Friday, September 22, 2023

Live at Lunch: Otlo


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Story by Destiny Mizell | Assistant Lifestyles Editor

Photos by Lauren Harwood | Photographer

Every day during lunch hour, hundreds of hungry students pile into the Middle Tennessee State University’s Student Union Building. To add some entertainment to what is the typically dreaded Monday, MTSU’s Student Programming & Raider Entertainment office, SPARE, has decided to host student performances every other Monday in the SU Atrium as of Sept. 19. 

This week, MTSU Junior and Audio Production major Preston Bearden, who creates music under the stage name Otlo, performed an hour long set for the students, staff and everyone in between. 

Otlo performed at the MTEngage Fest, but said that this Live at Lunch event was his first full-length performance. Prior to performing, he felt both nervous and excited. 

“What pushes me through that is my love for my craft and my desire to share it with the world. It’s just something I’ve got to get used to,” he said.

After the show, Otlo said he felt very fulfilled, “I feel very grateful to be in a setting where people around me want to help me pursue my goals. To be performing the music I created in my bedroom at 4 a.m. in the Student Union is a dream come true for me.”

Otlo has been experimenting with making his own music for three years now. It has always been a lifelong goal for him. Despite the initial intimidation, he is persistent in his career as a musician. 

Otlo and band performing. (Photo by Lauren Harwood.)

On stage, Otlo described his sound as “dreamy lofi music”. He is heavily inspired by the artists Cuco and Dayglow. 

“From hearing them [Cuco and Dayglow], I fell in love with the alternative-dream-pop genre and DIY music.”

The majority of the songs he played were from his eight track debut album, “Woozy”, with some from the sophomore album he is releasing after. Otlo threw in some of his singles to play as well. Out of all of these songs, his favorite to perform was “But a Dream.”

When he has new music or updates, he always updates his Instagram and website. His music can be found on SoundCloud under the name Otlo, and his Instagram handle is @otlomusic. 

To contact Lifestyles Editor Ethan Pickering, email

For more news, visit, or follow us on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines or on Twitter at @Sidelines_News 

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