Victoria Abraham defines one up and coming artist each week so you can impress your friends with your musical brilliance. This week, she tackles Kimbra, an electro soul sensation from New Zealand.
It’s possible that you haven’t heard of Kimbra. But it’s more likely that you’ve been playing Gotyé ft. Kimbra’s “Somebody That I Used to Know” on repeat 24/7. This fiery 22 year-old begun her love affair with music when her dad gave her a guitar at the age of 12. Now she’s quickly making a name for herself with the recent release of her debut album Vows in the US and her traveling live band.
Origins: Hamilton, New Zealand
Real name: Kimbra Johnson Zottola.
Live band members: Fagan Wilcox (samples/synth/bass/vocals), Timon Martin (guitar/vocals), Stevie McQuinn (drums), Ben Davey (keyboards/vocals)
Known for: Kimbra is known for her kick-ass fashion sense and energetic electric live shows.
Used in a sentence: “Kimbra’s sophisticated vocals and fun style make her uncompromisingly unique.”
File next to: Nina Simone, Bjork
Download now: “Good Intent”
Fun facts: Kimbra’s songwriting career was kicked into high gear when she borrowed an eight-track recorder from her school’s music department. At 17, she was discovered by Mark Richardson of OutPost Management.She made her first music video, “Smile,” on the New Zealand children’s TV show What Now.
Her debut album, Vows, took three and a half years to make and was first released in New Zealand and Australia in 2012. She’s worked with A-Trak and John Legend.
Career highlights: Her first single, “Settle Down” was released in 2010. The next year, Kimbra was signed to Warner Bros. Records and won the Critic’s Choice Prize at the 2011 New Zealand Music Awards.
Vows went Platinum within three weeks of its release in New Zealand and Australia. Currently Kimbra is touring all over the U.S. with Gotyé and Foster the People.
Notable lyrics: Kimbra sings about the temptation to stray and the difference between actions and intentions in “Good Intent.”
“The red light in the doorway says she’s armed/ But boy go try your luck and you might get pass/ Step into the dwelling of the liger’s mouth/Peer into the panic for a kick and swell/ You know you shouldn’t be there but it’s way past bed/ There’s comfort in the fingers of your good intent/ You know you shouldn’t be there but your money’s all spent/ You’ve got your reputation and your good intent.”