Meet 2020 Verse5ve Iconic Award Winner: Othole
Jordan, Jackson, Schumacher, Tyson, Phelps, B. Jordan, Joseph, Faraday, W. Smith, Buble. These people have something in common. Other than being regarded as great people in their respective fields, they are also called Michael, just like the Arch-angel. There is something about the name Michael that always scream greatness, and that is no different from the Michael I am going to talk about today.
Born - in Nairobi - around the same month the country lost its first president, Michael Mukama Otieno is the second born in a family of four brothers. He went to Highridge Primary School in Parklands and then did his KCSE at Kangundo High School before joining Kenya Polytechnic to study Survey and Mapping.
It is in high school, though, that Othole, as he is well known today, would come to take an interest in music. Othole would collect any music he would get and it is no surprise that after high school, he went into production. He teamed up with three other guys and a lady and were part of a music group called NYMP. The group comprised of D-ice, who was also a producer, and it is from him that Othole picked up his first lessons in production. NYMP would later metamorphose into a production house. The group would be involved in various rap battles in night clubs and that is where Othole horned his skills as an artist.
Othole got saved in 2003, five years after he started NYMP. He took the next two years figuring out things and learning more about production. In 2005, he started doing missionary work with Book of Hope (now known as One Hope). During his free time, he made beats and gave to rappers. These rappers, mainly friends in church, formed a crew that called itself Eternal MCs. Even though Othole considers himself being better at being an artist than he is a producer, he saw a gap that needed to be filled - Talented artists who needed to be produced.
In 2009, Holy Dave referred a new artist he was mentoring to Othole. The two worked together and produced a song. Othole then went to Garissa on a mission after recording. It is while in Garissa that he started getting calls that the song had blown up. The song later became one of the biggest songs in the country and the artist is, currently, one of the biggest Christian Hip Hop artists in the country. The song, "Niko Na Reason" by Eko Dydda, is special to Othole because it was done by different studios with NYMP doing the beats, Full House doing the recording, Sakata doing the video and Kijiji doing the financing. "Niko Na Reason" opened doors for Othole, and from there, he decided to go into full time production. He has since worked with the who is who in the Christian Hip Hop space.
Othole is currently the Kenya Holy Hip Hop (KHHH) Chairman, an organization by Christian Hip Hop artists. He has been married since 2013, and is blessed with three children, two girls and a boy. The influence he has brought to the industry is immense and he joins the list of other Michaels who are great.