Somebody That We ALL Know:
By Riesa Pascal
> Gotye’s ex-girlfriend may be somebody that he used to know, but “Gotye” is a name that we all know. Chances are you’ve heard the catchy, unforgettable tune “Somebody That I Used to Know” by now and if you haven’t, you definitely should. As I write this, Gotye’s YouTube music video for the incredibly addicting song about a bad breakup has over 200 million hits and that number is steadily increasing. In a time where more and more people are complaining about the quality of today’s music, it’s refreshing to hear someone with genuine, raw talent such as Gotye. People all over the world have been raving about his music, even comparing him to Sting, the hit artist and lead singer of The Police. Several Facebook fan pages have even been dedicated to this popular comparison. “Gotye is Sting’s Son” and “Gotye sounds like Sting” each have over 1,000 likes and numerous positive comments about the artist. Some comparisons in looks and vocals can be understood, but the similarities end there. Gotye brings a style into his music so unique it has to be in a class all on it’s own.
The artist we know as Gotye was born Wouter “Wally” De Backer in Belgium in 1981. When Wally was two his family moved to Australia, the country he calls home. He displayed a passion for music as a young boy and began learning various instruments, including drums, which he is known to play during his concerts today. When he was a teenager, Wally and three high school friends combined their love of music and created the band Downstares. The band broke up after the member’s graduated high school, and in 2001 Wally started recording his own music under the stage name “Gotye” which is pronounced “Gauthier,” a french version of his birth name. His first album “Boardface” had four tracks of mostly LP record sampling. Positive reviews and feedback on the album through radio and press inspired Gotye to continue pursuing his passion for music. Soon after, he met fellow singer-songwriter Kris Schroeder at a party and the two began performing together under the name The Basics. In 2006’s Gotye released his second album “Like Drawing Blood” and found fame for the first time in Australia. Five years later, Gotye’s third album “Making Mirrors” was released, which birthed the mega-hit, “Somebody That I Used to Know.”
If “Somebody That I Used to Know” is the only song you’ve heard from Gotye and you love it as much as I do, I definitely want to encourage you to check out his other songs as well. That being said, let’s take a minute to discuss this song that has been affectionately stuck in the heads of millions around the world. “Somebody That I Used to Know” featuring New Zealand musician Kimbra was released in July of 2011 and debuted at Number 27 on the ARIA Top 50 Singles Chart. From there the song exploded onto to the music scene and become an international success, which much needed credit to Twitter endorsements from Ashton Kutcher and Lily Allen. It has reached 8× Platinum status, peaking at Number 1 in six countries and charting in the Top 20 in over 10. It has won numerous awards including Best Pop Release and Single of the Year. The song was covered on vocal competition shows The Voice and American Idol and even in an episode of Glee. These performances and Gotye’s original version inspired hundreds of YouTube covers and helped rocket the hit to Number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
“People all over the world have been raving about his music, even comparing him to Sting, the hit artist and lead singer of The Police.”
July 6th is the one year anniversary of the release of “Somebody That I Used to Know” and Gotye has much to celebrate. He is one of five Australian artist to have reached Number 1 in the US and is the first to do so in over a decade. In April “Somebody That I Used to Know” became the most successful song in the history of the Dutch charts, breaking a previous record held for 47 years in the Netherlands. Gotye’s career is on a high-speed train and he has no plans of slowing down. He recently released a compilation CD of “Somebody That I Used To Know” remixes and announced his first North American Tour set to begin this August. He may have a promising career ahead of him, but this humble, easy-going artist hasn’t forgotten where he came from. Lucas Taranto, a member on Downstares, often gets to play with Gotye on his live shows. Gotye has also been sure to keep The Basics alive by continuing to tour and record with the band alongside his personal career. “Eye’s Wide Open” is Gotye’s latest single and he wrote the lyrics, sang all the vocals, played drums, percussion, keyboards and produced the track. Simply put, it’s amazing to see Gotye’s talent and we can’t to see where his much deserved success will continue to take him. <