You may recall Kimbra from Gotye’s popular “Somebody That I Used To Know.” She not only is a guest vocalist on the track but took part in the infamous body painted music video. She recently talked with CBS Local about escaping music into the world of cinematography and how the concepts behind some of her videos came about.
“I have a pretty strong visual idea in mind from the start when I write the songs. I think a lot of the time I’m actually inspired to write a song from seeing something visual whether it’s art or a movie or just observing human interactions,” she said.
Kimbra says she works close with the director of her videos and that it is a very collaborative process.
“For me the visual aspect is the doorway to the house so it’s very important that I get to sit down with him and discuss the overall architecture of it,” she said. “Things like the styling and the lighting because I’m actually really interested in all of that stuff and it gives me a break from music to think about all of that side of things.”
“You can get so wrapped up in the sonic aspects that to sit down and talk about cinematography is really fun for me,” she added.
Her latest video “Come Into My Head” takes place in an abandoned mental asylum and Kimbra says it was challenging to shoot.
“The concept was derived from the lyrical content in the song. I talk about the difficulty in communicating my thoughts throughout the song and how it can be hard in relationships especially to get your point across to one another and feeling locked inside your own head,” she said.
When Kimbra and the director discussed the idea they thought about taking it in a more literal context.
“He brought up the idea of self-lobotomy which was quite full on when he mentioned it. The more we thought about it we decided it would be a nice provoking way to intensify the idea of the song.”
Kimbra also shared what it was like making “Settle Down,” her first video with director Guy Franklin.
“We were all a little bit nervous but we got to have the excitement of a fire crew around us because we were obviously lighting dolls on fire,” she said. “It was a lot of fun, that tension of ‘Oh my gosh, if this went wrong we might have to call the fire brigade.’ All these butch men hanging around making sure nothing went wrong.”
Sometimes the artist even gets a souvenir from the shoot.
“I just remember having a lot of fun on that day and also taking home all these half massacred dolls and setting them up on my mantelpiece as a memory of the video clip. It’s quite creepy.”
-Annie Reuter, CBS Local