Otto Normal has its roots in the Southern German city Freiburg, where rapper Chabezo and guitarist Baf were searching for new musical challenges three years ago, after their previous hip hop combo [bih'tnik] had split up. At the studio of former Reamonn bassist Philsn, they finally found the keyboarders Lüük and Patrick as well as the fifteen-year-old drummer Tony. During some initial sessions, this crew quickly discovered their common creative denominator – and Otto Normal was born.
«Our band name Otto Normal is often used as a kind of swearword. With our music we’re trying to associate the term with more positive connotations,» Chabezo reports. «I have my roots in hip hop, but I really can’t relate with the predominant battle attitude and the artificial exaggeration of one’s ego. That’s why we’re doing it the opposite way with Otto Normal: We are being overmodest, so we can easily go beyond ourselves.» With a smile he adds, «We just provide average on a high level. We are the world’s best mediocrity.»
Since the release of their debut album «Wahnsinn» in 2012, Otto Normal have come a long way. Not only have they won the VIA Award as best newcomer, but also the prestigious Berlin Music Award. The band was invited to perform their songs on public-service television during prime time and was able to secure the support of Initiative Musik, a governmental institution for the promotion of the music industry in Germany. As of late, Otto Normal are also official children and youth ambassadors. «In addition to the band, we’ve created the project «Musik macht Schule», where we’re writing and performing songs together with disabled teenagers,» Chabezo explains. For him, the band’s social engagement is by no means a minor matter, but an affair of the heart.
It’s no surprise that the band’s versatility is also audible on their current second album «Das Neue Normal» which has been released earlier this year. The thread holding together its 15 songs has artfully been knotted with rich diversity, composed happiness and a genre-ignoring understanding of boisterous creativity.
At Music Apartment, Otto Normal present a selection of songs from «Das Neue Normal» and invite us on an entertaining journey through ambitious mediocrity and musical variety.