California is known for being one of the cities where artists are born, among those artists is the talented R&B singer, songwriter and producer, Otis Kane. Anthony Vasquez, otherwise known as his stage name, ‘Otis Kane’, was born and raised in Los Angeles where he developed a passion for music at the young age of 10. He started singing at school with five of his friends, their favourite artists to sing being Brian McKnight and Boyz II Men. Later in life, he went to college to study music, although after a year he left to work for music legend Nelle Hooper. He travelled and worked with her for more than a year. Afterwards, he moved on to work as a MD/keyboard player for Capitol Records artist Lolene, whom he worked with for a year as well. With her, he secured his first major label production on her record. After the tours, Otis decided to open a studio in LA called STRZ Enterprises. His natural talent made this studio the spot to be in Hollywood as celebrities from Zara Larrson, The Jonas Brothers, Steven Tyler and more were lining up to work with Otis. As a result, Otis quickly became a seasoned songwriter and producer.
After a while, he knew he wanted to fulfill his dream of being an artist himself and thus, Otis Kane was born. Since pursuing this career, his music has now been in numerous shows and movies such as Hair Love, Good Trouble and Queen Sugar. His debut EP, ‘Therapy’, was a successful release in October, reaching close to one million streams worldwide. His latest release is a smooth, sultry single titled “Lost”. This song emphasizes Otis’s soulful, raspy vocals while giving a melodic production, with leading guitar riffs in the background. Based on his years of experience as a multi-instrumentalist and producer, Otis Kane is confident and excited to create his own music that will truly showcase his talent. I was able to speak with Otis to discuss his journey and his new single.
Lost Cover Art 1
Tell me about yourself. Why did you choose the name, ‘Otis Kane’?
So, my name Otis came from my love for Otis Redding. But I had trouble finding the rest. I love Prince, so I was almost Otis Prince, but I felt that was being used too much. Then, my friend and long-time collaborator Sir Dylan was like “Yo, it should be Otis Kang! Like slang for King.” It was close but didn’t feel like me, but then Kane came to mind and that’s when Otis Kane was born.
How did you get into music? I understand you’ve been singing since you were 10, what or who was inspiring you?
I didn’t grow up in a musical family. My parents weren’t musicians or artists, and there weren’t instruments around our house, so I naturally started singing. Instruments came later. I picked up a few things and self-taught. In college, both of my roommates were both musicians, so I learned a lot from them.
The most inspirational artist for me I’d say is Stevie Wonder. I remember my mom would drive me to basketball practice and she’d always play Stevie Wonder. This was before I really became interested in pursuing music myself, but I noticed that his music could so easily control my emotions. Even as a kid I was able to analyze that. That’s what really drew me to music – the ability to make people feel.
Who are you inspired by now? How do they influence your music?
I am definitely finding inspiration from Calvin Harris. I still love his album ‘Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1’. Pharrell Williams, of course. I also love rap, like A$AP ROCKY is a big one for me. Robin Thicke is also someone I look up to musically.
What was it like working with such major artists in the industry? Ex: Zara Larrson, The Jonas Brothers, Steven Tyler and more.
I think working with major artists, at first, was a little nerve-racking because I just got plunged right into it. My friends and I owned a studio together that really took; people just started coming through and we gained a lot of momentum. Zendaya was one of the firsts to frequent the studio (it was before her Euphoria days). Nick and Joe Jonas were really cool and down to earth to work with. But I decided to take the journey into being an artist on my own because I wasn’t fulfilled making music for other people.
What was it like to transition from being a producer to being the artist recording? Did you experience any difficulties?
When I switched from being a producer to an artist, I thought I’d be able to hit up all my contacts that I’d been working with for so long and let them know I was an artist now. But it didn’t work like that.
I did take it hard at first because I know how to make music, but I hadn’t proven myself yet as an artist and I understand now how important that is. Sir Dylan and Pink Sweat$ were two people who from early on were really supportive in helping me find my sound, along with Peter Simon and Ced Mitchell. It was this small community that’s really helped me to get where I am today.
What are your future goals as an upcoming artist?
My future goals are definitely to play live shows. I haven’t had the opportunity yet since I began this journey in the midst of a pandemic. I literally fanaticize about being on stage! Also, more collaborations and I want to keep growing my sound.
Can you tell fans what they can expect from ‘Lost’? What is it about?
Most of my songs are about my own relationships; they are all real stories. For “Lost” it’s really about that moment I had thinking about my girlfriend, “I really don’t know what I’d be doing without you.” Not everyone has been able to experience that kind of love, but I promise it is something to look forward to.
What is a message you’d like to say to your fans?
Thank you, thank you all so much for listening to my music and reaching out to me! It means so much to me that you’ve been listening to my story and enjoying what I have to offer to the world.
Check out “Lost” on all streaming platforms now.