Australian singer-songwriter Wally De Backer, known onstage as Gotye, topped the Billboard 100 with his break out hit “Somebody That I Used to Know” featuring Kimbra. Find out more about him in his Kidzworld Bio!
Walter De Backer (now known by his stage name Gotye) was born in Belgium, but moved when he was just two years old to Australia where he spent his teen years. Growing up he became fascinated by music and learned to play all kinds of instruments including piano and drums and started a band with friends called The Downstares which disbanded once they all left school.
Roommates and Records
Once Walter was out of high school his parents left the house and lots of his friends moved in, making the house the perfect meeting spot and jam space for musicians and friends! A neighbor who knew he and his roommates were making music donated a huge record collection to the group from which they drew inspiration. Walter decided to go by the name Gotye, taken from the French version of his name, Gaulthier (pronounced Go-Tee-Yay) because it was the nickname his mom, a French instructor, used to give him. He started from the underground up, making just 50 copies of his first 4 songs as the album Boardface and distributing them with handwritten tracklists. Later he teamed up with fellow musician Kris Schroeder to form a group called The Basics, but it was his work as a solo artist that would be his ticket to fame.
Somebody That I Used to Know
In 2006 Gotye released his second album Like Drawing Blood which garnered much critical praise in Australia’s independent music scene, even winning Most Outstanding New Independent Artist at the Australian Independent Record Awards. He also started to see success in Europe, but his big international hit didn’t come until he released Making Mirrors, the album that featured the single “Somebody That I Used To Know” where Gotye sings with New Zealand songstress Kimbra. The single shot to the top of the US charts even though Gotye and Kimbra were completely unknown to their new audience!
Check out the vid for Somebody That I Used To Know Below!
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