Kimbra Hits Stage At mtvU Woodie Awards Festival

Singer is adjusting to the fame that's followed the success of 'Somebody That I Used to Know,' her collabo with Gotye.

You may have heard her voice on Gotye's smash hit "Somebody That I Used to Know," but everyone will soon be familiar with her name: Kimbra. The New Zealand pop singer will take the stage Thursday (March 15) at the 2012 mtvU Woodie Awards Festival during SXSW.

So what can fans expect from this newcomer when she hits the stage?

Well, MTV News caught up with Kimbra last month in New York, and she told us all about her live performances. "Live experience is definitely quite different," she said. "I think the record shows a more intimate or reflective side of what I do, but the live show is all about showing more of that aggression."

After working on her debut album for more than three years, the 21-year-old singer/songwriter released Vows in Australia in 2011. It includes catchy and diverse songs like "Cameo Lover" and her latest single, "Good Intent." Kimbra is set to release Vows in the U.S. on May 22; this version will feature additional songs that she recorded Stateside.

"I started working on it when I was 17; now I'm 21," Kimbra said of the LP. "I think there was a lot of development that needed to happen before I felt like I had something to say musically and lyrically. So yeah, there were some frustrating moments making the album, but I'm glad I took the time I did to make it, and I'm happy with it now. I definitely explore a lot on the album. It's called Vows, so it talks a bit about the idea of commitment and making promises, but also breaking promises and how you deal with that."

Kimbra has a refreshing yet soulful sound, which she credits to her eclectic taste in music. "It's hard to describe in a few words," she said of her sound. "But I'm definitely influenced by some R&B. I also loved musical theater as a kid, so I think that's what brings more theatrical elements to the music. I'd like to think it's Prague-pop or something like that. I like to think it's progressive in some way, but still pop music at the end of the day."

Kimbra is still trying to get used to the newfound fame that's come with the success of Gotye's hit. The video, which features the pair without clothing, currently has over 111 million views on


"We did vocals to that song, at least my verse, in my bedroom, [and] really chilled out," Kimbra said of recording the track. "I think at the time we were like, 'Yeah, it's a cool song,' but we didn't think it would be quite what it's been, so I think it's a humbling experience for both of us."

Following her performance at the Woodies fest, Kimbra will be hitting the road with Gotye in March and will be back on tour in May with Foster the People.

The Woodies invade SXSW on March 15 with the Woodies Festival. The best of the 2012 mtvU Woodies will air on MTV and mtvU on March 18 at 8 p.m.