Otto Knows

The first interview with the man behind ‘Million Voices’ and a future EDM legend

Welcome to DMCWORLD Otto. I have to say I been on the internet all day looking for old interviews with you…

“…and you can’t find any! Ha ha, there’s not much on there is there Dan?”

Well you are either the most secretive producer in the world…or you just don’t like interviews?

“Well I am not so secretive, it’s just that perhaps now is the right time to start doing press now that things are exploding for me.”

Cool. Well okay Mr Jetteman, let’s begin. So what came first the DJing or the producing?

“The DJing came first, I first started to DJ when I was about 16 or 17 spending a lot of time going to all of the underground clubs in Stockholm and caught the bug.”

The tune that has made you a household name is obviously ‘Million Voices’, a beautiful record that has been one of the biggest records of 2012 and is now about to hit the six million views on YouTube. Most producers when they have a huge hit that takes over their lives start to hate the record and resent playing it in their sets…

“It’s just the opposite for me Dan. How can I not enjoy playing a record that is bringing so much happiness to people? The record is still the highlight of my set and I hope people aren’t getting sick if it just yet. I have started to notice a few faces in the crowd shaking their heads so we’ll see ha ha.”

Is it true you made this record in the back room of the studio whilst Sebastian Ingrosso and Alesso made their ‘Calling’ anthem?

“Yes it’s true, I was in one small room whilst they were putting the final touches to ‘Calling’ in another. That studio complex has been very kind to us all.”

And did you and your close circle of producer friends know instantly that the track was something special?

“I mean, you never know 100% how a track is going to be received. But I was very happy with it and sure, Seb did turn to me and tell me I had something big and went and fetched Alesso telling him he had to come and listen to what I had just done. Avicii played it a couple of times early on and I gave Tiesto the tune and he was another who helped the record take off.”

How long did the record take to create?

“It didn’t take long to be honest with you. I had the idea in my head and I just had to lay down the melodies, it was a pretty easy tune to lay down in the end. Very simple.”

Pete Tong on Radio 1 loves you and your music, he sees you as one of the most important young producers in dance music alongside the likes of Madeon, Porter Robinson and Disclosure. What are your thoughts on that?

“I am so happy to have his support, I have been listening to The Essential Selection for as long as I can remember and it was obviously a huge moment when he started playing ‘Million Voices’. And an honour to be mentioned with those guys.”

How important do you think the close guarded protection and guidance that the Swedish House Mafia and their close circle has been for you…

“They have been really important to me, they are like big brothers really. Alesso also, even though he is younger than me I learn so much from him every day – he is super talented. Avicii has always supported me and Seb has just been brilliant from day one. And the best thing is we are great friends and have so much fun together.”

Ah I was going to ask you about the fun part of your life. I interviewed Fatboy Slim last week and we discussed all the young producers who are making No. 1 hits in their home studios and before they have finished school have managers, tour managers and press teams. Fatboy Slim said he would advise all young DJs to firstly get as high as their audience to understand what the crowd really want and are experiencing. What is your opinion on that…?

“Ha ha. I’ll tell you Dan, we have so much fun making our records and seeing the reactions on the peoples faces is the best feeling in the world, better than any chemical high. Most young guys have fun playing computer games, we make music instead. There is no competition between us either, just a load of friends making great music.”

So a new tune on the way, tell us about it…

“It’s almost finished. The track is called ‘Always’ and it’s much more of a club track. I wanted to show people I can make different sides of dance music and I’m really happy with it. We haven’t got a release date for it yet, but we are not far off.”

Are you one of these producers who has a whopping big vault of tunes ready to go, or is it one tune at a time?

“I prefer focusing on one track at a time, that was one piece of advice Seb gave me early on in my career. I have loads of ideas running around my head but I like finishing a track rather than having fifteen unfinished tunes sitting there gathering dust.”

You are back over to America in a few weeks. What are your thoughts on the huge multi million dollar EDM explosion – do you think it is good thing for dance music having all of this money thrown at it – the Sensation brand being offered $100 million, Sander van Doorn signing to Jay Z’s Roc Nation label…

” I really don’t know to be honest, it could go either way couldn’t it? I am very curious how things turn out in the States, perhaps things are moving too quickly? All myself and the other producers can do is continue to put out great records. That is really important to me, I don’t want to put out any old track, every tune has to be something special, I want to stand out from everyone else. But going back to your original question, it would be great if people could just live for now, live for the moment and not worry too much what is down the road…”


You have just been to New York City to play at Nassau where you were playing with Seb and Alesso, the party got closed down – what happened?

“I am not sure Dan, I think it was some problem with the police concerning the license maybe? It was such a shame, I had just played my set and it was an incredible crowd in there, so much energy. These things happen…”

I interviewed Nicky Romero last week, he said that he preferred DJing to a crowd in the States rather than Ibiza. What are your thoughts on that?

“That’s a hard one and I can’t really comment for Nicky. But Ibiza will always hold a special place in my heart. I have spent two great summers there and I love playing to the Ibiza crowd. The island really is something else.”

You played at the Swedish House Mafia party a couple of times at Ushuaia this season, did you get a chance to check out any other clubs?

“I checked out Amnesia and obviously went to Pacha to see Tiesto play, I had a great night but probably went a little overboard on the Jagermeister! But my favourite moment was over at Mambo for the sunset, I love that place and I love Javier’s sons Christian and Alan who run the place. Boy do they love their Hierbas!”……