Go­tye’s gal pal is poised to break the US, writes Cameron Adams

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Front Page -

Rid­ing the Go­tye wave.

KIM­BRA may have set a record for the short­est US tour ever.

The Kiwi- born, Aus­tralian- claimed singer has been fol­low­ing her duet with Go­tye Some­body That I Used to Know around the world.

In Jan­uary, Go­tye, aka Melbourne’s Wally de Backer, scored his first US talk- show slot per­form­ing the song on Jimmy Kim­mel.

One prob­lem – it clashed with Kim­bra’s Big Day Out com­mit­ments in Australia.

But where there’s a will, there’s a way. Af­ter step­ping off stage at the Melbourne BDO, Kim­bra ( pic­tured) raced to the air­port and flew di­rectly to Los An­ge­les.

‘‘ I landed in LA, got in a car, went to the TV stu­dio, sang the song on Jimmy Kim­mel, got straight back into the car, went right back to the air­port that night and flew into Ade­laide,’’ Kim­bra re­calls non­cha­lantly of a 28- hour round- trip for four min­utes of TV.

‘‘ An hour af­ter I got off the plane in Ade­laide I was on stage at their Big Day Out. You get a sec­ond wind of adrenalin . . .’’

That work ethic has set the bar for Kim­bra in 2012.

Signed to Warner Mu­sic in LA, she is the golden child, ear­marked for ma­jor suc­cess.

The om­nipres­ence of Some­body That I Used to Know – No. 1 in Bri­tain, top 5 with a bul­let in the US this week – has kicked doors open. ‘‘ It’s crazy,’’ Kim­bra says. ‘‘ I think about be­ing in my room with Wally ca­su­ally singing the takes, think­ing maybe it might be a fourth song on the al­bum, a nice bal­lad. I knew it was go­ing to be a great song, but no one ex­pected this.’’

Some­where there is a fe­male Aus­tralian act who passed on the song, surely kick­ing her­self. ‘‘ It could have all been dif­fer­ent,’’ Kim­bra muses.

Im­por­tantly, Kim­bra had her de­but al­bum Vows ready to go once the Go­tye roller­coaster started.

‘‘ It has pro­vided a fan­tas­tic plat­form to come to Amer­ica and say, ‘ Hey, let me show you an­other side of what we do’,’’ she says.

‘‘ I’m grate­ful all the hard work was done be­fore we did that track. If you do a col­lab­o­ra­tion that be­comes that big, the prob­lem you run into is if you have noth­ing to re­lease.

‘‘ We had three videos and a whole al­bum, we were able to back it up. You still feel the pres­sure, but the work is there.’’

In Austin, Texas, for the South by South West mu­sic event, Kim­bra and band were play­ing three shows a day, cap­i­tal­is­ing on be­ing a ‘‘ buzz act’’.

She is now sup­port­ing Go­tye on his sold- out US tour, then will re­turn for a head­line tour of Australia ( play­ing her big­gest venues yet), be­fore head­ing back to the US to open for Foster The Peo­ple, with whom she has recorded a sin­gle.

In fact it seems as though she’ll be tour­ing for the bulk of the year.

‘‘ World dom­i­na­tion makes me sound like a dic­ta­tor, but it feels like it’s just start­ing in Amer­ica and the UK,’’ she says. ‘‘ It’s great to have a loyal fan base in Australia and New Zealand. Peo­ple in Amer­ica say how pol­ished our band are, but that didn’t hap­pen overnight; that came from do­ing all this tour­ing back home,’’ she says.

‘‘ That’s one pos­i­tive from com­ing from the other side of the world – you get a chance to nur­ture your sound, so when you come to Amer­ica that first im­pres­sion is ev­ery­thing. So I’ve come to terms with the fact there won’t re­ally be a home this year, it’ll be con­stant tour­ing, but that’s a first- world prob­lem to have.

‘‘ I’m not com­plain­ing.’’

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