By definition, “cold facts” are facts without anything added to make them more pleasant or interesting. With that said, we could just skip this introductory drum roll and embed OTR’s latest song, below. Why? Because we’re confident with just one push of the play button, you will become an instant devotee. However, longtime fans of OTR will remember his remix of Blondage’s “Stoned” and will agree that this added fact-an official collab!-is beyond pleasant and interesting and impossible to not mention.
“Cold Facts” is a serious one-two punch, as OTR’s forward-thinking production couples with Blondage’s infectious, honeyed vocals to magical effect. The song pushes and pulls, then ultimately tackles you with its soaring synths, off the Richter scale bass lines, and overall strut. How could you not love both these artists individually? So, getting a combination of the two means it’s time to trip the light fantastic. Listen below, and read our Q&A with OTR to learn more!
Blondage shot by Jason Idris Alami
OTW: Tell us something about yourself you’ve never told anyone else.
OTR: I’m colorblind, but I didn’t know I was until my freshman year of college when I took one of those online colorblind tests and had to ask my roommate if he could see anything. He looked at me like I was an idiot and said there was a giant “8” in this circle of dots and couldn’t believe I couldn’t see it. I think maybe that’s why now I’m focusing so much on sound because I guess I’m missing out on some interesting colors, haha!
OTW: What would you say is the biggest difference between your travels and music? And what’s the biggest similarity?
OTR: My travels are my music. I didn’t know this at first, but I typically write about how places affect me. Every sound and moment that I hear and experience finds a way into my songs. Sometimes it’s sad, sometimes it’s happy, but it’s always what I’m feeling at that moment and place in time.
OTW: Name the current top 3 songs you hold closest to your heart, whether classics, new songs, whichever you’d say have the most impact on you right now, and why?
OTR: ODESZA – “How Did I Get Here When”
About 2 months into my year-long internship in Japan, this song randomly started playing on Spotify while I was riding the train. It fit the mood perfectly since I really had no idea what I was getting myself into by taking that internship. It also got me listening to sounds like ODESZA and Petit Biscuit, which ultimately helped shape my sound. Many of the songs on my upcoming EP have some influences from the person that moment made me.
Sufjan Stevens – “Redford”
This song is basically only chords, but to me it still holds a lot of meaning to me. I typically play this song the exact moment the pilot tells us we are ready to take off to go somewhere–kind of start my journey and to keep an open mind with what’s to come. It also helped me realize there is a lot of power in just knowing how to play piano, which eventually led to me teaching myself how to play.
M83 – “Outro”
I think this should be played at my funeral haha–like it would be an outro to my life or something. It’s the first song that got me thinking about production in general and how to arrange something to be so impactful.
OTW: Take us through your typical songwriting process from beginning to end. Were there any changes to it while creating “Cold Facts” and collaborating with Blondage?
OTR: For the most part, I love to write right after I visit a new place. Once I get home I basically put myself in quarantine and write until something eventually happens. After I write the instrumental, I try and find a vocalist who has a similar personality to the track who can also add something unique to the track. I knew Blondage would be a perfect fit for “Cold Facts” after remixing their song “Stoned.”
OTW: Following the premiere of “Cold Facts,” what’s the rest of 2018 and beyond have in store? Any new passport stamps on the horizon?
OTR: My EP is coming out at the end of July, which has been a life-changing experience to finally have together. I would love to go to Paris once the EP is out, but I’ll have to see what else I have on my plate by then!