Indie rock artist Otan Vargas has recently released ‘Origins’ – a six song EP, produced by Johnny April of Staind.  Best known for his acoustic work, Vargas brought in guest musicians for this special production featuring Rich Mollo (CHARETTA) on bass guitar, Dom Barranco on drums/percussion and Cody Bryden (SAKARA) on electric guitar.  ‘Origins’ has an organic live-sounding quality, with limited overdubbing.  The eerie rumblings of Otan’s cries in “Cloudless Sky” are riveting in their raw emotion as he declares, “I threw my life away!”  This, followed by the warning “Can’t follow me.”

Otan Vargas’ appeal is found in his deep, gravelly vocals backed by brooding guitar melodies. This powerfully simplistic combination, layered with candid lyrics, is a style akin to acts such as Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, and Staind.  Otan is a Filipino born artist who first received recognition in 2009 when Staind frontman Aaron Lewis discovered him on YouTube covering one of his songs.  Lewis later invited Vargas onstage at The Music Box Borgata Hotel and Casinos to perform Staind’s “It’s Been Awhile.”  His heartfelt rendition that night elicited a standing ovation from the crowd.  

 {sidebar id=8}Later that year, Vargas would release his full length debut album entitled ‘Alone.’   Recorded with just his vocals and acoustic guitar and primarily done in one take, the album displays Vargas’ strengths as an up and coming singer/songwriter.  “Otan Vargas sings about enduring suffering, battling the voices within, and trying to find a constant peace for his soul” ~ The Silver Tongue, Dec. 2009.  In 2011, Vargas would make another noteworthy appearance performing on stage alongside Aaron Lewis, Corey Taylor of Slipknot/Stone Sour, Tesla and Lo-Pro at the It Takes a Community benefit concert.  

Otan’s honesty is one of the factors that has captivated so many of his devoted fans.  In 2013, he released his ‘Selected Sorrow’ EP.  The EP contained “Hollow Destination” - an aching lost-soul song which was featured in the documentary film ‘Battlefield of the Mind’.  Produced by Fran Strine (Pantera, Staind, Five Finger Death Punch, Seether), the documentary offered a soundtrack including artists such as Mike Mushok of Staind, Pete Murray of Lo Pro, Otan Vargas and others.  He would later perform at the Battlefield of the Mind live event in Los Angeles, sharing the stage with David Ellefson of Megadeth, Troy McLawhorn of Evanescence, Sal G of Staind, Eye Empire, and Lo Pro.

Vargas’ latest release ‘Origins’ is available now on iTunes, Amazon and Google Play.  Pete Murray (White Noise Owl/Lo-Pro ) accurately describes the overall feel of the recording by stating, "Johnny April's sonic mastery of the earth rumbling end of the sonic spectrum creates the perfect backdrop to Otan's haunting, honest, gut wrenching song writing."           

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