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"Music has to have feeling and emotion"

Otis Redding III will be performing in Benalmádena this evening.
Otis Redding III will be performing in Benalmádena this evening. / SUR
  • Otis Redding III did not realise until much later in his career that it is truly his father's talent that pulses in his veins

The son of one of the most legendary soul singers in the history of modern music is performing a one-off gig in Benalmádena this evening, Friday.

Otis Redding III, 53, whose father had worldwide hits with (Sittin' on) The Dock of the Bay and Try a Little Tenderness, will be appearing in Spain for the very first time.

Otis Redding, known as the King of Soul, left his son a musical heritage that extends far beyond the hit records for which he is famous.

An accomplished and recognised artist in his own right, Otis Redding III has been performing for more than 25 years.

Speaking to SUR in English earlier this week Redding admitted that he did not realise until much later in his career that it is truly his father's talent that pulses in his veins.

He is proud of his father's legacy, he said, and keen to keep it in the heart of today's soul music scene.

Actively involved in his family's philanthropic organisation, The Otis Redding Foundation, Otis Redding III continues the family's tradition of compassion and community contribution.

Earlier this month, Otis played two gigs in the UK and these shows were packed with old fans of his father's, as well as a younger audience who discovered soul long after his father had topped the charts.

Otis Redding III embarked on the 4,300 mile journey this week from Georgia to Malaga to perform just one gig in Spain. Tonight he will be delivering a mixture of his father's hit songs and self-penned compositions.

-What does it feel like to be the son of such a globally celebrated artist?

-Fantastic. There is no other way to describe it.

Your father is considered one of the greatest singers in the history of popular American music; how does that make you feel?

It makes me feel extremely proud, because I know how much his music meant to his fans.

Has being the son of Otis Redding made your career easier, or is there a down side to having such a celebrated father?

No, there is certainly no downside to being the son of Otis Redding. If anything, it has been an advantage and has made things so much easier for me.

What was special about your father's music?

Music has to have feeling and emotion and my father possessed this special quality.

How do you feel when you sing Dock of the Bay?

Proud and extremely honoured. Singing this song gives me the greatest pleasure out of all of my father's hits.

Are you continually compared to your father, or do people accept you for your own musical ability?

I suppose the answer would be both, if I'm honest.

You are obviously well received in America; how do European audiences react?

European audiences seem to have an equal passion. My father's music is universal, so I am received pretty much the same wherever I perform.

Do many youngsters attend your concerts, or do you tend to attract people who would remember your father?

It's pretty much a mixture of the two, but I am always amazed at the amount of younger people who cherish my father's music.

Can you sum up in one sentence what you believe your father contributed to soul/modern music?

I think this would definitely have to be the horn sound, because I have been told that my father created his own horn parts and it seems that this sound (known as the 'Stax' sound) continued long after my father's death, and it is still evident in today's music.