When was the moment you knew you wanted to be a musician?
Otis: “I can't remember one specific moment, but Stevie Wonder is the artist that influenced me to be a music creator. Every Saturday my mom would take me to my basketball games and she would play Stevie. I remember thinking ‘how can something control my emotions so drastically?’ I felt the music and I wanted to create music that made people feel the Stevie’s made me feel. That’s just one example, but a major one.”
How would you describe your sounds in three words?
Otis: “Good soul music.”
You recently released your latest song “Happy Days” – can you tell us a little about the song and the inspiration behind it?
Otis: “Honestly, I was just really happy that day. I was working with a couple friends and I was talking about how the world needs more uplifting songs, and Happy Days is what we came up with.”
“Happy Days” is featured in the short film Hair Love – what was your reaction when you found out this would be happening?
Otis: “I was pretty excited. Mainly because of what the film represents, but also because happy songs don’t always get the love they deserve. I was glad to see this one serve its purpose. Doesn’t hurt to be involved in a project directed by Matthew Cherry and executive produced by Jordan Peele.”
Before focusing on your music full time, you had opened the studio STRZ Enterprises in LA. Do you ever miss working at the studio?
Otis: “The studio was my first major accomplishment, I was a pretty young guy in charge of what became a popular studio. I was very proud if it. At the time music was going through a transition, lots of people were switching to home studios and laptops, so it was tough to make a profit and have time to create. Leaving the studio was a tough decision but it was the right one.”
We also hear that you are planning to release a full-length album in 2020! What else can we expect from you in the near future?
Otis: “I am super excited to say that I will be putting an album out, but you can expect several singles first. I started this project a few months ago so I am still in the creation process.”