Otto & The Mutapa Calling is a lively London based marimba band playing energetic, joyful folk music from Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe, alongside popular southern African covers and Otto's own original songs. The band's setup includes soprano, tenor and baritone marimbas, mbira, hosho, drumming and singing with traditional and contemporary dances.
Born and bred in Botswana, Otto started playing the marimba at the age of 11. He continued to play marimba music throughout his secondary school years, studying under marimba pioneer and composer, Alport Mhlanga. He played in the school band until he left Botswana in 2003, having performed widely in Botswana and South Africa.
After relocating to Sweden, Otto joined Zimba Marimba Band, a high energy marimba band specialising in the music, dance and traditions of the Shona people of Zimbabwe. With Zimba, through the great initiative of Peta Axelsson, Otto got to delve deeply into the music of Zimbabwe; learning from and performing with an array of internationally acclaimed musicians; working on marimba, mbira, dance and drumming, with performances in and around Scandinavia, Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa, Zimbabwe and the United States of America. Highlights include performances for the King and Queen of Sweden in 2003, ZimFest in the USA in 2004, and being specially invited to perform at HIFA - Harare International Festival of the Arts - in 2007.
Otto moved to London in 2010 after graduating, and played with acts and artists including Chedu, Flame Lily Arts, Afriquoi and Tsungai Tsikirai. In 2016, Otto quit his job as a project manager to pursue a full time career in music. With almost 20 years of experience, and a need for his own voice, Otto decided to put together his band, Otto & The Mutapa Calling, to perform a collection of his own original material as well as arrangements of the folk songs he grew up listening to and playing.
In July 2018, Otto and the band released their debut album, Mvura Ichanaya, released under Otto's name, which is available on all major online stores.