Otty Warmann is a name you may remember from this years BBC Voice UK. Although judges failed to turn for his performance of ‘Express Yourself’ it didn’t dampened this young man’s creative spirit – spurring Otty on to create an EP and perform at this years Love Supreme Festival!
Musicvein caught up with Otty Warmann to find out more.
MV: We first saw you on the Voice, tell me about your experience on the show and what you’ve learned from it.
OW: “The voice was a positive experience, it was a great challenge for me and I enjoyed the vast majority of it but at the same time I was frustrated with how it ended because of the song choice. What people don’t realize is that they (Voice producers) give you the song to sing and I don’t think that that was one which complimented the better parts of my voice. I like the song (Express Yourself) but I only had 90 seconds to show people what I had and I don’t think that was the right song to choose, so there was a bit of regret there – overall though I had a fantastic experience, the crew were wonderful and I had a good time.”
MV: Good, so do you think you’d like to have another crack at it or do any other televised music show?
OW: “I don’t think so, No.”
MV: Ok hahaha, we’ll leave it there. So tell me Otty, how long have you been writing and performing?
OW: “I’ve been writing for longer than I’ve been performing, I’ve been writing since about 2003, performing on a regular basis since 2009.”
MV: And do you have a favorite place that you’ve performed at?
OW: “Favorite place hmmmm, the Jazz Cafe would definitely be one of them, I really enjoyed that. Ronnie Scotts was good too but the dream place for me to perform would be The Royal Albert Hall.”
MV: Now you recently played at one of the UK’s fastest growing and unique festivals – Love Supreme! Tell me how you managed to get that gig, did the show organizers see you on the Voice and contact you from there?
OW: “No, I contacted them last year but by the time they had listened to my work, as much as they loved my material they had filled the bill, so they said we should talk again this year. I contacted them and they were true to their word and made it happen for me. I loved every minute, it was great to be a part of such a strong line up and see your name on the same bill as people like Chaka Khan and Van Morrison it was just great!”
MV: I bet it was a great feeling. So did you get to catch any performances either before or afterwards?
OW: “Yeah my performance was on the Sunday but I arrived the day before and was able to see a lot of artists whom I knew already but also some who were new to me. There was Chaka Khan and Rebecca Ferguson who it was great to see since her time on the X Factor, Nenah Cherry and Bill Laurence Project – which is excellent because I’ve always been a fan of Snarky Puppy but now to see one of their instrumentalists go out and do solo material is excellent. There was a lot of things to tune in to.”
MV: Do you yourself prefer performing to large festival crowds or the more intimate venue crowds?
OW: “I love both to be honest, they both retain their own levels of richness and positivity. The festivals are great because it’s summer,it’s fresh, you’re outdoors but with the indoor gigs you have the audience really engage with you.”
MV: Great answer. You wrote the song ‘Words’ a few years ago, do you now have some new material?
OW: “Definitely, I do have more material since then and I’m working on putting out an EP right now. It been interesting to see the direction in which my music has changed and developed since ‘Words’ and as much as I love the song and its level of success achieved, I’m very much excited about the new material I’m putting out right now.”
MV: And can you tell me a little bit more about that, what sort of direction is your music going in?
OW: “Well with new songs like ‘Running To You’ and ‘Beautiful’ we’ve been playing around with twin synths and a few more contemporary sounds, it’s been really exciting. With my song writing style I’ve kind of gone to a place where less is more, previously I’ve been known to be quite wordy and telling stories with my music which I’ll still keep but I also think it’s a good quality to have to say a lot with just a few words and that really is the direction I’m heading in now. So there’s that side combined with a good element of pop but never deviating too far from what is essentially is me, Soul, Jazz and Hip-hop.”
MV: Who would you like to work with in the future?
OW: “Woah! that’s a long list (he says letting out a long laugh) I like experimenting with a lot of different styles and sounds so would love to work with John Legend and Gregory Porter, Rudimental to Disclosure, I like what Lianne La Havas is doing also, then the Hip-hop side of me would love to do something with The Roots – they’re my favorite band and Common – they are just people that inspire me.”
MV: What’s next for you?
OW: “I’m usually performing around Shoreditch, Camden and Central London so people will be able to catch me live around there, it’s best to sign up to my mailing list to get more information on those shows. 21st July I’ll be performing with a band called Retrospective For Love – who I’m also writing a song with – we’re going to be supporting Bilal at Under The Bridge. It’s all exciting times for me right now.”
For more information on Otty Warmann find him on