Long before Kimbra met Gotye she was a huge fan of his work. The self-proclaimed “fan girl” covered his songs at bars in Australia. After meeting him through her producer, Gotye called her up to see if she’d be interested in singing on his song, “Somebody That I Used To Know.”
“And the rest as they say is history,” she told CBS Local earlier this year.
Last night that very track was recognized at the GRAMMY nominations concert for Record of the Year and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance. When asked if she thought the song had a chance to be nominated Kimbra revealed her shock at the question.
“I haven’t really thought about it actually,” she confessed. “It’s crazy to think that it could be a possibility to even be up for a GRAMMY. I have no idea. We’ll see.”
Well, it turns out the song was in fact nominated. So why did it strike a chord with so many? Kimbra weighed in.
“When I first heard the track I had a feeling it would really resonate with people because it had this brutal honesty about it. It had this awkward fragility as well in the arrangement,” she said. “In terms of seeing it go to No. 1 around the world, that’s not something I ever could have expected especially because it’s a song that defies a lot of Top 40 formulas.
“It’s been cool to be a part of that and to see a change in the way people are receiving music in the mainstream. It’s nice to see people responding to something that’s a bit different.”
“Somebody That I Used To Know” remains one of the biggest songs of this year. It spent eight weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart and has sold more than 13 million copies worldwide making it one of the best-selling digital singles of all time. In May, it became the first song to top the Hot 100, Alternative Songs and Dance/Club Play Songs charts according to Billboard.
“It obviously captured an emotion for people in a way that hadn’t been said before, did it in a slightly different way,” Kimbra said. “There’s a sense of tension in the song or intrigue the first time you hear it. Perhaps you have that sense of wanting to hear it again and understand a bit more of the story. And the fact that it tells two sides, it’s not coming from one perspective. Everyone knows how it feels to want to have their side of the story told.”
Despite the worldwide radio airplay and now a few GRAMMY nods, Kimbra is still in shock at the song’s popularity.
“It still baffles me. I think that’s the beautiful mystery of music,” she said. “You don’t necessarily know why something is so successful. It just hits at a perfect moment for people and strikes a chord and starts a chain reaction around the world.”
-Annie Reuter, CBS Local