Otto “Sweet Dreams Are Made of This”
For many musicians the current lockdown has had a hugely detrimental impact on their ability to perform live and build their fan bases. However, for one local musician it’s lead to a huge success story. Otto (aka Christian Punter) has managed to beat off competition from around the world for the chance to work with music legend Dave Stewart. We first became aware of Christian when he was part of the Forte Project and at the end of last year Otto was one of our acts to watch in 2020. We knew he had a bright future but didn’t dream that in the space of a few short months he would be working with someone of Dave Stewart’s stature. We wanted to find out more about the competition and what winning the prize means to him.
You’ve just won a global competition with a prize worth $6000 and a chance to work with an icon. How does that feel? How did you react when you found out?
It was a surprise at first, then I had to quench my thirst and cheers to my computer screen where there sat the whole Trackd team, congratulating me. It’s exciting, almost nail biting that he liked my song writing. Everyone who’s really close to me knows currently my music is everything I do. I’ve got friends who tend to say sentences that then become entire songs too and for the past month I’ve stock piled over 20 unrecorded unreleased songs. In a weird way my focus was on that and not the competition, I think going into it that was a healthy thing as It gave me a chance to change the song more and put my own spin on it.
For the competition you had to add music to a track Dave Stewart had recorded. How did you approach it? What was your method?
First thing I did was loop a drum pattern he had in the background and then layer some extra chords over that to give the song a bit more movement harmonically. It was very much a, just do what felt and sounded fun at the time sort of mentality of recording. Added hand claps and a couple vocal harmonies and stuck with each idea as soon as it came into my head. I didn’t think too much about any of it as I was just enjoying creating.
Dave has worked with some amazing artists; Annie Lennox, Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger and now Otto. How does that feel?
It’s amazing. In the first meeting we had he mentioned watching my live videos and delving into my music which is a wonderful thing to hear from someone as great as him. He’s a fantastic person to work with and to have him supporting what I create is really exciting.
You’re now working on a new song together . How does that process work? Is it direct communication or are you swapping ideas via email?/zoom
It’s the same song from the competition just revamped. I wrote a proper song structure behind it instead of just one chorus and verse, sent that to him and he then took that and reworked that structure again and we’ve had multiple phone calls and emails back and forth getting the song to a place where we’re both happy. Everything’s been done directly to each other via zoom, email, phone calls and of course the original platform the song was sent on, Trackd.
You’ve been releasing music under the moniker ‘Otto’ for a while. Do you think this has changed the way you write and perform and also how you are perceived by people in the industry?
I love performing under “Otto”. I recently spoke to an artist I admire currently based in Brooklyn, Joseph Ruddleston about performing and writing under a moniker and he used the word psychopomps to sum it up which I think works very well. The way I put it is the music I create is a world you can delve into whether it’s a time in my life or someone else’s and “Otto” is just the name of the guide. It’s nicer for live sets to be behind a name that isn’t my own too.
Otto’s track with Dave Stewart will be released in the near future and we will keep you up to date once it is released.
In the meantime you can hear Ottos’ entry at the following link: