The Music Biography of MisterClassics
Otis B. McDowell a.k.a MisterClassics: Producer, Songwriter, and Indie Entrepreneur from Atlanta, Georgia, whose fascination with music as a child evolved him into being a producer who is known for how he composes his bass-heavy type songs with percussive drums, cadenced snares, heavy kicks, synths and pianos selections, and catchy hook writing, topped off with a smooth rhythmic flowing style of rap patterns, and special effects. Sounds like a nice treat doesn't it???
As a small child he acquired the love of music through his parents, who were not musicians but just simply loved great music. He was exposed to different styles of 70's soul music to the point that later on he eventually became attached to loving music himself. At the cost of not leaving out any names of the classic greats, to give an idea of what type of music was listened to came from the era's of the 60's through the 90's, which meant a transition from blues, rock, soul, R&B, jazz, gospel, and then rap music.
His inspiration for music would happen in a different manner from the way that his parents were music lovers, he would end up being passionate about creating his own music. At the age of 8, his Mom, his Stepfather, his Sister, and Himself moved from Decatur Georgia, to one of the largest housing projects in Atlanta Georgia, the "Perry Homes Housing Projects". He transferred to Clara Maxwell Pitts Elementary School at the third grade. Every day after school the drum band led by one of the music teachers Mr. Thompson, would be rehearsing. Otis was fascinated by the dynamic sound of the band. His best friend and himself at the time would standby and listen to the cadence from the band. The people in the band was enough members to make up a drum set. Also in addition to that, his mom bought him an small organ from the flea market, then later on, a new Casio SK-1 sampling Keyboard (he was the first and only to own one in the entire community), and then later a new Yamaha keyboard. So his mom was how he was able to write and produce at 8, mimicking and playing hip hop, and r&b songs by ear.
Otis ended up being a member of that band and history began. The only problem was he didn't have the money to get himself a drum to become a playing component to the band, until one day leaving home from school he walked home alone. There was a pathway that led from the houses that were on the backside of the projects leading into the projects, and walking through that pathway Otis, discovered the body of a Tom drum (black marble in color) with no heads on it he noticed that the top rim and the bolts where all intact so he took the drum home and gave his grandmother a call about him wanting to be in the band. So his grandmother picked him up on the weekend and they took the drum body and went to Mechanicsville in Atlanta to an instrument shop and she bought him the drum head, a drum key tool, a pair of mallets, and a shoulder strap for the drum. They went back to his grandmothers house where he rebuilt the tom drum and modified it into a bass drum. The following Monday after school, let's just say there was a very special low end kick added to that band. The Band performed at special events that the principle held for the school, one of them was called "Mayday". It was day that gave the kids and the teachers a break and to have fun all day at school. No classes were held on this day.
The drum band program came to and end, but Otis soon found that there was a strings class at the elementary school held by an instructor named Mr. Brown. He (in the 5th grade at this time) chose the upright bass as his choice (the school only had one) where he learned to play sheet music (playing music by reading notes) and also played with and without the bow. Mr. Brown took his students on numerous field trips to the "Atlanta Symphony" a historical and well known event that takes place in Atlanta to this very day. These events expanded horizons showing the youth how to grow into their own creativity with the art of music. Otis played in the strings for a year.
But what inspired him even more was two things, his Sister exposing him more to the sound hip-hop, and finding out later on down the line during a conversation with his late stepfather, that Otis was actually living in the same housing community and went to the same schools that Gladys Knight did some time ago. Otis just happened to grow up in a community where he was able to see celebrities that actually came to visit Samuel Howard Archer High School, with Pitts Elementary School being right next door. One day he was at school and suddenly all of the elementary school students were immediately called on the intercom to assemble outside.
When Otis went outside there was what appeared to look like a tour bus parked outside in front of the high school, to his surprise he got to witness every member of New Edition exit that bus and going into the high school. Otis graduated from Pitts Elementary to attend at Samuel Archer High School where he continued his journey doing music in the orchestra, and marching band, where he played the tuba. He continued to be inspired by a number of celebrities that visited the school there after such as The Fat Boys, DJ Quick, and Jeffrey Osborne. He also was a part of a singing group who name themselves "4 AM" who became popular at the high school, and were always invited to sing at assembly programs and events that the High School held, they would perform cover songs by Boys to Men, and New Edition, and they also went on to write their own song entitled "What's On Your Mind".
For MisterClassics, when it comes to having those eureka moments when it comes to writing and making music, it's a natural reflex triggered from the love of creating music, ideas, emotions, accomplishments, motivations from either a good or bad experience, from visions of him seeing himself living out his dreams, (even when things don't go well), and from valuable lessons that were taught to him by individuals whom he considered to be very special people, who were brought into his life who left golden nuggets of knowledge around for him to learn and grow, and become greater from. That inspiration is where most of the quotes he writes in his music comes from.
Along side the celebrities that visited his high school in his community, MisterClassics style of music is derived from Musicians, Singers, Rappers, and Entrepreneurs that would have some influence on the style of music that he would make and what type of businessman he would be. This roster of legends consisted of Ray Charles, Stevie wonder, Michael Jackson, James Brown, Otis Redding, Gladys Knight, Rick James, the Isley Brothers, Earth, Wind, and Fire, Run DMC, Tupac, UGK, E40, Scarface, Sheila E, Prince, Jermaine Jackson, Magic Mike (the king of manipulating the 808 bass sound), LL Cool J, N.W.A, Kid n' Play, Too Live Crew, Dr. Dre, Too Short, Spice 1, Slim Thug, Notorious Big, Ghetto Boyz, Pimp C, J Prince, and Master P.
MisterClassics rap style is similar to such rap artists such as Scarface, Tupac, Pimp C, Slim Thug, Z-Ro and Trae the Truth. Every now and then if the song calls for it, you may hear a hook where he is singing here and there through his songs. He has a deep voice but if he needs to go a few octaves up when it comes to harmonizing he can get the job done. (No, not like Mariah Carey)...
As far as his music, he describes it as a Southern Style Rap music, so the closest description to the way his music sounds will be a combination of the sounds of rap and hip hop from the 80' and 90's, but with a modern day spin. You may find an orchestral feel, there may be some contemporary rock, a fanfare may sneak out, and then you also may find some R&B, even some jazz, but still with the bass heavy feel with the pop from the cadenced snares, and thump from the kicks, with the closed hi hats and every now and then the rides and crash cymbals to bring along with the proper effects.