If there is any question why New Zealand-native pop singer, Kimbra, 22, is already a star, cue up this Gotye’s hit “Somebody That I Used to Know,” skip to 2:33 and get your answer. In the brief but searingly soulful guest moment, she established her vocal chops—and her willingness to bare it all in its video proves she’s got moxie to boot.
That Gotye’s track surged to #1 on iTunes, garnering over 160 million views on YouTube, has created plenty of buzz for Kimbra, too. So if she’s dead-set on taking over the U.S, she’s got every thing she needs to do so. Her debut album, Vows, a collection of songs she wrote from 16 on, is a experimental grab bag of pop music, a mash-up of influences from soul and jazz, folk, and electronic that’s totally unexpected. She’s currently on the road opening for Gotye—and headlining her own sets—a tour that included this weekend’s pit stop on Saturday Night Live. “All of this feels like a natural progression, though it has happened a bit quickly,” she says of the recent whirlwind. “But you know, when you work on an album for three and a half years, you’re kind of ready for it to get out there. To have your songs reach people.”
You can catch Kimbra on one of two solo tours around Australia this spring, before she tours with Foster the People this summer. Vows will be released in the states on May 22nd. In the meantime, click through to watch her SNL performance.