Since lending her vocals to the Gotye smash “Somebody I Used to Know” and topping the charts in an abundance of countries, we predict Kimbra is about to score a musical home-run in her own right. Wonderland sat down with colourful Kiwi to talk about her debut album Vows and hopes and dreams for the remainder of the year.
How did the collaboration with Gotye occur?
I met Wally three or four years ago through a producer I was working with on my album. Wally was also working with him at the time and I was a big fan of his music. We saw each other every now and then but it wasn’t until he called me and asked me to sing on the song that we started reconnecting again.
Do you find it strange when you hear that so many people, including other musicians, are covering the song?
I can hardly keep up with all the covers! It’s such a testament to how much the song has connected with people and I think it’s really special. It’s strange at times but mostly really exciting and positive to think that so many people are being inspired to recreate the song in their own unique way.
You listen to a diverse range of music – from Outkast to Rufus Wainwright. Do you think your assorted musical taste has influenced your own sound?
I think it’s a key factor in why I tend to dabble in different genres and sounds on the record. I’d like to think the more I listen to music – and the further apart those influences are – the more I’ll be able to draw from when I come to writing my own music.
The videos for “Settle Down” and “Cameo Lover” are visually appetising. Do you have a lot of creative freedom over the way you project yourself?
All the videos are very collaborative between the director Guy Franklin and I. We spend a lot of time brainstorming and [discussing] how we can extend the narrative of the lyric and the mood of the music to create a really memorable moment. It’s very important that all these aspects interconnect for me, so I’m lucky to have a team who share in vision and allow me to drive the artistic direction then offer their perspectives to take the concepts to a deeper level.
Is there any symbolic meaning to the album’s artwork? It features you heavily adorned in body art?
The idea was to treat the body like a canvas, and use body paint to convey simple designs that corresponded with some of the lyrical themes. The artwork starts off very refined and becomes more destructive and also explores the ideas of duality, yin and yang through the use of black and white ink-work and metaphoric symbols. There is a real feeling of light and dark on this record and I wanted the artwork to convey that in a unique way.
What does the remainder of the year hold for you?
We are about to embark on a national tour of Australia then we are touring around the US with Foster The People, followed by headlining tours in both Europe and America. I’ll also be doing festivals and lots more live shows.
Words: Shane Hawkins