Then, we move on quickly. You can be quizzical and honest with each other without ever having to pick a fight or be so destructive. You can just be like, ‘I don’t like this’ or ‘I don’t like what we’re doing right now. Let’s move on.’” Their childhood bond is evident in what’s led them to this pivotal point in their creative endeavour and intensive collaboration. It’s a definitive plus to have such a support system they both adhere to when they’re working. “On tour, it’s really good having a sister there. You know each other so well and you get to take care of each other and everything. The down part of it is that we spend so much time with each other. We just bicker, like an old married couple, but that’s what sisters do.”

Miranda wears a black tank top by Yigal Azrouel, a metallic skirt by Francesca Liberatore, and a silver jacket by Religion. Elektra wears a black turtleneck top by Linie, silver jacket by Francesca Liberatore, with a black and silver metallic skirt by Francesca Liberatore, with heels by Saint Laurent.

After signing to Columbia and releasing their first single in 2012, Say Lou Lou decided to found their own label called à Deux. “We were with a major label, Columbia, for a long time,” Elektra explains. “But in the end I think when you’re creating your first album, creating your own art; you have to compromise. It just doesn’t make you happy.” They released their debut full length, Lucid Dreaming, to a myriad of buzz and praise. “Lucid dreaming is a state in which you’re aware that you’re dreaming. You’re awake inside of a dream. I think that’s the most beautiful notion ever.” As for their band name, it was conceived of based on their favorite childhood storybook of the macabre ilk. “We had a favorite French children’s book called “Lou Lou”. It’s about a wolf. It’s kind of like a morbid children’s book. We tend to like those.”

One of their recent videos for hit single, “Nothing But a Heartbeat,” certainly references their affinity for the dark and dreamlike side of love and romance. It takes its audience inside the duo’s fantasy world, filled with forestry and covered in ice, underneath which lies an underlying theme of melancholia and heartbreak – and more importantly that moment you break through, grasping for air, and can ultimately breathe again. “Everyone’s been through a breakup. You notice that feeling when it’s over it’s almost crazy. There’s a moment when you realize and you start looking forward to things again. You start realizing that there’s a future. There is more than this.”

Miranda wears a wool crepe blue skirt with triangle applique by Charles Youssef and a turtleneck by Lie SangBong. Elektra wears a metal sequin pencil skirt by Charles Youssef, turtleneck and heels by Lie SangBong.

For Say Lou Lou, it’s up and out of heartbreak, and up and out of societal restrictions. “As a woman in society, structures of society tell you to be a lot of things. It is better now than it was before but still not much. We are fed everyday with information and ways from everywhere that young girls associate a certain way and I think all of it is very subconscious. I think when you write music, you feel stronger and when you write your own music you feel very empowered. ”

So what’s next for Say Lou Lou? They are currently working on a new album with a tour to follow. “The beauty of playing live is every time you step on stage, you realize something about yourself. The next time you get better. It’s like training; you become better, better and better. Now it’s something I enjoy more than anything.”

The Untitled Magazine GirlPower Issue - Digital Edition -303
Miranda and Elektra both wearing tops, skirts, and hats by KTZ, tights by Hue, with heels by Saint Laurent.
The Untitled Magazine GirlPower Issue - Photography by Indira Cesarine
Elektra wears a striped, sweater, black fur vest, and black miniskirt, by Alice and Olivia. Knee-high boots by Lie Sangbong. Miranda wears a diamond print dress and striped coat by Alice and Olivia. Heels by Ruthie Davis.

Photography and Interview by Indira Cesarine 
for The Untitled Magazine #GirlPower Issue
Fashion Editor: Indira Cesarine

Make-up by Bobby Bujisic

Hair by Hanjee
Photographed at Morgans Hotel

This article originally appeared in The #GirlPower Issue of The Untitled Magazine (2015), pick up a print edition of the issue today!

   
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