As announced on my facebook page, I am very happy to present to you Otty Warmann, an amazing singer and songwriter from the UK. I personally love his voice and his music, so I decided to get in touch with him and ask him for an interview. Fortunately, Otty agreed to answer my questions and I hope they will give you a little bit of insight into what his life as a musician looks like. But now, let’s get started! Here it is:
1. Your song “words” was a true runner up in this year’s UMAs (Unsigned Music Awards). You made it a close second in the category ‘Best Song’. How did that come about? Could you tell us a little bit more about it?
Well, the Grammy board didn’t listen when I said I wanted a nomination, so I thought I’d settle for this! No, seriously it was all a bit of a shock I must say. I suppose it was linked to the success I had with Live & Unsigned last year. That was how ‘Best of British’ found out who I was. But I was never told of an award ceremony, so when they contacted me to say that my single had been nominated, it was a pleasant surprise.
2. So, obviously you love music. What got you started as a musician and put you on this wild journey of pursuing your dreams?
I do love music! My journey into it was not conventional by any stretch, though. At my core, I am a sportsman but I’ve always had a love for music. I was into my twenties before I realised that I could sing. The gift grew from there and gradually I knew music was the new direction that my life and energies needed to take. I’m a fan of taking risks for a dream or a purpose, so here I am!
3. A friend of mine has been busking in the London Underground for years. Have you ever been a busker and is that what inspired the project iSingLondon?
I have never been a busker but that art form does intrigue me! iSingLondon was inspired mainly by a need to keep my profile fresh and current while still working on the bigger projects. This is an industry where you need to stay relevant and try to show that you are still active on the scene. Online videos are a great way to achieve this, but I didn’t want to do the ordinary and sit in front of a computer or camera in my bedroom and sing. I figured that as I get up and down London a lot, why not shoot some random videos? Worst case scenario is that it would put a smile on someone’s face, which is always a great thing in my opinion. Thus, iSingLondon was born!!
4. What does it look like for you to write a song – from the first spark of an idea to the finished product?
There is no set protocol with me and I’d imagine it’s the same for most artists. Creativity has never been ransom to protocols. It comes whenever and however it chooses! But if I were to try and draw some regular patterns, it would be that my song ideas typically start with a concept, a single lyric or a simple melody. Often I might be out and about and be inspired by the sounds around me or sometimes it’s just as I’m about to sleep. I always keep a recording device nearby! It might sound like mumbles to others but that’s all I need to start a full track. Once I get a lyric of simple melody, I ‘hear’ the rest and I am blessed with a wonderful band who help me bring my ideas to life.
5. I heard you have a few great things coming up in the future. Can you tell us more about that or is it still all a ‘secret’?
I’ve been told I’m an open person, so I suppose I can reveal just a little bit. I’m looking to release Volume 2 of the Acoustic Sessions this year while I work on completing my EP. The EP is already sounding awesome and is quite exciting, in particular because of the organic way it has been created. The project was born out of 18 hours in a studio with 5 instrumentalists and myself. We went in with absolutely nothing and generated all of the ideas right there. I dare anybody not to like it! But aside from that, I will be working on some collaborations with other incredible artists. But I can’t say more than that without having to shoot you afterwards!
6. What makes music so special for you as a form of art? Why do you think it’s so powerful?
That’s just it. Part of what makes music so special to me is its power. Music is life’s soundtrack. It holds the key to memories, moments and seasons. I enjoy the different emotions that can be evoked through music, the messages it can convey and what can be taught or learnt. I believe that as humans we are to use our gifts to better others and music is the medium I have chosen to use to accomplish just that. Music is fun, challenging, entertaining and a blessing among other things. What’s not to love?
7. If you had to give away all your records, CDs, MP3s… and you could only keep one song or one album to listen to for the rest of your life – which one would it be?
You can’t ask a question like that!! That is the definition of unfair! Mmmnnn. As I think about it, I’m thankful that I remember songs quite well and would be able to sing many to myself even without the record. So the album I would keep would have to be one I felt had to be sung by someone else or with others. With that in mind, right now it might have to be Arise by William McDowell which is just a wonderful musical and worship experience. Can’t recreate it in the shower, that’s for sure!
8. What is the hardest thing about being a musician for you?
I guess it boils down to the uncertainty. With music there is nothing like an input bringing about a particular output. You could put together the best album, do 4 shows a week and still you never know ‘when’. Ironically that’s what also makes it quite exciting so the challenge is to encourage yourself regularly – in particular when the going gets tough.
9. If your life up until today would be turned into an autobiography – what would be a great quote from it?
Live out of your imagination and the promises reserved for you. Not your reality; and certainly not your history.
10. What’s something that you’ve learned in your life so far that you wish to share with us?
How much time do we have? I learn so much! But one thought that I really enjoyed was about contentment. Simply put, WANT what you have.
11. And what’s your big question? What do you keep asking yourself that you can’t seem to find a satisfying answer to?
Easy; when will they finally bring the Cheesecake Factory to the UK?
12. How do you find peace of mind in a chaotic world?
Now that’s the easiest question of this whole interview! God. My relationship with Christ is the foundation of who I am and all I do. Combined with a knowledge of Him is the perfect antidote to facing what life in 2013 can throw at you. I highly recommend it!
Get a FREE download of Otty’s first Acoustic Sessions at:
Here are Otty’s links. Check them out and show him some love! ;-)
Official website: www.ottymusic.com