NEXT 2 Otto Knows [Exclusive Interview]

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On Friday, September 19th, Otto Knows made the final stop on his #NEXT2ME North American Tour. WhySoChi had the pleasure and opportunity to sit with Otto as he kicked off the tour on Thursday, September 3rd, at Studio Paris here in Chicago.

If his name sounds familiar it should, his new single “Next To Me” has been climbing the charts since its release.  Chances are you have heard his previous work as his single “Million Voices” released back in 2012 was played at every major festival that year. His catchy melodies and flawless production is putting the young artist up with the best in the industry.

The complete interview could be found below.

WSC: Before you became the international Dj/Producer you are now, what were you doing? ( in terms of work/studies)

OK: I finished school and I was really hooked on this house music. I wasn’t big back then, back when EDM exploded here (US). I saw Steve Angello, Sebastian Ingrosso play, and I was hooked from the beginning. Then I tried making my own music and now we are here.

WSC: Did you study music?

OK: No, not at all. Music has always been a big part of my life. I played instruments so it was natural.

WSC: How did you transition from playing instruments to EDM?

OK: I went to a club and I saw how people reacted, and how I reacted. It was an overnight moment, I would say. I was blessed that day. Then I got to know Sebastian Ingrosso he mentored me. I traveled with him and got to see what it was all about. I saw the scene, started making music. It was all organic.

WSC: You’re connected to Sebastian Ingrosso through your work with Refune Music (Swedish independent record label) tell us a bit about how it is to work with one of the biggest names in Dance Music History.

OK: I was really good friends with his cousin. We met by accident, ran into each other at dinner. We liked each other from the beginning. He asked us if we would come to Ibiza to see him play. For us this was uncommon. He asked if I can help him out with some stuff in the office and I got his keys to the studio. I wouldn’t be here without him. He is a lovely guy with a big heart. He always told me nothing comes for free, you always have to work hard to get places because no one will care more about your career than yourself. I always saw him work hard, and there was no other option.

WSC: Take us through your creative process when creating a song. Do you have a melody that you start with and expand or do you have a theme or sounds you want to focus on and go from there?

OK: There is no certain road to get a song done. You can start with a melody or sound, or inspiration from another song. Everything is based around melody. For me, music is based around melody. That is what makes me feel something. I think that is pretty typical Swedish.

WSC: You’ve worked with Britney Spears on her single “Work Bitch” are there any other artists you’d love to work with on song?

OK: I respect so many people. I think it is cool to collaborate with not so famous artists that are very talented to see what they can bring to the table. Everyone has their own techniques and midst with what they want to do. When it comes to people, I would say Quincy Jones. A legendary producer. It would be great to see if I could add something to a project, or if I would just sit back.

WSC: Where do you see yourself in 5 years? In music career /personal life?

OK: I just figured out what I wanted to do a year back. I have a vision of doing my own show with my own music only. To have a show I am really proud of, with a lot of different elements, would be interesting to watch. I am working towards that every day, trying to make new songs. I have so many songs I want to release but you have to wait. It is going to take time, but I am aiming for that.

WSC: Anything we should keep our eyes out for (new releases etc?)

OK: My last song, “Next to Me”, I am really proud of. It is a song I wrote the lyrics to. My next single is already done, and is coming in the end of October I hope. I am so excited for people to hear it. It is special to release music because once you do, you can’t really take it back. The one coming in October is slower than my usual songs. I think people will not be super surprised about it, but it is a step from EDM. There are not so many electronic elements to it. It is up to the listener to judge it, and I don’t want to put thoughts in their head. There are live strings, I am playing guitar. It is hard to describe it.

WSC: You made Chicago your first tour stop, have you had a chance to explore the city?

OK: This is my third time in Chicago. I have played The MiD a couple of times. It is a unique city, with house music, which I fell in love with. I have so much respect, and I want to turn the clock back and watch those crazy factory parties I always read about. It is something I would really like to experience. It is really one of the cities I really need to dig into.

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