Otep Shamaya stands as a pillar of strength in the alt metal community. She is an artist that makes no bones about her message being a priority, with her music serving as its vehicle. Her music and its message is often credited with empowering the powerless, and for being the voice for the voiceless. Packed with the punch of raw emotion, her hard-driving rhythms and passion-filled poetry have caused many a fan to raise a fist.
When I was given the opportunity to communicate with Otep, I expected a strong, intelligent, articulate woman to respond to my questions with a resonant voice of confidence and strength. My view of Otep was similar to that of a superhero character; an impenetrable force, and a rebel with no weaknesses. What I found was someone even more intelligent and articulate than imaginable, but not a superhero. Instead I was shown a true to life human being with some of the same emotions and vulnerabilities that we all encounter in our lives. She is someone that gets angry and loud, but also someone that feels great joy and sadness as well.
The message in her words below serves me as a blueprint of how to navigate life. Otep discusses the sudden, tremendous loss of her brother and how she has found an outlet to honor him. She talks about the hope of finding a cottage on a coast someday. She talks about getting her first tattoo in a friend’s kitchen. These are all human moments that make us what we are, and this interview made Otep Shamaya a superhero of a whole different kind in my eyes.
My most heartfelt thanks to Otep for sharing so much of her beautiful self with me ….and now YOU.
Hello everyone! My name is Scott Itter, but some know me as Dr. Music. I am a music journalist and photographer out of the Chicagoland area, and I have been in practice for over 20 years. I grew up in the 70’s with two big brothers that showed me all kinds of rock and roll. As I grew older I ventured out into different genres like jazz, funk, folk, and whatever else I could wrap my ears around. As I read every liner note and every Circus and Hit Parader like they were the Old and New Testament, I came to realize that I just love sound and appreciate all the people that create it.
I later became a stay-at-home dad and started honing my writing and photography skills to keep my mind from turning into mashed peas. My kids are now adults, my mind is only slightly mushy, and I am thrilled to have the honor of presenting my work to you!