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Kimbra | The Mesmerizing Musician from New Zealand




Kimbra rose to fame with the multi-platinum single “Somebody That I Used To Know” in 2011. At the age of 21, Kimbra had become a worldwide sensation and a Grammy Award winner. Kimbra has won several accolades for her euphonious voice and talented songwriting. 


With a career that spans over two decades, Kimbra is one of the finest musicians in the industry. Kimbra is famous for her unique style of mixing R&B and Rock with Pop music. Currently, she’s working under one of the biggest labels in the world, Warner Records Inc. (formerly known as Warner Bros. Records Inc.)

Early Life 

On 27th March 1990, Kimbra Lee Johnson was born in Hamilton, New Zealand. Kimbra’s father, Ken Johnson, was working as the head doctor in the student health center of the University of Waikato. Whereas her mother, Chris Johnson, was an orthopedic nurse. Kimbra spent her childhood in Hamilton. For schooling, she was admitted to Hillcrest High School. During her childhood, she was not surrounded by a musical environment. However, she was inclined towards music from an early age. From the age of 10, she started writing songs. Seeing her interest in music, her father bought her a guitar at 12. After that, she was tutored for a few years. 

New Beginnings 

At 14, Kimbra participated in the National Schools’ Musical Competition named Rockquest. It is a well-known annual music competition. Rockquest was the only youth music event for intermediate and high school bands to showcase their talent throughout New Zealand. Kimbra performed at the Rockquest competition with her guitar tutor. Although she had taken no singing lessons, she could grab second place in the renowned competition. After that, Kimbra joined the Hillcrest High Jazz Choir named Scat. She also got the opportunity to sing the national anthem at the Waikato Cup Race in front of 27,000 people who had gathered for the NPC Rugby Union Final. Throughout her school days, she actively participated in school productions. She was academically driven and a talented linguist. 

Furthermore, she got the opportunity to be a presenter in a series of segments for the TVNZ kid’s show, What Now? For the piece, she met with the show’s producers, Rikki Morris and Stephen Small. After the meeting, Kimbra recorded her first-ever music video named Smile. 


At 16, Kimbra recorded her second single, Simply on my Lips. She was still at school. The music video for the song featured Kimbra with her guitar in a simple yet starkly black and white effect. Joel Kefali directed the video. In the video, Kimbra was wearing a black dress and sitting in the corner of a room with her guitar. The walls of the room acted as a canvas for Joel’s drawings. The video was innovative and aesthetic. As a result, Kimbra won the Best Music Video Award at the Juice TV Awards. Following the success of her second single, she was noticed by Mark Richardson. Mark had previously worked with artists like Jamiroquai and Paula Abdul and had formed an independent label named Forum 5 in Melbourne, Australia. Mark invited Kimbra to Melbourne.

It was difficult for her because she was very close to her father. Even though her parents had always supported her throughout her music career, this decision was also difficult for them. After some time, the three came to one page, and Kimbra decided to move to Melbourne in 2008. 


Upon reaching, Kimbra started working towards her debut album. Mark assigned her a team, and with the help of people on the team, she started the intricate task of songwriting. Her writing and singing were deeply influenced by Prince, Nina Simone, and Björk. After months of hard work, in June 2010, Kimbra released her first single under the Forum 5 label Settle Down. She had started writing the track at the age of sixteen. Finally, it was completed with François Tétaz’s input. The single was recognized by Perez Hilton, who featured the song on his website. He compared Kimbra to musical legends like Nina Simone and Björk. 

2011-2013 Breakout Performance and Worldwide Recognition 

2011 marked the release of Somebody That I Used to Know (a single from the Making Mirrors album featuring Kimbra). The track was released by the Australian music label Eleven Music. It was the second single from Belgian-Australian singer Gotye’s third studio album. The song was released in the UK and US by Universal Music. It topped the charts in the US, UK, Australia, and New Zealand. It also reached the top 10 in more than 30 countries. Moreover, it became a Multi-Platinum song in 10 countries and sold more than 15 million copies worldwide. In 2013, at the 55th Grammy Awards, the song was nominated in two categories. Record of the Year and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance. The song lifted the Grammys in both categories and won the Single of the Year, Best Video, and Best Male Artist awards at the ARIA Music Awards. 


In 2014, after the Grammy Awards, Kimbra decided to move to Los Angeles, CA. She rented a house near a farm to work on her second studio album, The Golden Echo. Many celebrities collaborated with Kimbra on the album, including Mark Foster and John Legend. Warner Bros. Records released the album in August 2014. The album peaked at number 5 on the Australian and NZ Albums Chart. The following year, after the success of her second album, she went on a 12-show US tour in November. 

2017 marked the release of Kimbra’s first single from her third studio album Primal Heart. The song was titled Everybody Knows. It was co-produced by Nelly Furtado. The following year, she released three more singles from the album before making the album public. Finally, on 20th April 2018, Kimbra released her third studio album. The album garnered pretty positive reviews. In 2019, Kimbra made her big-screen debut with Daffodils alongside Rose McIver and George Mason. During the pandemic, Kimbra launched an online course for music, followed by her appearance on TVNZ’s Pop Stars as the lead expert and mentor. Currently, she’s working on her fourth studio album. 

Struggles After Success

In May 2022, Kimbra opened up about her struggles with depression, anxiety, and panic attacks. She shared her feelings through a post on Instagram. Kimbra revealed that she has been fighting long episodes of depression and anxiety, and sometimes it’s difficult for her to even get out of bed. She expressed how difficult it is to find the truth because so many people look up to her. She emphasized the importance of speaking up about mental illnesses and health issues. 

Also read: Miley Cyrus | Inspiring story of Disney’s “Hannah Montana”

How old is Kimbra?

Kimbra is 32 years old as of now.

Where is Kimbra from?

Kimbra is from New Zealand.

Is Kimbra married?

No, Kimbra is unmarried.

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