Featured Artist Today: Gotye

Ah, what about getting a little tweaky on this one new break-out artist Gotye? Since his music is tagged as an alternative rock-indie pop music laden by electronic music samplings which drew inspirations from almost the mundane, the ordinary and normal stuff we used to ignore everyday. That’s genius. For a music artist that equally weaves a great amount of artistry into his music devoid of the interjections of the consumerism and commercialism of the music industry.

Art is the main deciding factor and the strength of it, had allowed the public to finally embrace ecclecticism and marvel about the many inspirations (subliminally) ingrained while the sound works its way into our system. Of understanding Gotye’s music and be able to catch up the transcendence of human thought and processes. Gotye’s music (and voice almost comparable to the other greats Peter Gabriel and Sting) reminds us about the psychological effects of rhythms and sounds more than just stamping your feet and swaying your head in affirmation, that yes, it’s a good vibe.

Gotye and Kimbra winning the Grammy's 2013

Gotye and Kimbra winning the Grammy’s 2013

Gotye, Wouter “Wally” De Backer (born 21 May 1980) is a BelgianAustralian multi-instrumental musician and singer-songwriter. The name “Gotye” is derived from “Gauthier”, the French equivalent of “Walter” or “Wouter”.  He painstakingly produced and released independently three studio albums and one album featuring remixes of tracks. Before he became a solo music artist, he used to be a member of the Melbourne indie-pop trio The Basics, who have independently released three studio albums and numerous other titles since 2002.

As a youth, De Backer displayed a passion for music, learning various instruments, most notably piano and drums. In his teens, De Backer formed the band Downstares with three of his high school friends, including Lucas Taranto (who still plays in his Gotye live shows). It is said that the origins of Gotye were planted when De Backer was given a large collection of old records. An elderly neighbour, having heard Downstares rehearsing over the years, gave his then-recently deceased wife’s LP record collection to De Backer.

Gotye in his published biography, which is found on the artist’s website www.gotye.com, described the processes that goes into creating his music as an experimentation of sounds, “not much about being a musician but a tinkerer”. At one time he is inspired to make music out of some metal artifacts in Walzing Matilda Visitor Centre, Winton Australia when struck, produces some thwacking and boinng sounds which for him as remarkably pleasing. He also used to bring his stereo recorder in the outskirts of Winton to search for interesting sound sources, when at one time he found a plastic pipe and started bashing it with some strings, wooden beams and fixings, that surprisingly produces sound samplings that became the basis for the bassline underpinning of the song “Eyes Wide Open”.

Gotye’s success came in 2011, when his 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 Belgian (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. His other discographies include equally successful albums prior to Making Mirrors; Boardface and Like Drawing Blood, which the latter is belatedly release for the US Market in 2012.

Note: some informative tidbits came from Wikipedia


Featured Artist Today: Esperanza Spalding

She sings like a an angel. And what a way to own up a song covered by so many music artists in a great Louis Armstrong song “What A Wonderful World” backed up by Southern California Children’s Choir. To those who didn’t know who she is, Esperanza Spalding is a Grammy Award winning jazz bassist and singer, the first jazz artist to have won the Grammy for Best New Artist in 2011.  She started at the young age of five, self-taught in violin and a member of the Chamber Music Society of Oregon until she was fifteen years old. To her credit, she is a multi-instrumentalist playing oboe and clarinet among others.

Esperanza Spalding at her momentous performance at 84th Academy Awards 2012

Spalding grew up filled with many musical influences from her family, from her neighborhood and from her school. She eventually became a full scholar at Berklee College of Music, where she honed her craft playing bass under the able tutelage of world class jazz musicians and music instructors. In 2005, she received the Boston Jazz Society scholarship for outstanding musicianship. Upon her graduation, she has been hired by Berklee College of Music to become one of their youngest music professors in the institution’s history at age 20.

Spalding’s exquisite voice, almost dreamlike, and its sublime quietness is adored by her peers which in 2008, she was being heralded as one of the greatest new talents in jazz scene today. She is also said to be the best-selling contemporary jazz artist for the year 2011. She already had three albums at her helm namely; Junjo, Esperanza and Chamber Music Society which the latter has made jazz composition accessible to music fans alike.  Chamber Music Society became the best-selling contemporary jazz album of 2011. Her upcoming album aptly titled “Radio Music Society” is highly anticipated to repeat the success of its predecessors.

Spalding’s exposure to recent media gatherings such like Nobel Peace Prize ceremonies honoring its 2009 Laureate US President Barack Obama and more recently singing at 84th Academy Awards in its In Memoriam section made her music presence prominent and felt accross the globe. Spalding cites her musical influences Ron Carter and Dave Holland, notable musicians,  for musical orchestration and musical composition. She also noted that her music is deeply rooted to the music of Brazil.