Where Is Gotye Now: Life After the 2010s Hit

June 3, 2024

Wouter André "Wally" De Backer, known as Gotye, was born on May 21, 1980, in Bruges, Belgium. He migrated to Australia with his family at the age of two and settled in Montmorency, a suburb of Melbourne. His mother nicknamed him "Gotye," based on the French equivalent of his Flemish first name, “Gauthier.” Displaying an early passion for music, Gotye learned instruments like the piano and drums, with influences including Depeche Mode’s album Songs of Faith and Devotion.

"Gotye, Wally de Backer" by Eva Rinaldi Celebrity Photographer is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/.

Early Career

First gaining traction in high school, Gotye formed a band called Downstares with friends. In 2001, he pioneered the Gotye project, recording tracks with samples and releasing a four-track CD titled Boardface.

Breakthrough and Success

Second Album - Like Drawing Blood

Released in 2004, Like Drawing Blood faced recording difficulties due to frequent relocations but gained positive attention, featuring prominently on Triple J and winning several awards, including AIR Chart Awards. Singles like “Learnalilgivinanlovin” and “Hearts a Mess” gained traction, leading the album to go Platinum in Australia.

"Gotye, Wally de Backer" by Eva Rinaldi Celebrity Photographer is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/.

Major Hit and International Fame

Gotye’s third album, Making Mirrors, was released in 2011 after recording in a barn studio. The album cover features artwork by his father. The standout track, "Somebody That I Used to Know," featuring Kimbra, became an international hit, topping charts in multiple countries, including Australia, the US, and the UK. The accompanying viral music video on YouTube, coupled with winning numerous awards including three Grammy Awards and ARIA Awards, solidified the success of Making Mirrors, which achieved multiple Platinum and Gold certifications worldwide.

Later Career and Projects

In 2014, Gotye stated there would be no new music under his stage name but left the future open-ended. He focused on preserving the legacy of Jean-Jacques Perrey, launching a label, Forgotten Futures, that released a Perrey compilation. He also formed the Ondioline Orchestra to perform and celebrate Perrey’s music.

Recent Developments

In 2020, Gotye released Live at The Songroom, featuring performances with his bandmates from The Basics. He mentioned intentions to release a fourth studio album, with a tribute to Perrey being a part of it. In 2024, a remix of "Somebody That I Used to Know" featuring various artists was announced.

Gotye’s Style and Influence

Known for his multi-instrumental talents and eclectic use of samples, Gotye's voice is often compared to Peter Gabriel and Sting. He considers himself more of a "tinkerer" than a musician, reflecting his experimental approach to music production.

Impact and Legacy

Gotye has won numerous awards, including Grammy Awards and ARIA Awards. "Somebody That I Used to Know" is considered a defining track of the 2010s. He is renowned for creating music videos and collaborating with visual artists, leaving a lasting impact on the music industry.

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