Wouter "Wally" De Backer, also known as Goyte, was born May 21 1980 in Bruges, Belgium but he and his family moved to Melbourne, Australia while he was young. Later, his parents changed his name to Walter as the English variation. Goyte's father is an engineer but his son leans towards music since early of his childhood.
It was during his teen years that he developed his music style by learning to play drums and absorbing the theory in high school. "But songwriting and production was just something I've played with in my own time," he said. Goyte formed the band Downstares with three of his friends, one of them is Lucas Taranto who still backs him up during live shows. As a band, Downstares managed to score shows in Northern Easter suburbs of Melbourne.
Downstares disbanded after high school and Goyte went on as a solo. In 2001, he recorded his first track which used a lot of samples. "I called it an 'album' (which was the style at the time), put a picture named Boardface on the front, and it went quite well. Some people even bought it on Compact Disc," he wrote on his official site. A four-track CD became his ammo to score a recording contract, some of them hit the target.
Melbourne street press and Australian youth radio Triple J took notice of his music. With boosted confidence, Goyte produced a couple of more four-track CDs which began getting rotation at the radio station. Around the same time, Goyte met singer-songwriter Kris Schroeder at a party and they hit it off instantly. They formed a songwriting duo called The Basics.
A distribution deal for an album came in 2003 for a collection of tracks from his three early releases. An album named "Boardface" hit the market later that year. Goyte continued recording with The Basics and the result was a second album called "Like Drawing Blood" which quickly went to Triple J in May 2006. It was voted the best album in 2006 in a poll by the radio station's listeners. With broader appeal, "Like Drawing Blood" was selling high in Australia and eventually earned Platinum for sales of over 70,000 copies.
Goyte was consequently nominated as best indie release at ARIA Awards which in Australia is equal to Grammy. "Like Drawing Blood" was also amongst nine shortlisted finalists in the 2006 Australian Music Prize. His first ARIA victory was in 2007 as best male artist. The exposure led to the album re-entering ARIA albums chart in top 50.
His success translated to Europe a year later when "Learnalilgivinanlovin" and "Hearts a Mess" charted in Belgium. Dutch radio stations also played his songs. In 2010, Goyte set up a recording studio in a barn at his parents' farm and released a new single titled "Eyes Wide Open" which received generally positive reviews.
While his album was in the baking process, Goyte made appearances in festivals in 2011. He scored a big gig, which featured also Coldplay and Kanye West among others, at the Grass music festival. A follow-up to "Eyes Wide Open" titled "Somebody I Used to Know" was released in July 2011 ahead of the album's release. It debuted at #27 on the ARIA Top 50 Singles Chart and received endorsements from Ashton Kutcher and Lily Allen on Twitter. Again, the song became his successful story in Europe.
"Making Mirrors" was released in Australia in August 2011 and entered number one on ARIA albums chart. He was nominated for seven categories at ARIA Awards that year but release date restrictions of the eligibility period terminated some of them. He won in three categories; Best Male Artist, Best Pop Release and Single of the Year for the song "Somebody That I Used to Know."
His big break Stateside came when "Somebody I Used to Know" charted in U.S. and Canada. He promoted his latest album in early 2012, appearing on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" to perform the song as well as "Eyes Wide Open" and "State of the Art". "Somebody I Used to Know" entered the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number three, while "Making Mirrors" entered the Top 10 of Billboard Hot 200.