Lithuanian photographer Aleksandra Kingo has made a career out of creating eye-catching, surreal images and films for some of the world’s most exciting brands from Kenzo and Miu Miu to Honda and Haagan Dazs. She is known for her playful blend of colour and humour that walks the line between the awkward and seductive, toying with the viewer’s senses. Here, she shares the five tracks that have been the soundtrack to her creative journey from dream collaborations to the tracks which fuel late nights
I’d been a massive fan of Yelle since I was a teen, so I was thrilled when I got commissioned to photograph the lead singer Julie. I packed my suitcase full of silly props, quirky ideas and glitter and headed to Paris for what was my first high profile shoot. I adored the band; they were amazing to work with and loved the images we made. A few months later, one of the images from the shoot was shortlisted for the prestigious Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize at London’s National Portrait Gallery, a huge career high for me when I was starting out. Our collaboration continued culminating in my directorial debut for their music video ‘Moteur Action’.
As an artsy teenager, this track was on constant rotation. The year I started getting into life drawing and sculpture, I was super inspired by Michel Gondry’s ‘Science of Sleep’. I loved nothing more than wandering around in forests and fields with my film camera, taking pictures of my friends and aspiring to be like Ryan McGinley. Looking back, those early teen years have shaped me, and this song is wonderfully nostalgic.
I’m a working mum, and when I work from home, whether it’s sketching, writing treatments or taking care of my taxes, I tend to do it at night, because I hate missing out time with my two-year-old. To stay awake and focused I need background noise in my native language, and I often listen to Russian music or TV shows on YouTube. Kazhdiy Raz is a beautiful young artist and one of my new favourites. I have no idea how her music sounds when you don’t understand the lyrics, but I can assure you they are fabulous with lots of sarcasm and quirky wordplay.
Recently, this track has become my go-to hype song. I’ve had a hectic few months, which at times was quite overwhelming and listening to this song instantly changes my mood. I listen to it every morning on the way to meetings, navigating the busy London Underground and feeling powerful being so productive.
As my career has progressed, the projects I take on have got bigger and more complex. Shoot days can be long and challenging, especially on commercial jobs where we can be shooting stills and film in unison. Music is one of my secret weapons. This track can instantly lighten the mood. It never fails to start a dance off and gives the whole crew an energy injection, whether it’s a pick me up post lunch, or it’s late in the day, and we still have a lot to do. Beyonce changes everything and makes you feel good!