Not just somebody that you used to know

Kimbra continues to electrify audiences with her dynamic vocals and engaging stage presence.


Kimbra performs live at The Observatory in Santa Ana on Oct. 24. | Photo courtesy of Makailynn Clark

Makailynn Clark, Writer

Kimbra performs live at The Observatory in Santa Ana on Oct. 24. | Photo courtesy of Makailynn Clark


Avid radio listeners in 2011 could easily sing along to Gotye’s “Somebody that I Used to Know” due to its consecutive 29 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. But like the majority of good songs by obscure artists, the song became a one-hit wonder for Gotye. However the song launched the career of the featured artist on the track, Kimbra.

The New Zealand jazz and electro-pop artist has released two full length albums since her featured stanza in “Somebody that I Used to Know” and is currently embarking on a North America and Australia tour. If Kimbra’s two albums “Vows” and “The Golden Echo” did not already prove her voice as one of the most powerful voices in our generation, her live performance did.


Kimbra kicked off the start of her Golden Echo tour in California and graced Santa Ana on Oct. 24th at The Observatory with her dynamic vocals. The audience looked at her in pure amazement as she effortlessly belted F notes and out-of-this-world whistle tones. It would seem as though her wide vocal range would require extensive vocal exercises. However, Kimbra shared with me that her pre-show warm ups remain strictly athletic and meditative.

“I do push-ups on the wall and ground. Anything that will warm up different parts of my body. So it doesn’t involve any kind of scales or anything like that — It’s more like an athlete warmup. I need to get the blood pumping through my body,” she said. “I also have certain albums I listen to. I love to listen to Sam Cooke and Billie Holiday before I go on stage. I always need to listen to relaxing and meditative music — the more still I am the more hyped I can be on stage.”

Audience members can agree that her blood definitely pumped through her body during the show. During the set she would become so enthralled in the music that her microphone cord would become tangled around her petite figure. It would appear that the music took her to a different world from the way she interpretively danced around the stage singing her notable songs in six-inch heels.

Though her vocal performance left the audience speechless, the most rewarding part of the show was her expression of pure joy. It is no easy task to sing in a strong mezzo-soprano belt. Yet Kimbra did so with a continuous smile on her face.


Kimbra explained the first thing that comes to mind when she walks on stage is gratitude.

“I just feel so excited that people connect enough with the songs that they can come down. I feel very grateful when I see all those people ready to listen and engage," she said.

Many artists today perform mediocre sets and fail to connect with their audience. Yet the audience could tell that Kimbra did not stand on stage singing her unimaginable riffs for monetary gain. She sang to please her fans.

“The most rewarding aspect of touring is that moment of connecting with my audience and seeing them face to face. It’s so different talking to fans over Facebook and Twitter. I just want to see people and really connect with them. I think that’s such a rewarding thing to do on stage — to see people and be able to share the space with them,” Kimbra said.

Though Kimbra has finished her live performances in California, I highly urge you to listen to her newest album “The Golden Echo.” I guarantee her jazz-inspired vocals on top of her electro-pop beats will have you listening to the album on repeat.

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