Caught On-side: Switch OTR

Jonathan Tomlinson

Caught On-Side


Switch OTR is a rapper, singer and songwriter from Croydon. Born and raised in the south of London where the likes of Stormzy and Krept & Konan originate from, Switch grew up surrounded by the grime scene.

Making music for just two years, the rate in which Switch has come onto the scene and dominated hasn’t come as a big surprise. A talented newcomer who went hugely viral on TikTok and has had a whirlwind of a year, Switch has quickly solidified himself as an artist to watch for 2022. A big Man United fan, we met up with Switch and talked about his music career so far.

Talk me through your upbringing and how this influenced your decision to make a career from music?

My upbringing didn’t necessarily play a part in my decision to start making music, as this career only became a consistent hobby in the last recent years. Football had been the heart of my childhood, participating in Sunday league’s and being heavily invested in Manchester United as a youngster slowly outgrew overtime once I picked up a knee injury during my secondary years in education. Once I transferred to my new college, I was surrounded by peers who were rather interested in music and this completely caught my heavy attention, since I enjoy the process behind writing songs.

Being from Croydon, I’m sure you had lots of influences - who are your inspirations?

If I’m honest, growing up in Croydon necessarily didn’t allow the opportunity for me to fully open my eyes and take in certain icons or positive role models in general, whether they were Croydon homegrown or internationally big, as the environment I was surrounded by was mainly toxic. I must say individuals like Krept & Konan, Stormzy and SL being someone who I’ve been even quite close with, demonstrated how possible success is growing up in a congested, toxic and stereotyped environment.

What’s your first memory of football?

My first memory of football is when I went to attend my first training for my local team. A lot of the boys had been close already as they would trauma together back to back every week, so I felt like an outcast at first but I made a decent first impression with my performance. This kind of gave the boys a little reason to start engaging in conversation and introduce themselves.

Is your music influenced by football in any way?

Yeah, I’d say football has played a key role in my music as I attended many trials for various clubs but got nowhere with it, my passion gave me a chance to be true to myself once I reached the age of 15 and realised I cannot continue to be ignorant with myself and believe I could reach the professional level, especially considering I had been playing with an ongoing injury. Since then, I fell out of love with the game of football and used that neglect to appreciate the difficult decision I took to elevate my future.

Who’s your team and why? 

Manchester United has always been my team since the day I was born. Growing up and watching so many icons on TV play for the club over these years has always been enjoyable as you never know what to expect from these games back then till now. My dad has always been a heavy United supporter and I have carried the energy since. 

Do you think that footballers and musicians have a similar way of thinking?

Yeah, no doubt about that. I think this question mainly relates to the younger generation in the entertainment industry as we’re all expected to carry and conduct ourselves in a specific way due to the fact of us being seen as role models to our younger audience, so the behaviours from both sides of entertainment are conjoined.

Listen to Switch OTR - Coming for You (Remix).

Photography: Jonathan Tomlinson

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