by Harleen Kaur Dhillon
Canada’s own country rockstar returned to Kitchener for a concert. Tebey Solomon Ottoh, a country-pop singer-songwriter and performer arrived in the Centre in the Square in Kitchener on Nov. 12 and performed alongside other artists for Tim Hick’s Get Loud tour.
The concert also included artists Tim Hicks and Madeline Merlo. Tebey introduced some of his new songs, but interspersed them with classics that fans would recognize and be able to sing along with.
“[There was] a lot of energy! I rarely stand still on stage. I truly give the audience everything I have every night. […] I’ve been releasing music for a while now, and have been lucky enough to have quite a few radio hits. It’s always great when you can play songs people know and can sing along to,” Ottoh said.
Ottoh has had many chart-toppers over the years, including Somewhere in the Country and Wake Me Up (most played country songs in Canada 2013 and 2014 respectively). One of the most loved songs was the 2004 single We Shook Hands (Man to Man), which became a Top 5 hit.
Some of Ottoh’s new songs include Denim on Denim, Who’s Gonna Love You, and Alone Together. Each song has a unique perspective and musical elements, with changes in melody, tone, and mood.
“Every song is inspired in a different way. Sometimes it comes from a phrase, or a melodic idea, or even a groove. I just try and write the best songs possible,” Tebey said. “I grew up listening to all different kinds of music. And to this day I’m a fan of all genres. I love experimenting when I’m writing songs or working on a new album. I don’t think music should be put inside a box and confined to a certain genre,” he said.
Ottoh is back recently from a hiatus in his career.
What was initially thought to be just a break, turned out to be a much-needed respite to deal with depression and anxiety. In a Facebook post, he opened up about his struggles within the music industry and the mental toll it was taking on him.
“The music business is just that, a business. Making music is the fun part,” he said “The rest of it can be very stressful and draining (if I’m honest). […] Sometimes you just need a break from things in life, and for me it was a much-needed break from the music industry. But now I’m back and couldn’t be happier,” Ottoh said.