Focusing on music, poetry, animation and film as a means of documenting journeys of introspection, Otis aims to demonstrate the personal and political power of vulnerable expression through his work. His work takes influence from the rhythmic and expressive freedom of Jazz, using aesthetic language as an instrument to navigate themes of racial identity, masculinity and coming-of-age.
Building on earlier work and his tenure as Sheffield’s first Poet Laureate in 2018, the Live Work Fund will enable Otis to move forward with his #OtisMensahExists project; which utilises music and animation to address existential angst in the digital age.
During 2021, Otis will explore alternate mediums of live performance in a Covid-19 world and embark on a new journey of releasing his debut album. Through his creative practice and collaboration with Northern musicians and filmmakers, Otis hopes to exhibit the aesthetic and intellectual validity of Hip-Hop.