Monday, 26 March 2012


Gotye- Hearts A Mess- official film clip from Gotye on Vimeo.

Wouter "Wally" De Backer (born 21 May 1980), also known professionally by his stage name Gotye (pronounced /ˈɡɒti.eɪ/) is a Belgian-Australian multi-instrumental musician and singer-songwriter. The name "Gotye" is derived from "Gaultier" (or "Gautier" or "Gauthier",) the French equivalent of "Wouter" ("Walter" in English.) Gotye's voice has been compared to Sting and Peter Gabriel, some fans even going to the extent of mixing Gotye's vocals with tracks by The Police.

He has released three studio albums independently and one album featuring remixes of tracks from his first two albums. De Backer is also one-third of Melbourne indie-pop trio The Basics, who have independently released three studio albums and numerous other titles since 2002.

He has won five ARIA Awards and received a nomination for an MTV EMA for Best Asia and Pacific Act.

Gotye- Somebody That I Used To Know (feat. Kimbra)- official film clip from Gotye on Vimeo.

1980–2001: Early life and career beginnings

Born in Bruges, Belgium in 1980, De Backer moved to Melbourne, Australia with his family when he was 2 years old.[citation needed] His parents chose to use the English variation of his name, Walter, when enrolling him in school.

From early on, De Backer displayed a passion for music, learning various instruments, most notably piano and drums. In his teens, De Backer formed the band Downstares[7] with three of his high school friends, including Lucas Taranto who still plays in his Gotye live shows today.[8] Downstares played shows mainly in the North-Eastern suburbs of Melbourne and were noted for their song-writing maturity and assured live performances. De Backer was the creative force behind the group and their music reflected his diverse musical tastes, with Depeche Mode and Kate Bush among his favourite artists.


After high school, the members of Downstares went their separate ways, leaving De Backer with no musical outlet. In 2001, De Backer's parents moved into a new home, leaving their old family house in Montmorency, Victoria, so he could continue his studies. Two friends moved in with him and the house became affectionately known as 'The Frat House' where friends would regularly drop by and hang out. The first seeds of Gotye were planted when De Backer was given a large collection of old records—an elderly neighbour, whose wife had died, heard Downstares rehearsing over the years and gave his late wife's LP collection to De Backer.
De Backer is bilingual and speaks both Dutch and English

Gotye - Easy Way Out - official film clip from Gotye on Vimeo.

2001–04: Boardface

In 2001, De Backer recorded his first tracks primarily using samples. He put together a four track CD which included the song 'Out Here in the Cold'. De Backer made around fifty copies of this first collection, hand writing the track list and colouring in the cover sleeve in pencil. He drew on his cultural history for inspiration when naming his new project—Wouter translates into French as Gaultier (or Gautier or Gauthier) and De Backer's mother used to call him Gaultier as a pet name. He chose his own spelling of this variation and named the project 'Gotye'. De Backer sent the CDs out to every radio station and recording industry contact he could find in the phone book, then followed each up with phone calls to ensure they were delivered. Feedback on the first release was mainly positive, with Melbourne street press and Australian youth radio station Triple J taking notice. This gave De Backer the confidence to continue on with further sample-based recordings.

Around this time, De Backer met fellow singer-songwriter Kris Schroeder at a party in Mt Eliza, and the two began performing together under the name 'The Basics'. The duo formed an enduring songwriting and performing partnership and became regulars on the live music scene, giving De Backer an outlet for his passion for live performance. 'The Basics' have continued to tour and record alongside Gotye, releasing four albums between 2004 and 2010.

De Backer went on to produce two more four track Gotye collections which were met with positive reviews, with several tracks getting onto the rotation at Triple J. The CDs were made in the same style as the first, with De Backer hand crafting each one and tenaciously chasing up every opportunity to get an audience for his work. Interest in the Gotye project was growing, and De Backer was eventually offered a distribution deal for an album, which would essentially be a collection of the tracks from his three earlier releases. This album was released under the name Boardface in late 2003.
2006–09: Like Drawing Blood

In 2004, De Backer's parents opted to sell The Frat House and De Backer moved into a shared house in the South East of Melbourne. He took up work at a local library, while continuing to perform with The Basics and record his own Gotye tracks. Over the next few years, De Backer moved several times, each time shifting his home recording studio to a new location with new acoustic qualities. The culmination of this was the second Gotye album, Like Drawing Blood—named in reference to the difficulties De Backer experienced in recording his music in ever-changing environments.

Gotye's first European success came in 2008, when "Learnalilgivinanlovin" and "Hearts a Mess" charted in Belgium, followed in 2009 by the single "Coming back". "Learnalilgivinanlovin" also received air play on Dutch radio stations.

After the success of Like Drawing Blood, De Backer was able to establish a permanent home, still in Melbourne's South East. In 2010, De Backer set up a recording studio in a barn at his parents' farm and set about recording tracks for his third album. He released a new single, "Eyes Wide Open", in mid-October 2010, online and on 10" vinyl. The "Eyes Wide Open" single received generally positive reviews and reached number 25 in the Triple J Hottest 100 of 2010. "Eyes Wide Open" was also shortlisted for the 2011 APRA Music Awards in the Song of the Year category.

In late March 2011, De Backer revealed the next album's title to be Making Mirrors. This title was inspired by an artwork, painted by De Backer's father in the 1980s, discovered by De Backer amongst old bills and newspapers in his parents' barn, which was later edited in Photoshop to become the album artwork. "The mirror reflects on artwork and it is all very related to self-reflection and introspection on the album." De Backer also revealed the album would see a release in June or July 2011, with a single to precede the release. De Backer also stated that the album would be similar to its predecessor in terms of diversity.

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