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Otis Redding Foundation honors his legacy and those to come

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Justin Andrews is not only the director of Special Projects and Outreach at the esteemed Otis Redding Foundation, but he’s also the grandson honoring his family while holding the door open for others.

Otis Redding
Photo Courtesy: Otis Redding Foundation

The Black Wall Street Times spoke with Justin about preserving and advancing the legacy of his grandfather, the legendary “King of Soul” Otis Redding.

“My favorite artist album is Otis Blue, and one of my favorite songs is Old Man Trouble. He’s got so many hits, my favorite changes by the day,” said Justin.

He added, “Otis is one of the most powerful live performers you could ever see in your lifetime.”

Otis Redding
Singer Otis Redding performing at the Monterey Pop Festival at the Monterey Country Fairgrounds. June 17, 1967 in Monterey, California. (Photo by Elaine Mayes/Getty Images)

“He brought that pain and passion and soul into every single live performance.”

Justin says his grandfather perfected the stage performance

“Listening to him on the album and seeing him live was almost like a mirror image,” said Justin.

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He furthered, “What he did live is the exact same thing he did in the studio and everybody can’t do that.”

Ensuring his grandfather’s legacy lives on, Justin remarked, “There needs to be representation of Otis Redding throughout the year, especially in his hometown here in Macon. He influenced his generation and many after.”

Otis Redding
MACON, GEORGIA – SEPTEMBER 08: Jermaine Dupri, Karla Redding and family attend The 2nd Annual King Of Soul Music Festival In Macon, Georgia. September 08, 2023 in Macon, Georgia. (Photo by Derek White/Getty Images for the Otis Redding Foundation)

He added, “It’s important for us to feature not only artists and celebrity guests but we’re always going to make it a point to showcase these kids in our program.”

With programs such as Holiday Arts Workshop, King of Soul Music Festival, Camp Dream, Otis Music Camp, and year-round activities, there is a continuous creative outlet for the children of Macon.

Photo Courtesy: Otis Redding Foundation

“Some kids come to wanting to perform, some want to be stagehands and understand how production works. We also teach and bring people in to talk about the music industry as well.” Justin affirmed, “These kids are well-prepared.”

With a mission “to empower, enrich and motivate all young people through programs involving music and arts education”, Macon’s kids have access that can propel their creative ambitions in a multitude of directions.

“We let the kids have a full run of the show and what they want to do.”

He continued, “We listen to their input, because at the end of the day, it’s their show.”

Otis Redding
Photo Courtesy: The Otis Redding Foundation

Justin added, “We’re currently building a 13,000 square foot Performing Arts Center downtown about 500 feet from where we are now.”

Otis Redding
Photo Courtesy: The Otis Redding Foundation

He continued, “It’ll be complete with creative lab spaces, a full studio, practice rooms, amphitheater space, and more so kids can have a safe place to come in create everyday after school and on weekends.”

Keep up with The Otis Redding Foundation and check out their latest events, such as “O’Tis the Season” featuring Cee Lo Green, Saturday, December 9, 2023 at 7:00 p.m. at Capitol Theatre in Macon, GA.

Photo Courtesy: Otis Redding Foundation

Find out how you can follow and support the Otis Redding Foundation here.

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