He’s your favourite musician and yet you don’t know his name – his music has been heard by billions; his videos by millions. He has thrown the rule book of accessing music out of the window and installed triple glazing. He’s the Zorro of Funk and the Scarlet Pimpernel of Retro Electro – he’s Otis McDonald and he’s pleased to meet you.
Located in San Francisco, Otis McDonald (the performing name of Joe Bagale) is producer, engineer, drummer, singer, bassist, guitarist and keyboardist extraordinaire. Otis is revolutionising the way musicians make their work accessible to the wider world. Making his music available on YouTube’s royalty-free audio library, millions have used his original material in their YouTube videos and for sampling, copyright-free. As word has spread, his statistics speak for themselves:
Otis McDonald songs appear in over 3.5 million YouTube videos with a total of 7.6 billion views
Over 3 million streams on Spotify
Over 3 million downloads from the YouTube Audio Library
Over 3 million streams on Soundcloud, 46,000 YouTube subscribers and counting
With a sound that is fresh but tangibly rooted in nostalgia, there is a heavy dose of the psychedelic soul of Shuggie Otis and a healthy slug of Michael McDonald – just in case you wondered how Joe came up with his stage name. At any given moment this gives way to the funk of the 70s…or perhaps it’s the dayglo pop radio of the 80’s or the boom-bap beats of the 90s. Whatever it means to you, Otis McDonald is the sound of an artist who manifests a lesson in versatility and growing perspective. The innovation doesn’t stop there:
“In the spirit of a choose your own adventure book, for this album I’ve decided to release 15 snippets of 15 brand new tracks over the course of 15 weeks. I’ll then pick the 10 tracks that have the most views and likes and comments and weave them together as a 10-track album. The fans pick the album and they’re a part of the process”.
To join the revolution, visit Otis’ YouTube Channel and choose your favourite tracks
It’s time for the world to know his name.