The Beat Of Otto Knows

Otto Knows made the world dance with his breakthrough hit ‘Million Voices’ in 2014. If that’s any indication as to how far he’ll go, world domination seems pretty realistic for this young Swedish DJ. We met up with him in Oslo where he told us all about his friendship with Avicii, how Sebastian Ingrosso ended up being his manager, and we even made him tell us what it is that Otto actually “knows” (Pun intended).

So, ‘Million Voices’ became a huge smash! What was it like making this song?
- It started out as something very different than it turned out to be. I started experimenting with a lot of different vocals and sounds. After a little while I played it for my manager, Sebastian Ingrosso, and he loved it! 

Do you feel, that all of the success of this song changed your life in any way?
- Definitely. My life turned completely upside down after that. In a good way though! It gave me a lot of opportunities, and I finally got the chance to focus solely on my music. It is still unbelievable to me that I actually get paid to do this!

I can’t help myself from asking, but what is it that Otto really ‘knows’?
- Haha that actually started out as kind of a joke. When it was time to release my first single I decided to go with that name, and after a little while it really stuck. I completely identify as Otto Knows now, it’s almost written in my passport.

Do you remember the moment when you realized that you wanted to be a musician? Is it something you’ve always known?
- It’s been a dream of mine since I was about fifteen. I recently discovered an old memory stick with some of my early work, and I am very relieved that those tracks never got released. I’m not even sure if it would qualify as music, it all sounded awful! Therefore I am happy I got to spend some more time perfecting my skills, before I showcased my music to anyone. 

Am I really the only one, who got curious about these old tracks you were telling us about? Because I somehow find it hard to believe that they’re THAT bad?! In any case, I sadly doubt that we’ll ever get to make up our own minds on these unreleased demos, as Otto seemed pretty determined about keeping them to himself.

You’ve already worked with some major artists, such as Britney Spears, Bebe Rexa and Imogen Heap! Do you want to do more of this, or is it all about you as an artist these days?
- I prefer to make music for myself as an artist. It takes a lot of work to create a song for someone else, and right now I don’t have any energy to spare. There is still so much I want to achieve on my own. Otto Knows has just gotten started! 

You’ve featured many different vocalists and artists on your songs. How do you choose them and what is it that you look for in a guest vocalist?
- So far I’ve worked with people I’m close with. I really enjoy working with people that I already have a connection with. That makes it easier to create something special together!

With Sebastian Ingrosso as your manager, and Avicii as your close friend, you definitely have a solid panel of supporters. Can you tell us about your relationships with these two super DJ’s?
- Yeah I’ve been lucky, and I’ve met the right people who have helped me get to where I am today. Sebastian and I met through his cousin, and we got along right away. He took me under his wing and we have gotten to know each other very well. I’ve known Tim (more famously known as Avicii) since I was eleven, we were actually classmates. I don’t think I’d be here if it wasn’t for him. He showed me that all of this is possible!

Are you listening to any Norwegian artists at the moment? Who are you into?
- It is impossible not to mention Kygo. He is doing incredibly well, and I really admire him. We’ve met a couple of times, and he seems like a great guy. The way he started out through Souncloud is fascinating to me. It was about time that someone from Norway made it to this level!

Otto Knows seems determined to reach even greater heights with his career and I have no doubts that he’ll make it. He has a lot of music in store for us, with a single scheduled for release this summer. We can’t wait!

Written by Erik Rydning

Tuesday, 12. April 2016