Gotye Gotye
Musician and singer-songwriter
Gotye Gotye
Wouter "Wally" De Backer, also known professionally by his stage name Gotye, is a Belgian-Australian multi-instrumental musician and singer-songwriter. The name "Gotye" is derived from "Gauthier", the French equivalent of "Walter" or "Wouter". His voice has been compared to those of Sting and Peter Gabriel. Gotye has released three studio albums independently and one album featuring remixes of tracks from his first two albums.
Biography
Gotye's personal information overview.
{{personal_detail.supertitle}}
{{personal_detail.title}}
{{personal_detail.title}}
Photo Albums
Popular photos of Gotye
Relationships
View family, career and love interests for Gotye
News
News abour Gotye from around the web
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Gotye
    THIRTIES
  • 2013
    Age 32
    On 15 February 2013, Fractured Heart, an interactive sound and light sculpture designed and built by illuminart in collaboration with Gotye, was launched at the National Film and Sound Archive (NFSA) headquarters in Canberra, Australia.
    More Details Hide Details Gotye also curated and presented a special screening of works by some of his favourite animators, including those who have worked with him on the music videos for "Hearts a Mess", "Easy Way Out" and "State of the Art". The Australian newspaper identified Gotye in its "top 50 most influential Australians in the arts" list; the selection was largely based upon the success of the "Somebody That I Used to Know" song and the publication described the composition as "one of the most successful songs in Australian music history".
    On 10 February 2013, he won three Grammy Awards at the 55th Annual Grammy Awards Show: Record of the Year and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for "Somebody That I Used to Know" and Best Alternative Music Album for Making Mirrors.
    More Details Hide Details Gotye has said he sometimes feels "less of a musician, more of a tinkerer."
  • 2012
    Age 31
    Gotye announced a world tour in May 2012 where he'll take in many new parts of the world.
    More Details Hide Details The tour begins August 2012 in Korea before winding through Japan, North America, Europe, the Middle East and finishing in Australia in December 2012.
    On 31 May 2012, Gotye announced that he would release a digital compilation of the 10 official remixes of "Somebody That I Used To Know" on 8 June.
    More Details Hide Details
    The magazine American Songwriter named Gotye their Writer of The Week for the week of 6 February 2012.
    More Details Hide Details
    Gotye was interviewed on 7 April 2012 broadcast of National Public Radio's All Things Considered.
    More Details Hide Details
    These collective performances helped the single to reach Number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the week ending 28 April 2012, giving Gotye his first U.S. Number 1 single; the first Australian artist to reach Number 1 in the U.S. since Savage Garden in 2000.
    More Details Hide Details In April 2012, "Somebody That I Used to Know" broke a 47-year-old record in the Netherlands by becoming the most successful song in the history of the Dutch charts.
    Gotye performed "Somebody That I Used to Know" on Saturday Night Live on 14 April 2012 along with "Eyes Wide Open".
    More Details Hide Details
    On 24 February 2012, Gotye released a film clip for the song "Easy Way Out" on YouTube and Vimeo.This video won the award of Best Music Video at the 2013 Byron Bay International Film Festival.
    More Details Hide Details The visuals were animated and directed by Darcy Prendergast and Oh Yeah Wow.
    On 1 February 2012, Gotye made his American television debut on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, performing "Eyes Wide Open", "Somebody That I Used to Know" with Kimbra and "State of The Art".
    More Details Hide Details On 12 February 2012, "Somebody That I Used to Know" reached Number 1 on the UK singles chart. The next week it fell from the top spot but on 26 February it reached the top spot for a second time, where it remained for a total of five weeks.
  • 2011
    Age 30
    On 20 November 2011, Gotye released a film clip for the song "Don't Worry, We'll Be Watching You" on YouTube and Vimeo.
    More Details Hide Details The visuals were animated and directed by Greg Sharp and Ivan Dixon at Rubber House.
    On 18 October 2011, Gotye released a film clip for the song "Don't Worry, We'll Be Watching You" on YouTube and Vimeo.
    More Details Hide Details The visuals were animated and directed by Benjamin Drake and Eddie White.
    On 27 November 2011, Gotye won three ARIA Awards: Best Male Artist, Best Pop Release and Single of the Year for "Somebody That I Used to Know".
    More Details Hide Details Kimbra, who collaborated with Gotye on the song, also won the ARIA award for Best Female Artist.
    On 11 October 2011, it was announced that Gotye had been nominated for seven ARIA Awards.
    More Details Hide Details Due to the release date restrictions of the eligibility period, Making Mirrors could not be nominated, and the seven nominations all related to "Somebody That I Used to Know". Gotye was nominated for Highest Selling Single, Single of the Year, Best Pop Release, Best Male Artist and three awards in the ARIA Artisan category: Best Video (Natasha Pincus), Engineer of the Year (Francois Tetaz) and Producer of the Year (Wouter De Backer). On the same day the nominations were revealed, the winners of the Artisan categories were announced, with Gotye and the album personnel winning all three.
    On 13 August 2011, Gotye released a film clip for the song "State of the Art" on YouTube and Vimeo.
    More Details Hide Details The visuals were animated and directed by Greg Sharp & Ivan Dixon at Rubber House. In its first week of release, Making Mirrors was already at Number 1 on the Australian ARIA albums chart, making Gotye the first Australian act to simultaneously hold both the Number 1 single and album since Silverchair in 2007. The album became an international success, charting in the Top 10 in 17 countries and reaching Number 1 in six. It charted on the U.S. Billboard 200 (Number 7) and in Canada. The album is 3x Platinum status in Australia, Platinum in France, Poland and Belgium, and Gold in the US, New Zealand, Germany, UK, Ireland, Canada and Netherlands.
    On 8 August 2011, Gotye released a film clip for the song "Bronte" on YouTube and Vimeo.
    More Details Hide Details The visuals were animated and directed by Ari Gibson at Mechanical Apple. Also on this date, Gotye released a video title "Making Making Mirrors", which is a short documentary about the recording process of "Making Mirrors". The video was directed by James Bryans and Wally De Backer.
    On 5 July 2011, Gotye released a film clip for the song "Somebody That I Used to Know" on YouTube and Vimeo.
    More Details Hide Details Directed by Natasha Pincus, the video has now been viewed over 803 million times (as of August 2016). On 6 October 2011 the video was awarded the Melbourne Design Award. The video was the Number 15 most viewed video of all-time on YouTube and the Number 4 most liked video of all-time. On 15 July 2011, it was announced that "Somebody That I Used to Know" had come in third in the 2011 Vanda & Young Songwriting Competition.
  • TWENTIES
  • 2010
    Age 29
    He released a new single, "Eyes Wide Open", online and on 10" vinyl in mid-October 2010.
    More Details Hide Details The "Eyes Wide Open" single received generally positive reviews and reached Number 25 on 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. The title was inspired by an artwork his father painted in the 1980s, discovered by De Backer among old bills and newspapers in his parents' barn; it 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 that 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.
    After the success of Like Drawing Blood, De Backer was able to establish a permanent home, still in Melbourne's south east. In 2010, he set up a recording studio in a barn at his parents' farm and set about recording tracks for his third album.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 2008
    Age 27
    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.
    More Details Hide Details In 2011, Like Drawing Blood came in at No. 11 in Triple J's Hottest 100 Australian Albums of All Time. Amidst the lead-up to Gotye's third album, Like Drawing Blood re-entered the ARIA charts in mid-2011, peaking at its highest ever position of 13. Like Drawing Blood was officially released in the U.S. in 2012.
  • 2006
    Age 25
    Also in 2006 Gotye won 'Most Outstanding New Independent Artist' at the inaugural Australian Independent Record (AIR) Chart Awards and Like Drawing Blood was amongst nine shortlisted finalists in the 2006 Australian Music Prize.
    More Details Hide Details In 2007, De Backer won the ARIA for best male artist. As a result of the publicity of the nomination, Like Drawing Blood re-entered the ARIA albums chart at No. 36, surpassing the previous peak of No. 39. Also, Mixed Blood debuted on the ARIA albums chart at No. 44. Both of these entries came the first week after the ARIA Awards. In 2008, Like Drawing Blood won iTunes album of the year in the UK. In 2009, "Hearts a Mess" came in at No. 77 in Triple J's Hottest 100 of All Time, voted by the Australian public.
    In September 2006, Gotye was nominated for an ARIA Award for best independent release for the album Like Drawing Blood.
    More Details Hide Details
    His first single, "Learnalilgivinanlovin", was released in August 2006.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 2003
    Age 22
    His album was released as Boardface in late 2003.
    More Details Hide Details 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. The album marked the beginning of his working relationship with long term manager Danny Rogers – manager of Australian indie band The Temper Trap – whom he had first approached via email. Like Drawing Blood was featured by Triple J in May 2006 and was voted No. 1 in the listener poll of the Best Album of 2006. The album was also nominated for a J Award that year. Two tracks from that album, "Learnalilgivinanlovin" and "Hearts a Mess", were ranked No. 94 and No. 8 respectively in Triple J's Hottest 100 for 2006. Like Drawing Blood has been certified Platinum in Australia for sales of over 70,000 copies.
  • 2001
    Age 20
    In 2001, De Backer recorded his first tracks primarily using samples.
    More Details Hide Details He put together a four-track CD which included the song "Out Here in the Cold". He made approximately 50 copies of this first collection, handwriting 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), a pet name used by his mother (who gave French classes) when he was a child. He chose his own spelling of this variation and named the project Gotye. He sent the CDs out to every radio station and recording industry contact he could find in the phonebook, 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 alternative, youth orientated radio station Triple J taking notice, giving him confidence to continue with further sample-based recordings.
    In 2001, his parents moved into a new home, leaving their old family house in Montmorency, so he could continue his studies at the University of Melbourne where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts.
    More Details Hide Details 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, having heard Downstares rehearsing over the years, gave his then-recently deceased wife's LP record collection to De Backer.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1980
    Born
    Born in Bruges, Belgium, in 1980, two years later De Backer emigrated to Australia with his family.
    More Details Hide Details They first resided in Sydney before settling in Montmorency, a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria. His parents chose to use the English equivalent of his name, Walter, when enrolling him in school. As a youth, De Backer displayed a passion for music, learning various instruments, most notably piano and drums. In his teens, De Backer formed the band Downstares with three of his high school friends, including Lucas Taranto (who still plays in his Gotye live shows). After high school, the members of Downstares went their separate ways, leaving De Backer with no musical outlet.
Original Authors of this text are noted here.
All data offered is derived from public sources. Spokeo does not verify or evaluate each piece of data, and makes no warranties or guarantees about any of the information offered. Spokeo does not possess or have access to secure or private financial information. Spokeo is not a consumer reporting agency and does not offer consumer reports. None of the information offered by Spokeo is to be considered for purposes of determining any entity or person's eligibility for credit, insurance, employment, housing, or for any other purposes covered under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)