Ten years ago the Australian artist Gotye asked New Zealand musician Kimbra to feature on his song “Somebody I Used To Know.” At the time Kimbra had no idea it was going to be a hit. No wonder—the song lacks the trappings of a conventional pop song. The chorus shows up late and it only repeats once in a track composed of an obscure Brazilian guitar sample and nursery rhyme xylophones.
But this slow burner about opposing sides in a relationship's bitter end found a global audience, ascending to No. 1 in more than 25 countries, and accumulating billions of plays across streaming platforms. In 2013, Prince anointed Gotye and Kimbra the Grammy for record of the year (it won best pop duo/group performance as well). The song created many opportunities for both Gotye and Kimbra, but both chose unconventional paths, resisting the industry’s desire to generate the next hit for hits sake.
Reflecting on the song a decade later, Kimbra spoke with Charlie Harding from the podcast Switched On Pop about how this unlikely song inspired her to pursue her singular musical vision, and how it feels to be yet again co-nominated for a 2021 Grammy for her collaboration with Jacob Collier and Tank and The Bangas on “In My Bones.”
Gotye - Somebody I Used to Know (feat. Kimbra)
Luiz Bonfá - Seville
Kimbra - Miracle
Kimbra - 90s Music
Kimbra - Top of the World
Jacob Collier - In My Bones
Kimbra - Right Direction
Son Lux - Lost It To Trying
Check out Kimbra’s course on Vocal Creativity, Arranging, and Production over at Soundfly
Listen to our conversation with Jacob Collier
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