Australian indie singer, songwriter, & producer Gotye is dominating
nearly every corner of the world with his single “Somebody That I Used
To Know.” In the U.S. alone the song remains on Billboard’s Hot 100 for
the fourth consecutive week in a row. Digital sales have reached over
400,000 units within the past three weeks alone, something no artist has ever accomplished.
Upon completion of his second solo album, Gotye set up a studio in a barn within a 13-acre farm. He wanted complete isolation from negative influences and wanted to cultivate his own organic musical creativity. Luckily, it is paying off since the song is now number one in 13 countries at once, including the U.S. and U.K. He almost didn’t finish the smash hit. He started with the chorus and worked his way around the song. Plus, he faced the dilemma of adding another perspective to the song from either a female standpoint or a third-party spectator.
Pushing the music was also a challenge for him. “I was disappointed — I couldn’t find a release for Canada and the U.S. and because ‘Somebody That I Used to Know’ took off so crazily on YouTube and so much happened there, opportunities changed quite rapidly.” Several Canadian and U.S. distributors who thought his music was too strange and comical turned him down. “I was quite prepared to put the album out myself, and invest a whole heap of money I’d saved over the last couple of years just working with a distributor and doing all the marketing myself.” Released initially in Australia on the independent label Eleven (distributed by Universal) it quickly shot to number one and began to spread in other countries. He began outselling Universal’s flagship artists including Jessie J and Drake. In addition, the music video that was supposed to be viral only, ended up being the official video for the single. This helped save a tremendous amount of money towards creating a glitzy music video. Since its upload, it has gained over 153 million views.
Now the song appears in several ads, TV shows such as “Glee”, and countless major motion pictures. Strategizing and executing through social media and word of mouth is what Gotye says has helped him reach such a wide-range audience. With a simple YouTube upload, Facebook & Twitter posts it has turned him into a global success.
At the 2012 California Music Industry Summit, there are plenty of
workshops available to expanding your artistry. They range from digital
marketing, branding to establishing your own label and songwriting
enhancements. These services offered can help any artist decide what
resources will work best for you.
Contributed by CMIS Staff Writer N.M. Solomon