Pete Orta On Creating A Pure Music Brand

Part 1 of 2.  An exclusive interview by frequent Hypebot contributor Kyle Bylin. (read part 2 here)

Pete Orta
is the Chief Creative Officer at marketing and branding firm Orta Universal, but is known more famously for the role he played as the guitar player for the Christian rock band Petra.  During his career as a musician he was awarded such honors as three Grammy nominations, leading to a win in the year 2000.

Q: Once a band gains momentum and starts firing on all cylinders, they forget that there’s a point where they will be stopped and they will need to have something to say.  Why is it so important to have a message that reflects your mission as an artist?Pete_orta_2

Orta:  Because the world is looking for something bigger than themselves to believe in. Look throughout history and you will find that the mission has always dwarfed the man. The mission should be threaded through everything you do. It should. Without a message you’re as good as a life guard that can’t swim. Our responsibility as artistic souls is to resolve the tension in the music of life. Answer the questions that are in our way, and if even sometimes if not most of the time, just relating can create a miracle in someone’s life. If your mission doesn’t haunt you at night, what you do during the day is just a hobby.

Q:  Whether you’re The White Stripes, Prince, Brittany Spears, or Bob Dylan, what are the most important lessons to be learned from the mantra "If you can’t fix it, feature it" when it comes to defining yourself as an artist?

Orta:  If you don’t do some deep soul searching and define yourself, the world will do it for you, and you’ll find yourself…

fighting their conclusion the rest of your life. You must spiritually
dip yourself into the acid of truth and strip down to the bare medal.
This baptism will expose every flaw, and leave you naked in the garden
of your arena. By nature we want to cover up, but what we don’t realize
is that the world sees something beautiful. The beauty is in the
authentic. People are looking for someone like themselves, broken,
flawed but still can defy all odds. Absolute vulnerability is the only
way to achieve what I call, a "Pure Brand", the real you.

Q:  Why is it crucial that an artist communicates all pieces of
brand conviction and drive a belief system deep inside their community?

Orta: Never do anything unless it’s a conviction. It won’t
work! Your mission is like giving birth, and conviction is God’s
natural adrenaline to dull the pain a little. And I do mean a little.
It numbs you through the hard times, and keeps you feeling like a
soldier when the world tries to take your heart. If you don’t have
conviction you will feel every punch of adversity. If you do have
conviction, you will fight your way up the ranks  to triumph your
giant. The world will watch and hope will be birthed.


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  1. Absolutely stunning interview from a music insider. And here I thought they all were horrible douche bags like Chad Kroeger. There is hope in this world.

  2. To say Pete Orta is “famous” for his time in Petra is a stretch. Orta was in the band during a time period where the most notable guitarist (and band founder) Bob Hartman stepped away. Nothing personal against Orta, but this would be similar to saying Ricky Fataar was a famous member of the Beach Boys. He was in the band, for certain, but hardly part of their enduring legacy. Maybe Orta’s done something to solidify his case as an insider, but I’m missing it in his bio if he has.

  3. @Dan–Having written the lead for the piece, I am sorry if you feel that it incorrectly identifies the role Pete played in Petra, but this interview highlights his philosophies on branding and not his level of involvement in the legacy of the band. I may have unknowingly eluded to the idea without having a strong enough grasp on the bands history, for that I apologize.

  4. @Dan- Doing music sense the age of four. Recording at the age of 15. 3 Grammy Nominations, A Grammy win in the year 2000 with a single that hit the radio waves that I wrote and sung on. Several guitars in the Hard Rock Cafe’s around the world, inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, a Dove nomination for my solo record, movie sound tracks, 2 Gold records, World Tours, written, played, sung or produced music with Jaci Velasquez, Michael W. Smith, Chris Rodrigues, Tammy Trent, Tommy Sims, Rachael Lampa to name a few and Dan thinks I need to solidify myself in the music business. Dan, grow up and find something of value to do with your life.
    Pete Orta

  5. What an incredible interview. Pete Orta’s wisdom and insight is beyond his years. Dan should pay closer attention to the content in the article (he might learn something) instead of trying to figure out if Pete was worthy of the interview.
    Great call Hypebot and kudos to you Pete Orta! I’ve seen you play live and you are incredible. Clearly one of the worlds greatest guitar players.

  6. I try to let things roll on Hypebot, but when comments include obscenities and personal attacks, I draw the line. Thus I have deleted a number of comments above.
    And I thank Pete Orta for sharing his insights with the Hyepbot community.

  7. Dear Bruce: Thanks for keeping things clean on hypebot, but Orta’s snipe at Dan Gibson felt like a personal attack as well. Telling him to get a life? I didn’t read Gibson’s remarks as questioning Orta as a musician, but questioning Orta being famous as the guitarist in the Christian band, Petra. Given Orta’s snide remark, he certainly wasn’t famous for being a Christian … in the band Petra. Maybe both sides needed some editing. That being said, I’ve read some horrible comments at other sites, and I appreciate you trying to keep it “above the line of despair.”

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