For his fans, Gotye’s YouTube mash-up made entirely from covers of his hit "Somebody That I Used to Know" is one doozy of a love letter.
The Belgian-Australian artist (real name Wally De Backer) released the video via his YouTube channel this weekend. It features nearly six minutes’ worth of fans covering his 2011 single. "Somebody That I Used to Know" reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and has been the best-selling digital single of the year in the U.S.
Called "Somebodies: A YouTube Orchestra," the video showcases amateur musicians playing the song on sax, harp, banjo, piano, bouzouki (a type of lute), and more. Also look for the full chorus, a capella singers, the acoustic solo, and animated scenes. Plus, clips from parodies of Gotye’s original music video, featuring Legos and Muppet-like puppets.
The song’s been widely covered on YouTube, giving Gotye lots of fodder for editing and remixing. In the video description, he says: "Reluctant as I am to add to the mountain of interpretations of 'Somebody That I Used To Know’ seemingly taking over their own area of the internet, I couldn’t resist the massive remixability that such a large, varied yet connected bundle of source material offered."
Gotye credits everyone appearing in the video on his official blog, including links to their YouTube channels, links to their "Somebody That I Used to Know" covers, and timestamps specifying when in the video they appear. Gotye says his direct inspiration for the project was Israeli musician and composer kutiman’s Thru-You series, which mashes up videos of various musicians on YouTube.