Otis Kane Preaches Gratitude And Sings For The Future In Live Return
For Otis Kane, nothing tops the feeling of performing live. "It's like electricity," he says of the experience. "When I'm on stage, I'm just full—full of love, full of energy." He finally got a chance to channel that energy at an intimate show in Jefferson Park, Los Angeles with an audience of family, friends, and special guests. The indie soul superstar had been itching to get back on stage since the COVID-19 pandemic robbed the world of everyday life, so this particular homecoming was emotionally charged.
“It feels amazing to be back performing, but for me this is about more than a show,” Kane explained. “With my music, I’m trying to propel a movement. I want everything that I do to be meaningful and impactful.” The show also marked the first time he would be performing songs from Purple BLUE, his most personal work to date, and he knew the moment had to be memorable. He brought out special guests including the incredible vocalists Krysten Symone and India Shawn, and for the evening’s final track, "Run," he was joined by spoken word poet Tyris Winter and the West LA Children's Choir. The decision to include their voices wasn’t only heartwarming, but filled with purpose for Kane. “I wanted young voices to be a part of this, to have a chance to speak out," he said.
“When those kids came on, the energy was crazy! They’re bringing the future!,” Kane exclaimed. His choice to end the show with “Run,” one of the most powerful tracks from Purple BLUE was a deliberate exclamation point atop a superlative night. The song, with its rumbling bassline, smooth drum groove, and powerful message was a perfect way to finish a night of positivity and hope.
“The lyrics are about speaking truth to power. About the oppressed banding together and rising up against oppressors. People experience oppression on all levels so this song can be applied in both a micro and macro context,” explained Kane. “I wanted to show those different points of view. The oppressor could be older or past generations, the planet that is being inherited will have significant issues to overcome, and the antiquated systems in place can’t and won’t solve these problems. It will be up to the youth to take control of the future. With that being the sentiment, I wanted to create a moment in this show to highlight my respect for their collective voice and role in shaping our future.”
It was a symbolic passing of the torch, as well as a moment of reflection, as Kane thought about the artists and truth-tellers that have come before him, and inspired him as a youth. In a sense, Kane saw himself up there, performing with the rest of the children’s choir. “Ten-year-old Otis Kane would be smiling, just like I am now, maybe shedding a tear. He would be looking towards the future with excitement.”
For Kane, the opportunity to execute his vision was a dream collaboration with First on SoundCloud. “It was so incredible to bring Purple BLUE to life. I wanted this performance to not only bring people into my world, but to also highlight highlight the next generation of creators living their dreams and molding the future as the see it,” he said. “I feel like we really did that.”
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