Aidin Vaziri | It’s not going to be easy for Kimbra Johnson to top her cameo on “Somebody That I Used to Know,” the inescapable Gotye single that has sold more than 4.5 million copies in the United States. But the 22-year-old singer from New Zealand, who goes by her first name only, just released her wonderfully eclectic debut album, “Vows” (already a platinum seller in Australia), and will spend the summer making a proper introduction as she tours with “Pumped Up Kicks” hit makers Foster the People. They play June 29 at the Greek Theatre at UC Berkeley. We spoke with Kimbra on a rare day off.
Q: “Somebody That I Used to Know” is on the radio every five minutes. Is it hard trying to compete with a song that feels like it will never go away?
A: It’s cool. I don’t feel like I’m competing with it. I couldn’t have asked for a better introduction. It allowed people to organically discover my music for themselves.
Q: Do you perform it live?
A: I do when I play with Gotye, but not in my own set.
Q: Does it feel like you’re in some weird time warp having to promote an album that already went platinum in Australia a year ago?
A: We added six new songs to the record for the American release, so it feels somewhat fresh. Looking into the crowd and seeing people who are hearing the songs for the first time definitely helps. Some nights are harder than others.