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Gotye: Coachella Newcomer Sees Music As 'Following A Piece Of String And Seeing Where It Leads'

Posted: 04/13/2012 3:54 pm Updated: 04/13/2012 5:47 pm

This is part 2 of 4 of our "My Coachella" Series. Check back during Coachella for profiles on our favorite bands.

His name is Wally De Backer, but many of you know him as Gotye (pronounced go-ti-yay): the Australian musician whose smash hit, "Somebody That I Used To Know," is on every station, every iPhone and practically stuck in every head across America. The song is so popular that HuffPost has already put together a list of the best covers.

The Belgian-born artist has found success in Australia for years, but he is currently making waves in the US -- scratch that -- he currently has jumped from a high cliff and made a giant cannonball splash into current pop music culture. The video for "Somebody That I Used To Know" [watch above] is like an infectious disease on YouTube, and watching it once is seriously not enough.

To put to simply: Gotye, age 31, is somebody that we all should know. He recorded his most recent album Making Mirrors in his parents' barn on a huge plot of land in Australia and uses every instrument in the book. A self-professed sample junkie, Gotye mixes melody, rhythm, lyrics and beats into a sort of potion you just can't turn off. Part haunting and part enchanting, Making Mirrors is proof that this artist is only on the way up.

He is the musical guest on "Saturday Night Live" On April 14, and he arrives on the scene at The Coachella Music Festival on April 15. The Huffington Post spoke with Gotye recently to learn how he found his incredible voice, what his darkest periods are and who he's most excited to see at Coachella.


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HuffPost: How did you come up with the idea for "Somebody That I Used To Know"?

Wally De Backer: As with a lot of songs that I write, it was really a response first to a musical tid-bit, which was the guitar sample that starts the tune. Through whatever specific kind of texture and hypnotic quality I felt that it had in it - a sort of back and forth, two note kind of loop - well, it put me in a melancholy, reflective headspace. And then the first line of the song popped up and from there it was like following a piece of string and seeing where it leads.

Sometimes when I find a really strong starting point, the challenge for me is just to keep developing that and trying to find surprises or little turns to the arrangement while not losing the initial quality that I think it has. With this, there was a kind of hypnotic and withholding quality - it wasn't instantly gratifying with big hooks. I guess on some level I feel like it's putting a puzzle together and making up that puzzle as you go along. Making sure that the pieces you put in place feel right.