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Artist on the rise: Kimbra

Aggieland: meet the New Zealand artist Kimbra

Published: Sunday, October 16, 2011

Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 21:07

As I sat down at my computer several weeks ago to engage in my late night habit of aimlessly browsing the Internet, I had little expectation of finding anything more than a few hilarious videos of cats playing with bubble wrap. Clicking link after random link, the Internet gods decided to enlighten me with a music video from a New Zealand artist named Kimbra.

Thinking little more to myself than "Why not?" I clicked on the unassuming link for "Cameo Lover" and suddenly, a dark haired girl dressed in a crazy looking pink matador dress was singing and groovin' her freakin' heart out in a hurricane of confetti.

As the video ended and my screen went dark, I couldn't believe what I had just experienced.

Moments like the one I experienced are rare and infrequent, when the winding path of the Internet somehow leads you to your next favorite artist. Instantly a convert, I am now here today to preach to you the gospel of Kimbra.

For several years now, Kimbra (Kimbra Johnson)has been making quite a scene in both New Zealand and Australia, writing and releasing material that has earned her numerous awards and a dedicated fan base. Recently, Kimbra released her first full-length album, Vows, under the distribution of Warner Music to widespread critical acclaim (It's GREAT!). Many times, however, an artist will put out an amazing debut album, only to have it get lost among the endless sea of music that makes its way onto the Internet.

Thankfully, Kimbra has something that most other artists do not: absolutely incredible music videos.

Mark my words, Kimbrais the next big name in music. Her voice and style can best be described as a cross between Nina Simone and Michael Jackson (awesome combination, right?) with a touch of Bjork-like creepiness. I have been listening to Vows on repeat for several weeks now, and I continue to be amazed at the talent this 21-year-old possesses. Kimbra has somehow managed to take the classiness of ‘50s pop (think She and Him for a modern reference) and mix it with funk, rock and even ‘80s dream pop. I really can't give enough good critiques about her. Her music refuses to fall into the current club pop traditions of mainstream music, yet it possesses a quality that can appeal to an incredibly wide variety of musical preferences. I'll tell you what that quality is-pure talent.

 Artists of Kimbra's caliber don't come around too often, but when they do they, organically spark attention.

Attention is exactly what Kimbra is getting. Stateside, celebrity bloggers like Perez Hilton have been name-dropping Kimbra left and right. Other artists, like Miami Horror and Gotye, have even enlisted her talents while producing some pretty incredible music themselves. It seems everything Kimbra touches turns to gold. People are starting to take notice, which makes me so, so happy.

I don't have to explain to you the current state of mainstream music in this country, but I will; it's absolutely disgusting.

I find it incredibly exciting that a naturally gifted songwriter and performer is getting attention on such a huge level. However, I don't think she will be the next Katy Perry because unlike Mrs. Perry, Kimbraactually has talent. (Ouch….)

Enough talk. The time has come for you to experience Kimbra for yourself. Watch her videos for "Cameo Lover" and "Settle Down" below.

"Cameo Lover"

"Settle Down"

That was ridiculously cool, right? If you are interested in her new album Vows, you are sadly going to have to wait a little while because it hasn't even been released in the U.S. Even though you can't buy it, you can still listen to a stream of the album.

Be sure to send a "like" over to her Facebook page too.

Steve Wells is a senior marketing major at Texas A&M University's Mays Business School. In addition to being a student, he is also a local musician and promoter.

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