Image for Listen: The 1950’s Guitar Riff Behind Gotye’s Hit Song

Listen: The 1950’s Guitar Riff Behind Gotye’s Hit Song

Written by John Ritchie on April 23, 2012

Gotye’s wallet just became a lot heavier this week with his track Somebody That I Used to Know hitting number 1 on the US Billboard charts, but he doesn’t get to keep all the cash for himself. Tone Deaf points out that he has to pay a royalty split to the estate of the late Brazilian guitarist, Luiz Bonfa.

Although Gotye credits Bonfa on the Making Mirrors album and is quick to mention him when speaking about the track, it has not been common knowledge that the guitar riff from the hit song was sampled from a track recorded over 50 years ago. That track is Luiz Bonfa’s Seville; you can check it out below…

In a recent interview with Billboard, Gotye says that the Seville riff also inspired the lyrics for Somebody That I Used to Know:

“That Luiz Bonfa sample directly prompted the first line of lyrics. The back and forth left me thinking about these different break-ups and different relationships over the years, and the lyrics flowed from there.”

Listen: Luiz Bonfa – Seville

Watch: Gotye – Somebody That I Used To Know

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