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Aspiring valleys singer wins recording deal with award-winning artist

An aspiring musician from the South Wales valleys has won a global competition to work with a legendary music icon.

Christian Punter, 22, from Ferndale in the Rhondda valleys, has beaten off stiff competition from thousands of other budding musicians around the world to win $6,000 and a recording deal with award-winning artist, producer and ‘Eurythmics’ cofounder, Dave Stewart.

The talented singer-songwriter, who performs under the stage name ‘Otto’, won the prize after impressing Dave Stewart with his song writing capabilities and is now set to release a collaboration with the star on Stewart’s very own record label.

To enter the competition, the former Coleg y Cymoedd music learner had to add his own music to a track recorded by Stewart –  his unique blend of layered guitar chords, vocal harmonies and looped drum patterns saw him scoop the top prize.

Chrisitan will now work directly with Stewart on the song to be released as a single. Over the last few weeks, the talented young Welshman has shared numerous phone calls, video calls and emails with the star to finalise the track. He will see his collaboration released under Stewart’s brand-new LA-based record label, Bay Street Records, in the coming months.

Christian said: “Winning the Trackd song writing competition has been absolutely incredible and is an amazing next step in my career as an artist. Dave Stewart has had a very successful career working with some of the best artists in the industry such as Annie Lennox, Bob Dylan and Mick Jagger so I’m honoured to be working with him.

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“I can’t believe that my next song is going to be released on a proper label and I’m excited for everyone to hear the track we have collaborated on. I hope I’ll be able to work with Stewart again in the future.”

Before winning the competition, ‘Otto’ had already been making waves for himself in the music industry, having gained national radio airplay for several of his original songs, including his highly acclaimed single ‘The Boxer’ – the lead track from his debut EP ‘Post’ – which was A-listed on BBC Radio Wales for five weeks.

‘Post’, which was produced by Charlie Frances – a producer who has worked with artists like REM and The Noisettes – has also been nominated for Best EP at the 2020 Cardiff Music Awards.

Having always been passionate about music, Christian began busking in Cardiff and playing at local music spots while completing a diploma in Music Technology at Coleg y Cymoedd. After finishing college, he continued to pursue music as a full-time career, performing live at a range of venues in London as well as numerous festivals including ‘How the Light Gets In’ and ‘Live on the Wye.’

Following his competition win, Otto is now spending lockdown working on a new EP in his bedroom.

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