Members: Wouter De Backer
Genre: Indie Rock
Hometown: Melbourne, Australia
Awards: Best Male Artist, Best Pop Release, Single of the Year (ARIA Awards)
Albums: Boardface, Like Drawing Blood, Making Mirrors
Hits: “Heart’s A Mess,” “Eyes Wide Open,” “Somebody that I Used to Know”
Gotye, the stage name of indie rock super hero Wally de Backer, reveled in relative obscurity for much of his career before the runaway success of his third album. The Belgian-Australian singer was born in Bruges and moved to Melbourne when he was only two years old. It was here that he displayed immediate musical talent and was obsessed with artists like Depeche Mode, Sting and Peter Gabriel. After picking up the piano, drums and other instruments, he played multiple gigs with an indie rock band in Melbourne in the early 2000s when he emerged as a full-fledged music producer. By sampling tracks, experimenting with harmonies and his own field recordings, Gotye was able to break from the mold of traditional indie rock to form a whole new era of cut-and-paste music that set him apart from other pop artists.
The artist released his first album in 2003 called Boardface, a smattering of recordings that he put together over the course of three years. By sending out sample CDs to Australian radio stations, Gotye was able to get his name out there and spent time fronting the band, The Basics, when he wasn't in the studio. In 2006, Gotye released Like Drawing Blood, his first major indie rock achievement that received consistent airplay on Australian rock station and Triple J. The tracks "Learnalilgivianlovin" and "Heart's a Mess," became extremely popular and Gotye was nominated for an ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) award for the album.
Gotye broke onto the American pop charts with his 2011 release, Making Mirrors. It peaked at No. 9 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart and was buoyed by the success of the single, "Somebody That I Used to Know," featuring Kimbra. The song was an unexpected pop success featuring xylophone interludes and a remarkable catchy chorus that earned it consistent airplay on pop, rock and alternative stations, as well as reaching over 100 million YouTube hits. The second single "Eyes Wide Open" proved to be a worthy follow-up and its ingenious bass line has made it a fixture on pop radio.
Hot off the heels of the breakaway success of Making Mirrors, Gotye is one of the hottest solo artists in the world. With a touring schedule that has seen him performing with pop and rock royalty like Kanye West, Coldplay, Jane's Addiction and many more, the sky seems to be the limit for the indie artist from the land down under.