Channeling the Language of Music: Singer/Songwriter David Otto’s Creative Process

“Where do your ideas come from?” is a question that all creative people are asked, and songwriters are no exception. Songwriting comes more naturally to some people than others, which is why there are dozens of books, websites and blogs out there to help aspiring songwriters kickstart the process. The truth is that inspiration for songs comes from as many different places as there are songs in the world. 

David Otto has been songwriting all his life. “For some reason I’ve always had the ability to channel the language of music. When I write a song, it’s because I have to. I have an experience, and there’s no other way of dealing with it but to express those emotions through all the different colors of sound.”

His latest release on YouTube, the heartfelt inspirational song “The Wrong Kind of People” came about when he returned to a place from his childhood to reconnect after returning from Rainbow Beach where recorded his album Orange Hibiscus in 2010. This was the neighborhood where his mother had lived, and which had always been a welcoming and calming place. Though his mother did not have custody, David visited her there often, to catch up and play a personal concert for her, performing even when he was twelve years old, connecting through music as he always had before, and would continue to do.

“Music is like any language,” David explains. “The more words you know, the more accurately you can express yourself to others and have them understand, sympathize and relate to you from their own personal experience of that same emotion. Speaking with music creates a strong connection with the listener. You get to know each other, and the listener feels comforted, less alone in their emotions. That things will be okay now. When people can connect with your music on a deep emotional level, because it resonates with who they really are so accurately, it’s freeing.”

David’s mother passed away in 2008, but a strong memory of her remained all around the neighborhood, her creative and intuitive vibe, in the trippy 1970s-summertime colors of her home, orange kitchen benches and purple lampshades, and all lovingly remembered places. 

“There’s almost something supernatural in how the song came about,” David recalls. “I had the feeling of a storm on the horizon, something coming toward me that I would need higher strength and support to overcome. With that, I felt the warmth of her energy with me, and the song came out, lyrics and music together, in the one complete piece.”  Ten minutes later he had written “The Wrong Kind of People.”  

The message of the song is simple and powerful, set to a bittersweet melody. The lyrics tell a universal truth. If we forsake all the times we hate, all the ones we love so much wouldn’t be as great. Anyone who has suffered difficulties knows that hard times make the good times that much sweeter.

“It’s an anthem about finding personal power and independence,” David says. “Anytime someone struggles and needs to find strength, I want them to remember that there is something bigger out there, something that wants you to come out on the other side of it, stronger than you are now. Something from beyond sent me those lyrics, to say ‘Here is a message you will need through the coming challenges, and others can gain strength from when they hear it.’”Listen to “The Wrong Kind of People” at

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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