We heart her! So much!
We have been a fan of Kimbra since this post, way back in 2010.
We had her perform at our big SXSW party this year and it's been so exciting to see her soar with the international success of her Gotye collaboration!
We talk to the super talented Kiwi about that little song that could, how she did it her way, discovering her sound, making it in the business, conquering America, and so much more!
Read some highlights from our chat… after the jump!
And watch our interview with Kimbra in full (above)!
Perez: Hey everybody it's Perez, joined by Kimbra. And there's so much that I want to ask you, and talk about. And I think we should start with something light, and fun, then get into the meatier, musical stuff. But I'm assuming by now everybody knows who you are. But let's get to know Kimbra. They know you as the girl from the Gotye song, "Mainly", and hopefully they discovered your own music too because you have an album that's out now or coming out?
Kimbra: It came out yesterday.
Perez: It came out yesterday. It came out within the last week or so. But you're from New Zealand originally. And you made a lot of your album in Australia.
Kimbra: That's right.
Perez: And is Kimbra a nickname for like Kimberly?
Kimbra: No, that's my real name.
Perez: That's your real name?
Kimbra: Yeah, that's it.
Perez: Well, there you go. Are — were your parents hippies or where does that come from?
Kimbra: Just — I don't know, I don't have a great sort of story behind it. But they heard the name, I think there's an author in New Zealand called Kimbra, and they just heard of it, and they thought, "Oh, you know that's kind of different. Something fun."
Perez: Well are either of your parents musical?
Kimbra: They are a doctor and a nurse, so a little bit different. But they are very encouraging of music, but not hugely musical themselves.
Perez: Was the — was music something that you started doing at a really young age?
Kimbra: It's just always been there. You know people ask me when I first got into it, but I can't remember a time when it wasn't a part of my life. It was just the natural way to express myself as a kid to write songs about emotions and –
Perez: So you were writing songs as young as a kid?
Kimbra: Yeah, nine or ten kids coming up with little songs. But they — I'm sure they were horrific.
Perez: You don't have any of those left?
Kimbra: No, no, no.
Perez: You didn't keep them?
Kimbra: I mean, I don't know if they're flying around but you don't want to hear that.
Perez: Now one of the things that I love about your music, which maybe for other folks might be difficult, is that you can't really; I don't know if you can put a label on it. I don't know how I would describe it to somebody. How did you even get there? When you were like, "Okay, I'm going to be a musician, I'm going to work on my album." Like what was the process of like, what do I want my sound to be?
Kimbra: Yeah, I think it's [watch above].
Perez: What I love is you kind of done it your own way, and on your own. The first time that I became aware of you was with your song, "Settle Down", which came out like over two years ago now.
Kimbra: I know, you were, you were one of the first people on that so –
Perez: And when you released that, you weren't with a label right? You kind of — were you that — was that independently done?
Kimbra: Yeah, just [watch above].
Perez: Well you brought him up. Gotye that little song that I think nobody would have predicted would go on to do as well as it did.
Kimbra: We didn't.
Perez: You didn't.
Kimbra: Well it's funny because people say, "So how did it all happen?" And I'm like, [watch above].
Perez: Top three still on iTunes.
Kimbra: — it's all — yeah. It's insane.
Perez: And also not to blow smoke up your ass because you're here, but I genuinely like 130% believe had you not been on that song, it wouldn't have been as successful as it was. Like you added so much to that –
Kimbra: Why thank you.
Perez: — to that song, and it really took it to a whole other level. Like now for the album when it was released in America, a couple of days ago, you worked on for some new songs on some really cool people like Greg Kurstin –
Kimbra: Yeah, that's right.
Perez: — who I think is one of the most amazing producers out there. He's worked with everybody from Lilly Allen to Kylie Minogue, and to Kimbra.
Kimbra: And like the The Sheens and yeah, it sounds really — that’s great.
Perez: I know, it sounds really cool. What drew you together with him?
Kimbra: I've always been a really big fan of his work. I loved The Bird and the Bee, they're a really influence actually on yeah, my writing process. And so –
Perez: (Perez singing) "Again and again".
Kimbra: Oh I love that song. That's great. And yeah, I think you know Warner Brothers kind of suggested that he might be keen to work with me, and then it was yeah, just kind of getting in the studio to get there. And we immediately wrote two songs, which were on this record, "Sally, I Can See You" and another one called "Posse". And it was just an instant kind of chemistry.
Perez: We'll wrap it up with one question where we kind of began. That's mom, and dad. Mom — they work in the medical field, right?
Perez: Now you're successful. Do they come out on the road with you? Like what it is like now that they're in your world?
Kimbra: It's different for them. They live back in New Zealand still so –
Perez: They don't come out with you ever?
Kimbra: They came to Australia for my tour, I just did a headline tour out there, and that was really fun to kind of have the family join you for that. Maybe they'll have to come out to America and see a show sometime.
Perez: Yeah bring them out —
Kimbra: Yeah. I think yeah.
Perez: You know you don't want them to join you for a bit?
Kimbra: No I totally do. It's so busy, and I'm in and out.
Perez: Does it get lonely on the road?
Kimbra: It does. Yeah. I think it's a nice idea; you've put it back in my head. I'd love to get the family –
Perez: Or you probably — you get along well with your band.
Kimbra: They are like my —
Perez: They're like your family?
Kimbra: Yeah, that's the great thing I think about touring if you have a good team around you is you got the tour bus, and you've got your own –
Perez: You all share a bus?
Kimbra: Yeah. Yeah.
Perez: Is it guys mainly in your band?
Kimbra: It's all guys, yeah.
Perez: They don't fart a lot and stuff?
Kimbra: Yeah, they do, there's a bit of that. But it's good, it's like yeah, they're my brothers, it's very sweet.
Perez: Well you're having fun?
Perez: I wish you continued success. Thank you so much for coming. Kimbra. Buy her new album, and I'll talk to you guys soon. Bye.