REXKL SESSION #1: Jam & Chill with Otam

Elly Zulaikha
July 2, 2020
2 minutes
Otam is a singer-songwriter who hailed from the heart of PJ. He mostly plays original compositions and his trademark style which is sorta funk folk, feel-good and what-ever-floats his boat at the moment, while also donning his classical nylon guitar. With a string of songs written over the years in his sleeves, Otam is undeniably one of the rare gems in Malaysia’s indie music scene. He’s also an active member of feeltupenting (FTP), a small support unit for local songwriters. 

We sat down with Otam for a quick chat and here’s his thoughts on the local music scene, COVID-19 and his aspirations.

Question #1:

Can you share with us how you or your fellow songwriters have been doing after being hit with COVID-19?

Well, for full-time musicians, I heard that they have taken odd jobs and are doing small online businesses to fulfil their [daily] commitments. A majority of them [songwriters] already have permanent jobs elsewhere. It’s just that they do music part-time even before COVID-19 happens. 

Either way, they’re still affected especially since their means of finding extra income is more difficult nowadays. 

Question #2:

What's in it for you and your fellow artists in Malaysia, post COVID-19 starts? Any future plans?

I think for future plans, we have to be able to adapt to any medium necessary to reach more listeners. It’s even more important for artists who do public performances for most of their time like street buskers. They somehow have to do it online. Or maybe prepare an emergency plan in case something like this happens again.

Personally, I also enjoyed doing public performances. To be honest, an online performance where you face the screen is not as appealing and fun compared to live performances, where you get to see the audience face-to-face. There’s [less feel] to it, you know?

Question #3:

Are you working on some new music, maybe along the lines of trying to stay positive in this tough time or maybe something completely random?

I’m always making new music. Always. If you are one of them, then making music is similar to food is for your soul. 

I’ve also been jamming with around 38 people [so far] during the MCO period. It wasn’t real-time jamming though, I got to work around some beats I received from them. But you can look for #stayhomepunbolehjamming hashtag or my Instagram account @otamonly. 

View this post on Instagram

Thank you @cassandra.laurel #stayhomepunbolehjamming

A post shared by otam (@otamonly) on

Question #4:

What is your inspiration behind Jiwa Fental?

Jiwa Fental is basically a “stubborn” person who always believes in his/her own “karya” (piece). The message of the song is just to be proud of your own style and strive for originality. 

Question #5:

Any messages or advice for people out there?

Try to chill a bit and find more reasons to laugh. 

With his charismatic performance that oozes a chilling vibe, you should not miss this one-of-a-kind event! You can watch Otam’s performance only on AirAsia REDTIX starting July 2, 2020. 


If you’d like to make a donation to any of the artists or REXKL then please feel free to do so as every little helps. You can make a donation here: Support Your Local Artists & Venue