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Can't Take The Ocean Out Of Me

Billy Otto

A love song to Mother Ocean, an anthem for protection of our coastline, a celebration of the intrinsic connection to our oceanic source.

About The Artist

“Billy Otto is a Byron Bay based singer-songwriter, record producer, mental health advocate, surfer and environmental activist. With his confessional lyrics, sun-drenched vocals and earnest desire to inspire his audiences, it doesn’t take long to feel enamoured with the exquisite, ethereal sound he’s crafted over the past seven years.

Having sold out his last Australian headline tour in early 2021, his coastal sonic lands somewhere between Radiohead and Tame Impala; his thrilling live show landing him support shows for the likes of Yumi Zouma and Kyle Lionhart.

Having performed his music in over 40 countries with his passionate Malaysian smile, his heart for the environment is strong, and his music and activist voice has been used for environmental campaigns in collaboration with the Surfrider Foundation. Recently his song “Can’t Take The Ocean Out Of Me” was harnessed for a monumental nationwide paddle-out campaign to protect the South Australian coastline from irresponsible oil drilling. The song was picked up by Patagonia for their latest activist documentary and played live to over 10,000 people in 2019 alone.

Billy has been privileged to collaborate with members from iconic Australian bands such as The Temper Trap, Gang of Youths, Sticky Fingers and The Beautiful Girls”.

Why I Wrote This Song

I was initially asked to write a song for the Surfrider Foundation in their initiative to Fight For The Bight. The organisers of the Torquay campaign desired to have an eco-anthem, a love song for Mother Ocean that could serve as a battle-cry around the coastline gatherings of Australia.

I was staying at friend Isabel Lucas’s house in Byron Bay, and in my deeply inspired state I wrote the track in one morning.

I grew up surfing, camping and fishing as young boy in Lake Macquarie. I’ve always felt a deep intrinsic connecting with the natural world from a young age. My relationship with Mother Ocean feels symbiotic and so I really want to use my platform and craft to serve where I can.

It just seems that world by and large has no idea of the irreversible damage that we’ve done to the fragile oceanic systems of the world. And there are solutions, and we need to be talking about renewable energy and our need to see ourselves as not above nature, but part of nature. I feel like it’s my calling to make songs about this great awakening, and to let people know that we don’t to point the finger at the fossil fuel giants or government leaders; the work must begin firstly in our hearts.

Environmental Organisations I Admire

I’m an Ambassador for the Surfrider Foundation Australia and Varuna Surfboards. I’ve collaborated with Patagonia on a short film called “Head of The Bight.” I’ve also been part of a video campaign for Greenpeace, called “Letter To Scotty.” I’ve performed at a Greening Australia event, and been part of their environmental film about the Australian east coast. I’ve performed for a large Sapphire Project event in 2021. I’m very passionate about Great Barrier Reef Conservation.

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