You’ve probably heard Lenka’s evocative music helping set the mood on such shows as “Grey’s Anatomy,” “90210″ and “Ugly Betty.” Or maybe in a commercial for Old Navy. The Aussie actress, who was once in the same acting class as Cate Blanchett, is currently on a world tour to promote her self-titled album “Lenka.”
The musician was a tomboy who was as comfortable hiking through a rain forest as she was dressing up in dresses. A bit of a ham, she flourished in roles on Australian television before making the move to music. “I never thought it had to be either or,” says the singer, who was born Lenka Kripac. “I just thought that I could make some good music and would have a go at it. I’ve had so much fun with it that I kind of wish I had started earlier!”
Q. What is your favorite destination?
I love to go camping in nature. Byron Bay in Australia is a favorite. It’s about 10 hours from Sydney and I first went with some friends when I was 15 years old. There are lots of music festivals there and I saw the Neville Brothers that first year. New South Wales is gorgeous and is a little like Woodstock — a little hippieish. It never gets really cold there. We went to Woodstock to work on my album and it was beautiful. My boyfriend and I loved it. I also love camping at Sequoia National Park in California. And New York City is amazing. I recently discovered Portland. Every time I get to go back there it’s exciting. I also really like Seattle. It’s a great city for music and has great culture all around.
Q. What are some of your favorite hotels and restaurants?
The Doug Fir Lounge (www.dougfirlounge.com) in Portland and the Elf Cafe (a vegetarian restaurant) in Los Angeles. The Hotel On Rivington (www.hotelonrivington.com) in New York is amazing.
Q. When you go away, what are some of your must-have items?
Papaya ointments from Australia for dry skin. That’s my one thing I have to have! An iPod and a good book are good to have as well. I tend to be an overpacker, but I’m getting better. It’s always fun to go shopping wherever you are.
Q. What is your worst (or best) vacation memory?
I went backpacking in Morocco and my friends and me accidentally set fire to our room in a little hut in the desert. We had to hightail out of there cause it got a bit scary with the owners! Morocco was a real adventure. The best and worst vacation memories are from that trip!
© 2009 JAE-HA KIM
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