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Singer Kimbra on Her Somebody That I Used to Know Success, Summer Plans & More

Kimbra Talks Handbag Percussion, Disney Inspiration and Talent Shows

To say that Cosmopolitan Fun Fearless Female finalist Kimbra has had an impressive year is somewhat of an understatement. The 22 year old New Zealand-born singer/songwriter has been busy promoting her debut album, Vows, as well as joining Gotye on the promotional trail for his hit song, "Somebody That I Used to Know." From international music festivals to appearances on Saturday Night Live and beyond, we thought it was high time we caught up with Kimbra to talk about her past, present and future success.

How have you dealt with the "Somebody That I Used to Know" phenomenon?
Just by staying grounded and remembering to be thankful every day for the opportunity I've been given to share my music on a world-wide stage, it's been an amazing experience to be a part of a song that has connected so much with people.

More from Kimbra when you keep reading.

Do you get recognised a lot or can you still be quite anonymous?
Over in Europe, people are a little more relaxed with that stuff, it can be intense in America sometimes though! It was strange being back in my hometown of Hamilton (New Zealand) and being recognised in the streets I'd spent my whole life growing up in — it's definitely something that takes a while to get used to, I quite like being a fly on the wall so it can be difficult to adapt to at times.

Do you have a particularly memorable experience of performing "Somebody That I Used to Know"?
Playing Coachella this year was pretty iconic. It was a huge crowd, and I just remember everyone singing my verse so loud that I could hardly hear myself — despite having in-ear monitors, ha! The sun was setting over the mountains and you could see the desert out in the distance and just thousands of people all singing with their hands raised, it was quite amazing to know that we could evoke that kind of response for people.

Where is your favourite place you've travelled to and why?
Amsterdam is always my favourite place to stop off — I've played there with Gotye and we did our first headline show there the other night which was really great. It's just such an amazingly beautiful city, I always leave very inspired.

What inspires your music?
Glimpses of transcendence. Paradox. Contradictions. Disney films. Psychedelia. Nostalgia. Nature and nurture.

What can we expect from your second studio album?
More handbag percussion. Last time there was an asthma inhaler — this time I'm planning on incorporating some zips, and lipsticks somehow.

What music are you listening to at the moment?
The new Dirty Projectors album, Ravi Shankar, the soundtrack to Twin Peaks and Solange Knowles.

How do you feel about all the talent shows on TV?
I think there is more to making it than just having talent, and talent shows these days seem often more focused on ratings or finding shortcuts rather than nurturing longevity for an artist.

What are your plans for Summer?
I will be doing Australian festivals through the summer and starting work on a new body of material I hope!

Do you know what you're doing for New Year's Eve?
We are playing in Adelaide for the Summadayze festival!

Who is your ideal fun, fearless female?
Janelle Monae or Zooey Deschanel.

Image courtesy of Thom Kerr.

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