How Gotye took the noble route out of fame – and made a dead man millions


Gotye was behind 2011’s biggest banger – but where is he now? (Picture: YouTube/gotyemusic)

Gotye’s synthy pop sensation Somebody That I Used to Know soundtracked 2011. If you don’t think you know it, you have definitely heard it.

The Art Attack-esque intro and pained lyrics about a failed relationship proved the catchiest hit of the decade, and Gotye rocketed to number 1 in over 23 national charts. The seemingly Picasso-inspired music video is also etched into our cultural memory forever and creeps into many a millennial’s playlist 13 years on.

But since then, we’ve heard nothing from the Belgium-born singer, now 44. So whatever happened to Gotye?

It turns out Gotye – real name Wouter De Backer – took a noble route out of the limelight, but is still making music; albeit for a fraction of the earnings he could have bagged continuing to release under the famous Gotye moniker.

Instead of following up 2011’s Making Mirrors with another album and raking in millions, Gotye re-joined his old band The Basics – an Australian trio he enjoys making music with still – and went from world famous to humble musician by his own accord.

His determination to do what is right for him – and not what is tempting – seems somewhat of a theme for Gotye.

The star could have made millions from the song through YouTube ads, but chose not to (Picture: YouTube/gotyemusic)

He found huge success, but chose to step back from the limelight (Picture: Rick Diamond/WireImage)

Before releasing Somebody That I Used To Know, Gotye reportedly made a deal with the estate of late South American musician Luis Bonfa in order to use a sample for the chart-topping single.

According to Complex, the guitar hook taken from Bonfa’s song Seville awarded the deceased’s estate 45% of the royalties. As the record netted over 13million sales, the publication report Bonfa became very rich in death as Gotye’s sample made him over £1million.

It would be fair to assume then – with the remaining 55% of the profits split with Kimbra, who also appeared on the track – Gotye swam in seas of profit from his catchy track for years to come.

Except, this isn’t Gotye’s style. In 2017 Gotye explained in a rare interview how he is against making money on YouTube adverts. Indeed, if you watch his famous music video on the streaming site, it does not have any commercials – and he’s losing money for it. On purpose.

Having amassed 2.29billion views on YouTube since its release, Somebody That I Used to Know could have earnt Gotye millions of dollars. (For context Adele’s Someone Like You, released in the same year, has 2.20billion views at the time of wriring. That’s how big it was.)

In 2014, Forbes reported that at 2billion views, Psy’s catchy dance anthem Gangnam Style had made just under $2million from YouTube ads. Gotye could have done the same.

‘I’m not interested in selling my music,’ Gotye told six years after the hit …read more

Source:: Metro


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