Jessica Chapnik Kahn

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Jessica Chapnik Kahn is an Argentine Australian singer-songwriter, actress and director. Her solo music is released under the moniker Appleonia.[1] She is also known for her role as Sam Tolhurst/Holden in the Australian television drama Home and Away (2006–08).[2]

Early life[edit]

Chapnik Kahn was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, but immigrated to Sydney, Australia with her family when she was five years old. On arriving to Australia, speaking no English, they lived in an immigrant hostel for one year. She has a Jewish father of Polish descent and a Catholic Italian mother, and was brought up in an Argentine Spanish-speaking home (she is fluent in Spanish). Both religions were a strong influence in her life. After high school, Chapnik Kahn attended the University of New South Wales in Sydney and graduated with a degree in sociology, theatre and film.In 1996 Chapnik-Kahn graduated from the Hillsong Bible College, Waterloo Campus with a Diploma in Creative Ministries. She and her parents and sister attended Hillsong for many years.


Music career[edit]

Chapnik Kahn formed her first band at the age of 17. After one year, the band dismantled and she toured nationally and internationally playing keyboards and singing in the bands of artists and bands such as Sarah Blasko, Old Man River, Lior and the Kahn Brothers. While touring, Chapnik Kahn met musician Ben Lee and the two later began collaborating on music projects.

In 2008 Chapnik Kahn recorded the soundtrack for the Australian film The Square, directed by Nash Edgerton. All songs were written and produced by Ben Lee, and sung by Chapnik Kahn.[3] The album was nominated for both an AFI Award [4] and an Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Fine Arts Award for "Best Original Soundtrack".[5]

Following this album, Chapnik Kahn re-invented her solo persona as Appleonia, a character inspired by mythology and Prince’s film Purple Rain.

In 2013, Chapnik Kahn teamed with musician Nadav Kahn and scored the film Despite the Gods, a documentary directed by Penny Vozniak which closely follows the journey of director Jennifer Chambers Lynch as she makes her film Hisss in India. The soundtrack was released in 2013 and features the song 'She is the Sun' which Chapnik Kahn sang with Craig Nicholls from The Vines.

Chapnik Kahn again collaborated with Ben Lee, co-writing and co-producing his album Ayahuasca: Welcome to the Work,[6] released in April 2013. The album is a sonic documentation of her and Lee's experiences with the South American healing medicine, Ayahuasca.

In 2014 she released her album 'OH', which was recorded over a few continents and over several years. It features the handiwork of several collaborators including Dntel, Ian Ball and Nadav Kahn. The album was released in an unprecedented way of music sharing, where each download of the album triggered a donation to the food rescue charity OzHarvest.

Acting career[edit]

Chapnik Kahn trained as an actress in New York City for two years at the Atlantic Theater Company Acting School, which was founded by playwright David Mamet. While living in New York, she acted in a string of plays, and on returning to Sydney she continued working in the theatre. In 2006 she joined Australian TV drama Home and Away, playing Sam Tolhurst/Holden.[2] The role was originally a three-month contract, but was extended to almost two years due to the storyline’s popularity. Chapnik Kahn later had a guest role in the American adventure/fantasy series Legend of the Seeker, playing Anna Brighton. The episodes (episode 12: "Home" and episode 14: "Hartland") were broadcast in early 2009 on Disney-ABC Domestic Television. In 2009 she also starred in the Spanish-speaking short film Amanecer (Daybreak), directed by Alvaro D. Ruiz, a film that won several awards in Latin film festivals worldwide.

Directing career[edit]

Chapnik Kahn has directed and co-directed music videos for her Appleonia albums. In 2013 she directed a music video for Ben Lee for his song 'On My Knees'.

Personal life[edit]

In 2011 Chapnik Kahn married musician Nadav Kahn, formerly of art rock band Gelbison.


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ a b "Holden, Sam - Characters - Home and Away". Back to the Bay. Retrieved 14 February 2010.
  3. ^ Cashmere, Paul (26 February 2008). "Jessica Chapnik Sings Ben Lee". Cashmere Media Pty Ltd. Retrieved 14 February 2010.
  4. ^ "The Australian Film Institute AFI Awards Nominees". Australian Film Institute. Archived from the original on 14 September 2009. Retrieved 14 February 2010.
  5. ^ "ARIA Awards – History: Winners by Year 2008: 22nd Annual ARIA Awards". Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Archived from the original on 13 August 2009. Retrieved 14 February 2010.
  6. ^ Lojinx - Ayahuasca: Welcome To The Work

External links[edit]