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    21 Questions

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    Otis Junior, 28, is a musician and a new WFPK evening host. He lives in the Highlands. 

    When are you most creative?

    “Late at night or early in the morning, losing track of time alone in my windowless studio.”


    What song is stuck in your head?

    “It’s like someone has Hiatus Kaiyote’s Choose Your Weapon on shuffle up there.”


    How’d you make your first dollar?

    “Tipped by a family friend while playing his piano when I was about 13.”


    What would you do as mayor of Louisville for a day?

    “Declare a local holiday for recognizing the importance of cultivating a genuine non-romantic love in all relationships and interactions, especially the relationship within yourself.”


    Unusual job perk?

    “Genuinely affecting the lives of people I have never seen or interacted with.”


    Besides your current job, what’s the best job you’ve ever had?

    “I used to write blogs and product descriptions for a fountain-distribution website. I gained confidence in writing on-demand, with or without a profound inspiration.”


    Favorite possession?

    “My bed is one of the safest, most consistent places in my life.”


    Favorite thing on the walls at home?

    “A portrait of Bill Withers painted by one of my best friends.”


    What are you wearing?

    “Hoodie from this year’s AfroPunk festival and my favorite pair of Levis.”


    What’s on your credit-card statement?

    “Gas, gas, food, gas, food, food, food.”


    First thing on your bucket list?

    “Train trip from the East Coast to the West Coast.”


    Best book you’ve read over the past year?

    “Re-reading The Color Purple, by Alice Walker. The main theme is often lost — especially after the blockbuster movie version — but behind the obvious subjects of racism and misogyny, it is a tale of one person’s profound spiritual development that expands the reader’s idea of what it might mean to ‘know God.’”


    Biggest regret?

    “I’ve had many lessons, but no regrets.”


    What tattoos do you have?

    “Words, moon phases, birds, a bee, a diamond, an acorn, a grasshopper, compasses, a train wheel, a river landscape, and the Wicked Witch of the West’s hourglass. I think that’s it.”


    If forced to get a tattoo today, what would you get?

    “Another bird, or an octopus.”


    What three people would be on the guest list to your ideal dinner party?

    “Nina Simone, James Baldwin, the rapper Noname.”


    Do you believe in ghosts?

    “In a way. I believe every moment creates a ripple in time — like a pebble dropped in water — and the energy of that moment can be felt, or even perceived, when it’s over. There are some energetically intense moments with a ripple so strong that the moment stays on replay. That explains why people often claim to see ‘ghosts’ always doing the same thing, like walking down the same hallway. It isn’t a person; it’s an event on replay.”


    What word do you overuse?

    “‘Rich’ to describe something of great substance — e.g., ‘This book is rich in universal truths.’”


    What’s something nobody knows about you?

    “I have an insatiable late-night sweet tooth.”


    What makes somebody a Louisvillian?

    “Disdain for southern Indiana.”


    What would an Actors Theatre production about your life be called?

    Life Is But a Dream. The lyrics of ‘Row, Row, Row Your Boat’ are somewhat of a mantra for me.”


    Can’t-miss TV show?
    “Anime series Samurai Champloo.”

    Your drink?
    “Spiced black tea with almond milk.”

    Noticeable quirk?
    “Awkward smiling.”

    What interested you as a kid?

    What makes you laugh?
    “Puns and dad jokes.”

    Louisville dish?
    “Chicken shawarma, Safier.”

    What’s on your nightstand?
    “A lamp, a journal and a candle.”

    “Procrastination often outshines them all.”


    This originally appeared in the December 2019 issue of Louisville Magazine. To subscribe to Louisville Magazineclick here. To find us on newsstands, click here.

    Illustration by Shae Goodlett,

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