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Kimbra performing at McCallum Park in 2012
Background information
Birth name Kimbra Lee Johnson
Born (1990-03-27) 27 March 1990
Hamilton, New Zealand
Occupation(s) Singer, songwriter, musician
Instruments Vocals, guitar, tambourine
Years active 2000–present
Labels Forum 5, Warner Bros.
Website .comkimbramusic

Kimbra Lee Johnson (born 27 March 1990), known mononymously as Kimbra, is a New Zealand recording artist based in Melbourne, Australia. Kimbra's unique musical style draws from many different genres, often blending more modern electropop and R&B with classic jazz and soul musical elements. Her musical influences range from Prince and soul singer Minnie Riperton, to Björk and Jeff Buckley. Her unique style was showcased on her debut album, Vows, which was released in Australia in 2011. Singles from the album include "Settle Down", "Cameo Lover" (which won an Australian Recording Industry Association Award), "Good Intent" and "Two Way Street".

A reworked version of the album was released in Europe and the United States in 2012. It featured several new songs, including "Come into My Head", "Warrior" (on which Kimbra was joined by musicians Mark Foster from Foster the People and DJ A-Trak), and a cover of Nina Simone's "Plain Gold Ring". On 29 August 2011, she released her debut album, Vows, which reached the top 5 in New Zealand and Australia. On 22 May 2012, the album was released in North America, debuting at number 14 on the Billboard charts.[1] Kimbra is featured in the 2012 multi-platinum single "Somebody That I Used to Know" by Gotye.

On 10 February 2013, she and Gotye won the Record of the Year and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance awards at the 55th Annual Grammy Awards Show for "Somebody That I Used to Know". This achievement made her only the third New Zealand singer to win a Grammy Award in history. Kimbra's second studio album, The Golden Echo, was officially released on 19 August 2014 to positive critical reception.[2]


  • Biography 1
    • Early years 1.1
    • Career beginnings 1.2
    • 2010–11: Vows 1.3
    • 2012–13: Grammy awards and collaborations 1.4
  • Live band 2
    • Previous members 2.1
  • Musical style and performance 3
  • Discography 4
    • Studio albums 4.1
    • Singles 4.2
    • As a featured artist 4.3
  • Filmography 5
    • Music videos 5.1
    • Television 5.2
    • Films 5.3
  • Tours 6
  • Awards and nominations 7
    • Grammy Awards 7.1
    • APRA Awards 7.2
    • ARIA Awards 7.3
    • Other awards 7.4
  • References 8
  • External links 9


Early years

Kimbra Lee Johnson[3] was born on 27 March 1990 and grew up in Hamilton, New Zealand. Her father, Ken Johnson, was the head doctor at the University of Waikato's student health centre, and her mother was an orthopaedic nurse. At the age of 10, Kimbra began writing songs. When she was 12, her father bought her a guitar and "after a few years of lessons, she was on stage, performing with her guitar tutors (she was never taught to sing)".[4] Kimbra attended Hillcrest High School, competing in the national schools' musical competition Rockquest for three years running, where she was awarded second place in 2004 at the age of 14. Kimbra made her first music video, "Smile", for the children's TV show What Now. Kimbra was a member of the Hillcrest High jazz choir, Scat.[5]

Career beginnings

Early public performances by Kimbra included singing at the Waikato Times Gold Cup race meeting in 2000 as a 10-year-old and singing the New Zealand national anthem before 27,000 people at the 2002 NPC rugby union final. In 2007, after winning the Juice TV award for Best Breakthrough music video for her second single "Simply on My Lips", she came to the attention of ex-Independiente Records boss Mark Richardson (Jamiroquai, Paula Abdul) and his newly formed management company and independent label Forum 5 in Melbourne, Victoria.[6] She signed with Richardson and in 2008 she moved to Melbourne, Australia.[6]

2010–11: Vows

In June 2010, Kimbra's first single on Forum 5, "Settle Down", was released. She had started writing the track four years earlier – it was finished with François Tétaz.[6][7] The music video was directed by Guy Franklin. Perez Hilton featured the track on his website citing "[i]f you like Nina Simone, Florence & The Machine and/or Bjork, then we think you will enjoy Kimbra – her music reminds us of all those fierce ladies!"[8] On 10 December, the Australian 'indietronica' group Miami Horror released their single, "I Look to You" featuring Kimbra's vocals.[9] Kimbra also stars in its music video, which features wide-angle and kaleidoscope shots of her in face paint and dresses walking through golden fields.[10] Early in 2011, Kimbra's song "Cameo Lover" was a finalist for the 2011 Vanda & Young Songwriting Competition and eventually won the competition.[11] In March she issued "Cameo Lover" as her next single, its music video was released in April and was directed by Franklin. In 13 April Kimbra went to perform for Moomba Festival and ChillOut Festival in Sydney at Oxford Arts Factory to welcome the release of her next single, "Cameo Lover". On 15 July 2011, "Cameo Lover" won the songwriting competition, ahead of third placed song, "Somebody That I Used to Know", written by Australian musician, Gotye.[12] On 7 June Kimbra signed to Warner Bros. Records New Zealand for distribution in New Zealand and Australia, as well as a worldwide deal for other territories with Warner Bros. Records in the US.[13] On 5 July Kimbra sang in Gotye's single, "Somebody That I Used to Know", which was mixed by Tétaz. Tétaz had recommended Kimbra to Gotye after a 'high profile' Australian female vocalist had withdrawn from the collaboration.[14][15]

On 29 August 2011, Kimbra's debut album, Vows, was released in New Zealand and 2 September in Australia. In its first week of release it charted at No. 3 in New Zealand, No. 5 in Australia and No. 14 in the US. In its second week, it rose to a peak of No. 4 on the ARIA Albums Chart. Australian producer 'M-Phazes' produced Kimbra's track "Call Me" and assisted on other tracks on Vows. Its artwork including body art and illustrations were created by Rhys Mitchell and Raphael Rizzo. She has won the Critics' Choice Prize at the 2011 New Zealand Music Awards[16] and Best Female Artist and Best Song (for "Cameo Lover") at the ARIA Music Awards of 2011.[17] The US release of Vows featured new tracks not available on the Australian or New Zealand version of the album.[18] She had performed in various location such as, at the Forum Theatre,[19] Melbourne on 9 September 2011, at Astor Theatre,[20] Perth on 17 September 2011, at the Adelaide Botanic Garden in Brisbane on 1 October 2011, at Adelaide, Australia on 3 October 2011, at Queenscliff Music Festival, Queenscliff, Victoria and Wellington Square, Perth on 25 November 2011, at Homebake Festival 2011, at Royal Botanic Gardens, The Domain, Sydney[21] on 3 December 2011 and at the Falls Festival Lorne, Australia on 30 December 2011.[22]

2012–13: Grammy awards and collaborations

Kimbra performing in Auckland, 2012

On 19 January 2012, "Good Intent" was played on an episode of ABC's drama Grey's Anatomy. The track also appears in the video game, The Sims 3: Pets, which Kimbra recorded in Simlish for the soundtrack. Also in January, Kimbra won the "One to Watch" award at the 2012 Rolling Stone Awards.[23] Kimbra has collaborated with Mark Foster (of Foster the People) and DJ A-Trak on the track "Warrior", which was released on 2 April. On 14 April, she performed "Somebody That I Used to Know" with Gotye on Saturday Night Live. On 15 July 2012, she went to perform in Santralistanbul, Istanbul, Turkey. On 26 August 2012, she went to Parc de Saint-Cloud, France and later went to perform at The Deaf Institute, Manchester on 30 August 2012.[24][25] In 25 September, her song With My Hands was featured in Tim Burton's movie, Frankenweenie. In 1 November, she had been nominated at the Vodafone 2012 New Zealand Music Awards and won for the International Achievement, Best Female Solo Artist, Best Pop Album, Breakthrough Artist of the Year awards, and also won as a featured artist for the song "Somebody That I Used to Know", for Most Played Australian Work and Song of the Year, at the APRA Music Awards of 2012. on the same year, she also received an award for Best Female Artist at the ARIA Music Awards of 2012 for the second time.[26] In 14 November 2012, Kimbra performed at the Calvin Klein Collection which held an exclusive dinner to celebrate the brand’s Women’s Creative Director, Francisco Costa.[27] Kimbra also performed for other events such as, at Homebake Festival 2012 On 8 December, at Festival of the Sun in Port Macquarie, New South Wales on 14 December, at the Rhythm & Vines Music festival 2012 in Gisborne, New Zealand on 29 December 2012 and at the Summadayze Festival in Adelaide, Melbourne, Gold Coast on 30, 31 December 2012.[28]

On 4 and 5 January 2013, Kimbra continued her performance for the

  • Official website

External links

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Reviews for The Golden Echo by Kimbra - Metacritic
  3. ^ Simply on My Lips' at APRA search engine"'".  
  4. ^ Woulfe, C. (31 October 2010). "Unchained Melodies". Sunday Star Times, pp. 16–18.
  5. ^ Risk, Louise (10 June 2011). "Look at her now".  
  6. ^ a b c Baidawi, Adam (November 2011). "Kimbra, A Sound Unto Her Own". JetStar Magazine ( 
  7. ^ Settle Down' at APRA search engine"'". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 2 June 2012. 
  8. ^ "Watch & Listen: Like Ice!". 20 August 2010. Retrieved 10 February 2012. 
  9. ^ I Look to You' (ft. Kimbra) – EP"'". 2010. Retrieved 10 April 2012. 
  10. ^ "Miami Horror – 'I Look to You' (ft. Kimbra) (official HD)". 26 August 2010. Retrieved 10 April 2012. 
  11. ^ [2]
  12. ^ "2011 Vanda and Young Songwriting Competition – Winners Announcement".  
  13. ^ "Kimbra Signs Worldwide Deal With Warner Bros. Records". 7 June 2011. Retrieved 10 February 2012. 
  14. ^ Jones, Nicholas (15 February 2012). "Kimbra Replacement After First Choice Cancelled Reveals Gotye". Tone Deaf (Tone Deaf Network). Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  15. ^  
  16. ^ Bridget Jones. "Kimbra wins Critics' Choice Award 2011". Retrieved 10 February 2012. 
  17. ^ "Kimbra wins Aussie music award". Television New Zealand. 28 November 2011. 
  18. ^ "At Sydney airport...". Facebook. Retrieved 10 February 2012. 
  19. ^ "Kimbra, Friday August 9, The Forum Theatre | Beat Magazine". Retrieved 11 July 2014. 
  20. ^ "Kimbra – Astor Theatre Perth – EnjoyPerth!". Retrieved 11 July 2014. 
  21. ^ "Homebake 2011 – Grinderman, PNAU, GOTYE, Gurrumul Yunupingu, Cut Copy, Icehouse, Ladyhawke, Drapht, Daniel Merriweather, The Triffids, Eskimo Joe, Architecture In Helsinki, The Church, The Vines, Illy, The Jezabels, Kimbra, CW Stoneking at The Domain (Royal Botanic Gardens), Sydney, NSW on 3 Dec 11". Retrieved 11 July 2014. 
  22. ^ [3]
  23. ^ Kimbra (26 January 2012). "Kimbra Wins A Rolling Stone Award". Retrieved 18 May 2012. 
  24. ^ "Free Music Videos, Video Interviews, Music Video News, Live Sessions and Clips". Nme.Com. 7 February 2014. Retrieved 11 July 2014. 
  25. ^ "Enjoy the sound of Kimbra in Manchester". Retrieved 11 July 2014. 
  26. ^ "Kimbra shares her joy". MediaWorks. 20 April 2012. Retrieved 24 April 2012. 
  27. ^ "Calvin Klein Collection Hosts Special Dinner In Beijing With Performance By Kimbra At Long March Space | View photo – Yahoo News". 12 November 2012. Retrieved 11 July 2014. 
  28. ^ "Thousands jam in the Summadayze sun". The Age (Melbourne). 
  29. ^ "Jermz | Laneway Special: An Interview With Kimbra". 23 December 2012. Retrieved 11 July 2014. 
  30. ^ "Kimbra". Retrieved 11 July 2014. 
  31. ^ "John Legend Debuts EDM-Influenced Single ‘Made To Love’ Feat. Kimbra «". 18 June 2013. Retrieved 11 July 2014. 
  32. ^ "Rock in Rio by: Portal Kimbra | Rock in Rio Brasil". Retrieved 11 July 2014. 
  33. ^ """Kimbra: "There are a lot of parallels between quantum physics and music. Retrieved 11 July 2014. 
  34. ^ "Charity a hit for musos – music – entertainment". 26 August 2012. Retrieved 11 July 2014. 
  35. ^ r. "Ambassadors". So They Can. Retrieved 11 July 2014. 
  36. ^ "Kimbra – New Zealand Musicians & Bands". Retrieved 10 February 2012. 
  37. ^ Schlansky, Evan. "Kimbra".  
  38. ^ Wood, Mikael (3 October 2012). "Kimbra brings 'Vows' to the Fonda Theatre".  
  39. ^ "Kimbra at Festival Of The Sun".  
  40. ^ a b c "Discography Kimbra". (Hung Medien). Retrieved 13 April 2014. 
  41. ^ a b Hung, Steffen. "Discography Kimbra". Australian Charts Portal. Hung Medien (Steffen Hung). 
  42. ^ a b "Discografie Kimbra" (in Dutch).  
  43. ^ "Kimbra – Chart History: Canadian Albums".  
  44. ^ "Discografie Kimbra". (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 13 September 2014. 
  45. ^ Peak positions for albums in Poland:
    • For "Vows": "OLiS - Sales for the period 09.07.2012 - 15.07.2012".  
  46. ^ "Kimbra – Chart History: Billboard 200".  
  47. ^ "ARIA Album Accreditations". 30 April 2012. Retrieved 18 May 2012. 
  48. ^ "The Official New Zealand Music Chart : 14 May 2012". Retrieved 11 July 2014. 
  49. ^ Peak positions for singles in Australia:
    • For "Good Intent": "The ARIA Report - Issue #1124".  
  50. ^ "iTunes – Music – Cameo Lover – Single by Kimbra". 29 March 2011. Retrieved 10 February 2012. 
  51. ^ "iTunes – Music – Warrior – Single by Kimbra". 26 May 2012. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  52. ^ "Discographie Kimbra". (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 13 September 2014. 
  53. ^ Peak positions for featured singles in Canada:
    • For "Somebody That I Used to Know": "Gotye – Chart History: Billboard Canadian Hot 100".  
  54. ^ Peak positions for featured singles in Germany:
    • For "Somebody That I Used to Know": "Chartverfolgung / Gotye / Longplay". (in German).  
  55. ^ "Discography Kimbra". Hung Medien. Retrieved 13 September 2014. 
  56. ^ "Discographie Kimbra". Hung Medien. Retrieved 13 September 2014. 
  57. ^ Peak positions for featured singles in the UK:
    • For "Somebody That I Used to Know": "Gotye Featuring Kimbra".  
  58. ^ Peak positions for featured singles in the US:
    • For "Somebody That I Used to Know": "Gotye – Chart History: Hot 100".  
  59. ^ Lake, Limbo (30 July 2010). "iTunes – Music – I Look to You (feat. Kimbra) – Single by Miami Horror". Retrieved 10 February 2012. 
  60. ^ "The Official New Zealand Music Chart: Chart 1789" (Rianz). 5 September 2011. Retrieved 12 February 2012. 
  61. ^ "iTunes – Music – Somebody That I Used to Know (feat. Kimbra) – Single by Gotye". 5 July 2011. Retrieved 10 February 2012. 
  62. ^ "NZ Top 40 Singles Chart – 12 January 2013".  
  63. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2013 Singles".  
  64. ^ "Ultratop − Goud en Platina – 2012". (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 12 January 2013. 
  65. ^ "Certified Awards Search" (To access, enter the search parameter "Kimbra").  
  66. ^ "Gold–/Platin-Datenbank (Kimbra)" (in German).  
  67. ^ "Austrian certifications – Gotye" (in German).   Enter Gotye in the field Interpret. Click Suchen
  68. ^ "American certifications – Kimbra".  
  69. ^ a b "Gotye and Kimbra nominated for Grammy". 3 News NZ. 10 December 2012. 
  70. ^ "APRA Music Awards 2012".  
  71. ^ "Nominations > Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year – 2012". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) | Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society (AMCOS). 2012. Retrieved 2 June 2012. 
  72. ^ "Winners for the 2012 APRA Music Awards Announced". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) | Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society (AMCOS). 24 May 2012. Retrieved 2 June 2012. 
  73. ^ "2012 Winners". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) | Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society (AMCOS). 2012. Retrieved 2 June 2012. 
  74. ^ "Nominations > Song of the Year – 2012". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) | Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society (AMCOS). 2012. Retrieved 2 June 2012. 
  75. ^ "The Countdown Begins....Nominations Announced".  
  76. ^ ARIA Awards 2011 at Allphones Arena begins with battle of the red carpet – – Retrieved 28 Nov 2011.
  77. ^ Boy and Bear dominate ARIA awards – Australian Broadcasting Corporation – Retrieved 28 Nov 2011.
  78. ^ "International Songwriting Competition". Retrieved 18 May 2012. 
  79. ^ Kimbra (26 September 2011). "Vows Nominated For A J Award". Retrieved 18 May 2012. 
  80. ^ "2012 Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards Winners Announced « Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards". Retrieved 25 June 2013. 


Year Award Category Result
2007 Juice TV Breakthrough Video ("Simply On My Lips") Won
2011 New Zealand Music Awards Critics' Choice Prize Won
International Songwriting Competition[78] Grand Prize Won
J Award[79] Album of the Year (Vows) Nominated
2012 Rolling Stone Awards One to Watch Award Won
New Zealand Music Awards[80] Album of the Year (Vows) Won
Single of the Year ("Warrior") Nominated
Breakthrough Artist of the Year (Vows) Won
Best Female Solo Artist (Vows) Won
Best Pop Album (Vows) Won
Peoples' Choice Award Nominated
International Achievement Award Won

Other awards

Year Recipient Award Result
2011 "Somebody That I Used to Know" – Gotye featuring Kimbra Single of the Year Won
Highest Selling Single Nominated
Best Pop Release Won
"Cameo Lover" – Kimbra Best Female Artist Won
"Cameo Lover" – Kimbra – Guy Franklin Best Video Nominated
2012 "Vows" – Kimbra Best Female Artist Won

The ARIA Music Awards are presented annually from 1987 by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). In 2011, Kimbra won one award as a solo artist and two awards as a featured artist.[75] Gotye featuring Kimbra performed the single, "Somebody That I Used to Know", at the awards ceremony.[76][77]

ARIA Awards

Year Recipient Award Result
2012 Kimbra Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year[71] Nominated
"Somebody That I Used to Know" – Gotye featuring Kimbra Most Played Australian Work[72] Won
Song of the Year[73] Won
"Cameo Lover" – Kimbra Song of the Year[74] Nominated

The APRA Awards are presented annually from 1982 by the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA), "honouring composers and songwriters".[70] In 2012, Kimbra was nominated for two awards as a solo artist and won two awards as a featured artist.

APRA Awards

Year Recipient Award Result
2013 "Somebody That I Used to Know" – Gotye featuring Kimbra Record of the Year[69] Won
Best Pop Duo/Group Performance Won

The Grammy Awards are presented annually from 1959 by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS). In 2012, Kimbra's collaboration with Gotye, "Somebody That I Used To Know", won the Record of the Year and the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance awards.[69]

Grammy Awards

Awards and nominations


Year Title Role Notes
2012 SXSW Flashback 2012 herself Performer


Year Title Role Notes
2011 RocKwiz herself Musical guest – Season 9, Episode 6
2012 Saturday Night Live Musical guest – Season 37, Episode 19
Jimmy Kimmel Live! Musical guest
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
Project Runway Australia audience member
2012–2013 Last Call with Carson Daly Musical guest, two episodes
2013 Rock in Rio Performer, Episode 5.3


List of music videos, showing year released and director
Title Year Director(s)
"Cameo Lover" 2011 Guy Franklin
"Good Intent"
"Settle Down"
"Come Into My Head" 2012
"Warrior" (featuring Mark Foster and A-Trak) Daniels
"Two Way Street" Matthew Rolston
"90s Music" 2014 Justin Francis
"Miracle" Thom Kerr

Music videos


Year Title Peak chart positions Certifications Album

2009 "Asleep in the Sea"
(As Tall As Lions featuring Kimbra)
You Can't Take It with You
2010 "I Look to You"
(Miami Horror featuring Kimbra)[59]
2011 "Somebody That I Used to Know"
(Gotye featuring Kimbra)[60][61]
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 1
  • RMNZ: 5× Platinum[62]
  • ARIA: 11× Platinum[63]
  • BEA: 4× Platinum[64]
  • BPI: 2× Platinum[65]
  • BVMI: 5× Gold[66]
  • IFPI AUT: 2× Platinum[67]
  • RIAA: 8× Platinum[68]
Making Mirrors
2013 "Made to Love"
(John Legend featuring Kimbra)
Love in the Future
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that territory.

As a featured artist

Year Title Peak chart positions Album
2005 "Deep for You" N/A
2007 "Simply on My Lips"
2010 "Settle Down" 37 Vows
2011 "Cameo Lover"[50]
"Good Intent" 98
2012 "Warrior" (featuring Mark Foster and A-Trak)[51] 22
"Two Way Street"
"Come into My Head"
2014 "90's Music" The Golden Echo
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that territory.


Title Album details Peak chart positions Certifications

Vows 4 3 135 24 95 23 14
The Golden Echo
  • Released: 19 August 2014
  • Label: Warner Bros.
  • Format: CD, LP, digital download
5 5 43
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that territory.

Studio albums

Discography states that Kimbra's music delves beyond the "four chord cliché but still maintains strong hooks and catchy melodies that are sometimes unpredictable but satisfying".[36] In an interview with American Songwriter, she listed Daniel Johns, Prince, Rufus Wainwright, Guided by Voices, Imogen Heap, Mike Patton, Michael Jackson, Minnie Riperton, and Stevie Wonder as her influences.[37] Her musical style has been considered jazz-inspired electropop.[38] She is also interested in modern progressive metal, listing bands like Meshuggah and Dillinger Escape Plan as favorites of hers in numerous interviews and Facebook posts.[39]

Musical style and performance

  • Fagan Wilcox – samples/synth/guitar/vocals (2009–2014)
  • Ben Davey – keyboards/vocals (2010–2014)
  • Stan Bicknell – drums (2009–2010)
  • Joe Cope (2009)

Previous members

  • Taylor Graves – keyboards/vocals (2014–present)
  • Timon Martin – guitar/vocals (2009–present)
  • Stevie McQuinn – drums (2010–present)
  • Frank Abraham - bass/keyboards (2014-present)

Live band


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