Blending an eclectic mix of pop, rock, electronica, folk, trip-hop, and world music with a creative visual flair, Australian singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Gotye has been compared to such pop legends as Peter Gabriel and Sting. Self-described as ‘less of a musician, more of a tinkerer,’ Wouter ‘Wally’ De Backer was born in Bruges, Belgium in 1980, and immigrated to Australia with his family at the age of two, eventually settling in Montmorency, Victoria. Adopting the guise of Gotye, his own unique spelling of his Christian name’s French translation, he recorded a home-made sample-based four-track before hooking up with Kris Schroeder and Michael Hubbard to form The Basics, an indie-pop trio who have continued to release material simultaneously alongside his solo career. Following the 2003 debut album, Boardface, De Backer lived something of a nomadic lifestyle, which inspired Like Drawing Blood, his 2006 sophomore album. Like Drawing Blood was heavily championed by influential radio station Triple J and spawned the cult hit, “Learnalilgivinanlovin’.” Gotye tickets then went on sale for an Australian tour which took place in the “Splendour In The Grass” festival before he eventually established a permanent home in the South East of Melbourne. His commercial breakthrough came with 2011’s third studio effort, Making Mirrors, and its slow-burning lead single, “Somebody That I Used To Know,” a collaboration with New Zealand chanteuse Kimbra which not only topped the charts in his adopted homeland but also in 18 different countries, racked up 300m views on YouTube and sales of 10m copies worldwide. Gotye tickets for his first major shows in the USA, including a set at the “CMJ Music Festival”, became more sought after the track began to gather momentum on the Billboard charts, where it eventually reached number one, becoming the first track by an Australian artist to do so since Savage Garden (“I Knew I Loved You”) in 2000 and the first by a Belgian-born act since The Singing Nun, Soeur Sourire (“Dominique”) in 1963. The song was also featured heavily on The Voice and American Idol, performed by Matt Bomer and Darren Criss in the Big Brother episode of Glee and covered by Canadian indie-rock outfit Walk Off The Earth. Gotye tickets were then snapped up with the announcement of his first ever world tour, which took in Japan, North America, Europe and the Middle East before concluding in Australia at the end of 2012.
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