MUSIC PRODUCER/MULTI-INSTRUMENTALIST OTIS MCDONALD
UNVEILS DEBUT ALBUM, PEOPLE MUSIC,
FOLLOWING VIRAL SUCCESS WRITING ORIGINAL SONGS
FOR YOUTUBE’S AUDIO LIBRARY
80 Original Otis McDonald Copyright-Free Tracks
Appear in More Than 3.5 Million YouTube Videos with 7.6 Billion Views
Otis McDonald Amasses International Fanbase:
4.5 Million Streams on Spotify
3.7 Million Streams on SoundCloud
69,000 Spotify Listeners (Monthly)
51,000 YouTube Subscribers
“YouTube gig as Otis McDonald turns up inner soul man.”
-San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco, Calif. — Tuesday, September 17, 2019 — Numbers aside, Otis McDonald is one funky modern song-crafter who’s releasing hook-laden pop music for the digital age. An underground artist renowned for slaying dance floor crowds in San Francisco clubs with his live ensemble projects, Otis McDonald (moniker of Joe Bagale) was born out of commissioned works for YouTube‘s audio library as copyright-free music. Destined for the library’s music to be elevated to today’s sleek production standards, Otis McDonald poured his heart and soul into 80 original songs. He’s quickly attracted a worldwide audience of fans with his tracks appearing in more than 3.5 million YouTube videos garnering 7.6 billion views and 5 million downloads (from YouTube Audio Library). Otis McDonald’s studio debut album, People Music (TrackTribe; Release Date: October 11, 2019), is an inside look into this hitmaker’s blossoming career as a solo artist.
Otis McDonald is an anomaly, a San Francisco-based artist emerging to an international audience through writing original music supported by one of Silicon Valley’s biggest entertainment companies, YouTube. Producing out of Studio D at Hyde Street Studios in downtown SF, Otis McDonald’s tracks reach millions of Facebook and YouTube followers as well as some of the biggest social media network accounts with the NBA, People magazine, and Comedy Central all utilizing his original works. True to form, Otis McDonald’s rabid fanbase serves as the greatest inspiration for his catalog of music. With his debut People Music, a music prodigy who performs on all the instruments (except horns and strings) unveils a powerful punch of funk, pop, and soul tracks delivering messages of the times. For fans of Prince, Vulfpeck, and Thundercat, Otis McDonald is on his way onto your Spotify playlists.
People Music is constructed by way of the people. Upon curating the song selection for People Music, Otis McDonald enlisted his 51,000 subscribers on YouTube to vote on the specific tracks that would appear on the album by providing 15 short snippets over a 15-week period with each ultimately being shaped into full-length songs. The result, Otis McDonald produced 10 epic arrangements dedicated to his fans with the album aptly named, People Music. Otis McDonald enlists top-notch horn players from Bay Area bands, Jazz Mafia and Atta Kid (featuring Adam Theis, Daniel Casares, Max Miller-Loran). The closing track “Holiday” features members of Cosa Nostra Strings (Shaina Evoniuk, Jacob Hansen-Joseph, Lewis Patzner), and string arranger Matt Wong (who also plays the Fender Rhodes solo on the outro).
Though People Music is Otis McDonald’s debut album, Joe Bagale is no stranger to the national music scene. He’s a lauded live performer for his work as a former lead singer and keyboardist with the Mickey Hart Band (The Grateful Dead), who he recorded and toured with in support of the album, Superorganism. Bagale’s arranged and performed with Roy Ayers, produced tracks for Martin Luther (The Roots, Across the Universe), and as a drummer, he’s performed with the likes of Stevie Wonder, Fred Wesley, Peewee Ellis, Mike Clark, Lyrics Born, DJ Qbert, Dave Schools, and Gift of Gab (Blackalicious).
Otis McDonald — People Music — Featured Compositions
People Music opens with the dance track, “Body, Mind & Soul.” A sensual confession where Otis McDonald promises to serve a woman’s body, her mind and her soul, the track was written and recorded unconventionally in only a six-hour period with McDonald co-writing the piece with a songwriter he’d never met before through the company, Your Songmaker.
With so much inspiration and culture constantly projected through social media it can be overwhelming finding yourself or creating an artistic identity. Especially when the things being portrayed feel unattainable or the messages are facades. For the song “Little Bit Longer,” the accompanying music video directed by Detroit-based videographer John Sippel features the compelling Jamella Cross in her finest element: dancing and smiling on the city streets of San Francisco. McDonald advocates for women not to make compromises, and that there’s nothing wrong with getting older, wiser, and stronger.
“Go On Your Own Way” supports the ethos of leading yourself rather than following others with a heavy groove that progresses to a psychedelic outro in the spirit of the JB’s or Fela Kuti. “Hide From The Heavy” takes its cue from J-Dilla‘s beats and the jazz fusion group Weather Report with a homemade rock anthem used as a sample. With a melodic acoustic guitar-driven rhythm, “Had Enough” tracks Otis McDonald’s observations of a changing San Francisco. From the wealthy getting richer and high-rises getting taller, he observes how the middle class are getting lost and creative types are being pushed out of the city.
“Good Time” brings People Music to the hip-hop production of the late ’90s/early ’00s with an uplifting message, “If you’re having a bad day, don’t worry. Just come over to our party because we’re having a ‘good time.'” Ranging from the feel of classic Q-Tip, Otis McDonald takes it to a conversation between Prince and Zapp & Roger. “Crazy, Wasted, Tame It” fuses a vocoder melody with ’70s funk topped off with Beatles-like vocals.
One of two instrumentals on People Music, “Hello Marshall” has Otis McDonald’s guitar work front and center while it offers listeners the feeling of family being together all in one place. “Another Slapper” is the first track he wrote with his Linn Drum machine as he takes it to George Duke‘s ’70s territory. “Holiday” concludes People Music with a stunning ode to life on the road and missing the ones you love. Featuring the Cosa Nostra Strings, McDonald writes of falling asleep night after night in different hotel rooms while on tour and dreaming of his wife.
An homage to both Shuggie Otis and Michael McDonald, Otis McDonald celebrates these musical geniuses within a contemporary aesthetic. McDonald says, “Even though I am a modern artist, I always pay reverence to all of the greatest artists that have come before me. Call it tangibly rooted in nostalgia while pushing forward. I want to make popular music something that is meaningful again.”
For more information regarding Otis McDonald and People Music, please visit:
1. Body, Mind & Soul
2. Little Bit Longer
3. Go On Your Own Way
4. Hide From The Heavy
5. Had Enough
6. Good Time
7. Crazy, Wasted, Tame It
8. Hello Marshall
9. Another Slapper