From Jose Rizal to Perez Hilton: 10 Things about Aussie Singer Lenka

Lenka finds Jose Rizal inspiring and thinks her Pinoy fans are "really lovely."


A teen actress trained by Cate Blanchett, a "punk-ass art school student," and former vocalist/keyboardist of indie band Decoder Ring, Lenka Kripac, known simply as Lenka, is now a solo artist known for her happy, childlike pop songs. Her self-titled debut album was released just last year but her songs, "The Show" and "Trouble Is A Friend," have already been featured on U.S. TV shows such as Grey's Anatomy and Ugly Betty. As part of her Asian tour, Lenka stopped by Manila for the first time and performed at SM Megamall, SM Mall of Asia and SM North EDSA on December 11 to 13.

Lenka performing "The Show" on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno caught up with Lenka just before she left for Singapore, the next leg of her tour, for a chat that involved Rizal, Christmas, and Perez Hilton:

1. She finds Jose Rizal inspiring. Lenka visited Rizal Shrine when she went to Fort Santiago during her brief stay in Manila. "I think it's nice to always get a little taste of the history and culture of any place. [Fort Santiago] was very interesting. I really liked it."

2. She thinks Pinoy fans are "really lovely." Unlike fans in some Asian countries who are "super rowdy," she thinks Pinoy fans are "quite polite." She says, "Everyone sang, clapped and got into it. It was really special."

3. She's (kind of) "sacrificing" her career this Christmas. "I'm going to spend a month in Australia. I just want time to play with my friends' babies and hang out with my families and friends."


4. She used to get water guns for Christmas. Since it's summer in Australia during Christmas, Lenka has spent the holidays having barbecues, swimming and squirting her siblings with water guns. She's half-Czech so she has also spent it in a more religious and solemn manner during their Christmas Eve dinners, which she describes as similar to Noche Buena in the Philippines.

5. She knows 34 languages. Just bits and pieces actually. On November 3, Lenka blogged and asked her fans who speak different languages to translate "can you hear me," "hold me," "touch me," "speak to me," and "I love you" in their own languages. Over a month later, she has finished a "really cute pop love song" with 34 languages in it. "I love it. I love languages, and the idea of globalization and connection between people who don't speak the same language. [The song] might just be an individual download."

6. She doesn't want to be Britney Spears. She greeted her fans at a Zurich show, "Hey, Stockholm!" She says, "I really don't want to be the Britney Spears type of artist who has no idea where she is. I was super embarrassed. I realized it later in the set and I apologized." Good thing the audience was "pretty polite about it."

7. She likes Perez Hilton's doodles. "Perez Hilton is a guilty pleasure because I'm totally wasting time reading mindless gossip." Watching TV is another guilty pleasure since she has to motivate herself to write songs.

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8. She makes sweet music (and art) with her boyfriend. Lenka and her illustrator boyfriend of four and a half years created "Lenkaland," a term coined for Lenka's signature crafty, cheerful, childlike music and artwork. "From the moment I started writing songs, he was sitting in a corner, drawing. It kind of grew at the same time. We developed this manifesto about the whole child within."

9. She was a salesgirl in another life. "I've always been into vintage clothes. I actually used to run a market stall in a previous incarnation of my life in Sydney."

10. She thinks "commercial emo rock" is for teenage boys. "I've never been able to grasp it. There's nothing about it that connects to me. I'm not a teenage boy so…"

Photos from Sony Music. Interview videos taken by Joanna Manalastas.

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