Inspirational Women In Hollywood: How Actress and Music Artist Elektra Kilbey Is Helping To Shake…

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Inspirational Women In Hollywood: How Actress and Music Artist Elektra Kilbey Is Helping To Shake Up The Entertainment Industry

Photo Credit: Peter Karpushon

… Finally, when you meet new people, listen to what they’re saying. You might have one of the best conversations of your life with a complete stranger, so make time to truly listen.

As a part of our series about Inspirational Women In Hollywood, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Elektra Kilbey.

Elektra is a Swedish-Australian actress, artist, and songwriter. She recently wrapped on the Apple TV+/Paramount series, SHANTARAM, where she starred opposite Charlie Hunnam. She can also be seen in the Amazon series, TALES FROM THE LOOP, as well as the feature film, ODD MAN RUSH. In addition to acting, Elektra is part of the alternative pop band Say Lou Lou, alongside her twin sister. They have released several EPs with Sony Columbia and Downtown Records. In 2013, Elektra and her sister formed their own record label, à Deux, where they independently produced and released two albums, in addition to several award-winning music videos and short films.

Our readers would love to get to know you better. Can you tell us about how you grew up and your origin story?

Growing up, I spent a lot of time between Sydney, Australia, and Stockholm, Sweden, as my mother is Swedish, and my father is Australian. My twin sister, Miranda, and I spent the first few years of our lives growing up in Sydney, then we moved back to Sweden with our Mom. After that, we sort of bounced back and forth until we were 19. Around that time, we started a puff band together, moved to London, and began touring Europe and America. With all of this, that’s how I found my way to LA and decided to make it my permanent home about 5 years ago.

Can you tell us a story about what led you to become a musician?

Both of my parents are musicians, so it was almost inevitable. My dad is a singer and bass player, and my mother was a guitarist. Even my uncles on both sides were musicians and actors. We grew up in a creative household, and at first, it was something I rejected, and I wanted to focus more on my academics, but then around 18 I decided to follow in my family’s footsteps as well.

Elektra, you have a very interesting career. Can you share with us one of the most interesting stories that have happened to you since you began your music and acting career?

For me, the speed at which my career took off is so crazy. We put a song up on SoundCloud in May 2012, and within a week we had a record deal. Starting a band and recording at the dawn of the digital age of music launched us into the industry rather quickly.

The whole experience has been amazing. I’ve learned through it all that going with the flow, not overthinking, and letting opportunities present themselves organically will lead you to where you need to be. We have been lucky enough to do an amazing tour in the U.S. and it was one of the best experiences of my life. With this, I have also been able to scratch my creative itch in wanting to be an actress as well, l with projects such as making music videos that were more like short films. This let me express myself in a way that allowed me to showcase my acting skills and get a foot in the door into that side of the industry as well.

It’s been said that our mistakes can be our greatest teachers. Do you have a story about a mistake you made and the lesson you learned from it?

For me, the biggest mistake I used to make was listening to what others thought of me, especially those who are more successful or powerful. People who I’ve worked with at record labels try and make you feel a certain way, or tell you you’ll only be successful if you are a product of their standards and if you can box yourself into a certain persona, which is completely false. But, when we were starting out, my sister and I didn’t know any better. We were young, they were throwing money at us and we thought that if we steered away from what they wanted that things wouldn’t work out for us. Thankfully, we learned from our mistakes and realized that what we feel is more important than what others want.

None of us are able to achieve success without some luck along the way. Is there a particular person that you are grateful for who has helped you achieve your goals? And if so, could you share a story about that?

For me, that’s my mother. She has always been supportive of my aspirations and not once told me that she didn’t think I was capable of it, or that it was a waste of my time to chase my dreams. As a musician and a creative, as well as a freelance worker, she was honest with us about the downside of the industry but was also supportive at the same time. She has been there and knows the experience of it all, and it was helpful to have someone in our corner when we were starting out. She also pushed me to start auditioning and pursue my acting career.

You have some really impressive work. Can you share with our readers some of the exciting projects you’re working on now and what you see next?

I’ve been working on a project which will be a TV show for a major network and streaming platform. I can’t say much about it, except my character is an American girl and I’ve been blessed that it has taken me to locations such as Asia and Australia to film. We’ve been working on it for a few years now, due to COVID putting a stall on things for a bit, but I’m very excited about the entire opportunity and the lessons I’ve learned from it all.

Prior to this, I was on a TV show called Tales from the Loop that was on Amazon Prime, and I was able to work with Mark Romanek, who is an amazing director. The show was filmed in Winnipeg, Canada, and is a sci-fi-type story. I played a scientist with an 8-year-old daughter who discovers an item that belonged to space. So, I get sucked into another dimension and the show starts off with my disappearance. It was such a phenomenal show to work on, and really cool to be in a costume drama , the set, costumes, everything.

What are five things you wish someone told you when you were first starting out, and why?

  1. The first thing is to be more present and simply enjoy the ride. For the longest time, it felt as though instead of trying to enjoy the moment, my sister and I worried about everything else, but what was actually going on and trying to enjoy that.
  2. Second, I wish I would have stood up for myself more instead of letting others try and sway my decisions or choices.
  3. Third, when you’re in a new city, get out and explore! Find the locals and ask them where they like to go, listen to their stories and get the experience of the city from their perspective, instead of just going to all the touristy places.
  4. Next, always keep something handy for writing down your ideas. You never know when a moment of inspiration might strike, and if you think you’ll remember it, you never do!
  5. Finally, when you meet new people, listen to what they’re saying. You might have one of the best conversations of your life with a complete stranger, so make time to truly listen.
Photo Credit: Peter Karpushon

Elektra, you are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement with the most amount of good that would help the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

For me, that would be inspiring presence, and I am saying this to myself as well. Humans are so focused on the future, or what happened in the past, that we forget that all we really have is the present moment. It sounds like a cliché, but when tapped into, it makes life’s ups and downs easier to handle.

Wherever we are, whether it’s at the grocery store, a restaurant, or on the street, we need to surrender to being in that moment, looking people in the eye, and really exist in the interaction that is taking place. I’ve found that the more I practice this, the less stress gets to me and the less I live in past memories or future fears.

How may our readers follow you and your work online?

You can follow my band on Instagram @saylouloumusic, find us on Spotify or follow me through IMDB.

Inspirational Women In Hollywood: How Actress and Music Artist Elektra Kilbey Is Helping To Shake… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.