Wouter “Wally” De Backer (born 21 May 1980), known professionally as Gotye (/ˈɡoʊtieɪ/GOH-tee-ay), is a Belgian-born Australian multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter. The name “Gotye” is a pronunciation respelling of “Gauthier”, the French cognate of Gotye’s given Dutch name “Wouter” (English “Walter”, hence the nickname “Wally”).
Gotye has released three studio albums independently and one album featuring remixes of tracks from his first two albums. He is a founding member of the Melbourne indie-pop trio The Basics, who have independently released four studio albums and numerous other titles since 2002. His voice has been compared to those of Peter Gabriel and Sting. Gotye’s 2011 single “Somebody That I Used to Know” reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100, making him the fifth Australian-based artist to do so and the second born in Belgium (after The Singing Nun in 1963). He has won five ARIA Awards and received a nomination for an MTV EMA for Best Asia and Pacific Act. On 10 February 2013, he won three Grammy Awards at the 55th Annual Grammy Awards Show: Record of the Year and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for “Somebody That I Used to Know” and Best Alternative Music Album for Making Mirrors. Gotye has said he sometimes feels “less of a musician, more of a tinkerer.”