Connect with us


Against All Odds With Hot Lotto

Winning it big in the music industry is nearly impossible…The numbers say so. Statistically speaking, less than 1% of people will successfully build their passion into a business, but 2021 has been a paramount year for the music industry as waves of new artists catapult onto social media platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok to promote their music.


Stefan Ekobena, better known as Hot Lotto, is an independent artist from Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, who against all odds launched his own music career in 2021 after being behind bars for 5 years. Even after incarceration, Stefan Ekobena accepted the sentence and used the time to hone his skills and master his craft.


In this exclusive interview, I get to share with you Stefan Ekobena’s story on how against all odds he went from being locked behind bars into a successful, independent artist.


Tell us your story and how you’ve started, what made you choose this path.


“My name is Stefan Ekobena, better known as Hot Lotto. I’m an artist born and raised in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. A second generation American, my parents hailed from Cameroon, West Africa. As a child, I loved playing soccer and listening to music. I would constantly write songs in my notebooks but never got them recorded. After high school, I moved to Washington, DC and attended Howard University with intentions of becoming an attorney. One day, I was walking past a recording studio near my school and the owner convinced me to buy some studio time. I went inside and laid down my first song. At that moment, I learned my purpose in life was to make music.


I began only rapping but over time expanded my talents to include singing, production, and playing guitar. I released my first single “Juiced” which became a regional hit in the DMV (DC, MD, VA). After building a slight buzz, I decided to put my school on hold and move to Atlanta. My momentum continued when Young Thug decided to feature on the remix for my song “Juiced”. I continued to elevate and it seemed everything was in my favor. Unfortunately, my success was short-lived. Mistakes from my past had caught up with me and I was indicted on conspiracy charges related to bank fraud and money laundering. Although it was my first time finding myself in this kind of trouble, the judge played no games and ordered me to serve 5 ½ years in federal prison. At that point, I felt like my dreams were set on fire and it was all over, but little did I know, it was only the beginning.


After my release in May 2020, I walked out of prison with plans to hit the ground running. Instead, I was met with the several challenges including the coronavirus pandemic, the world in protest, and the painful loss of my father. Absolutely nothing was going in my favor and I was against all odds but instead of giving up, I persevered. I locked myself in the studio for days at a time and never stopped recording. I am now working on my EP which I plan to release by the end of Summer. I recently released the first single “Fly Like Goku” which is a tribute to my favorite Anime Dragon Ball Z. The song has received exceptional reviews from my fans and they are excited to hear what comes next. I will maintain this momentum and deliver beyond my fans’ expectations. I am confident, focused, and ready to take over the world. Nothing can stop me. Hot Lotto is the FUTURE.”


What makes you stand out within your industry? Why are you unique?


“I’m able to relate to so many people from different backgrounds. From a prestigious university to a federal prison, I’ve interacted with many different individuals and listened to so many different stories. I’m able to put their perspectives into my music and share their feelings. Whether or not you’re from the Trenches of the Bronx or you’re a rich kid from the suburbs, my music will speak to you. I have a diverse and intricate musical selection. You never know what you’re going to get when you hear my music, but one thing is for sure, you will NOT be disappointed.”


What were the biggest challenges you have faced and how did you overcome them?


“After returning home from prison, I found myself venturing into a completely different industry. The game had changed, the rules were different, and I was lost in the sauce. There were pros and cons to this new industry. I saw it as a blessing for upcoming artists to have the ability to release new music with such ease, but it also backfired on those with great music who end up getting eclipsed by subpar material cluttering the social media platforms. Many artists are under pressure to maintain presence on social media and end up sacrificing their character and the quality of their music. I plan to counter this by staying true to myself and continuing to tell my story rather than following trends and waiting to hop on the next wave.


Did prison harden your resolve to launch your music career?


“While serving my 5-year sentence in federal prison, I taught myself how to play the guitar and piano. Instead of giving up and feeling bad about my past mistakes, I used my time behind bars to elevate my craft. I told myself that it was only the beginning. Everything in life happens for a reason so I had to make the best out of my situation. Had I not gone through that experience, I would possess nowhere near the amount of talent and drive that I have today.”


What piece of advice do you wish someone had given you at the start of your career?


My advice would be to stay true to yourself and create music that you enjoy. Don’t just follow the trends and make music you think people want to hear. Be your own self and do what YOU want to do.


Where can people find you on social media?





Karishhma Mago is a former investment banker turned digital marketer. She has been in the digital marketing industry for over 6 years and has worked with clients across different sectors including Volkswagen Finance, Natera, Reliance, Standard Chartered amongst others. She has also done special content projects for Facebook. Karishhma is also a Wikipedia editor and has created over 300 pages for her clients. After founding Facilius Inc in 2014, she has helped grow the company from a two-person team to a dynamic team of 30 people.

Advertisement Become A Crypto Expert

Join Disrupt Magazine

Become A Disrupt Contributor

Most Disruptive

Entrepreneurship8 months ago

Navy Veteran Davis Chris Takes the Music Industry by storm

In life, you need to break down anything that might be holding you back and change course if need be...

Entrepreneurship8 months ago

5 Disruptive Leaders Paving the Way in 2021

Where there is uncertainty, lies a whirlwind of opportunity. 2020 was the year that had entrepreneurs learn a great deal...

Politics1 year ago

Brock Pierce Wants To Disrupt The Two Party System And Be Your Next President

We don’t usually cover politics much here at Disrupt, but when Crypto billionaire and friend of the show, Brock Pierce...

Business1 year ago

John Mcafee – Predictions For The Future

John McAfee is a world-famous tech CEO, computer scientist, civil disobedience activist, privacy advocate, and pioneer of the commercial anti-virus...

Finance1 year ago

Gaby Wall Street – Teaching Latinas to Thrive During The Crisis

It’s no secret we are facing one of the most challenging financial times of the last few decades as we...

Entrepreneurship1 year ago

Tony Delgado – The #1 Entrepreneurship Movement In Puerto Rico

Puerto Rican online market is in constant progress. With many entrepreneurs who are coming here to start a business, it...

Entrepreneurship2 years ago

Elena Cardone – The 10X Ladies Conference Is Declaring 2020 The Decade For Women

The next ten years are meant for women to continue growing their potential and succeeding in multiple areas, including business....

Marketing2 years ago

How Josh Elizetxe Built Snow Into a $40 Million Dollar Business

There is nothing quite like an entrepreneur’s determination when starting a business. That’s my original quote by the way (pun...

Entrepreneurship2 years ago

How Jason Capital Became A Self Made Millionaire By 24

Have you ever wanted to earn the respect of everyone who ever looked down on you at some point in...

Entrepreneurship2 years ago

Sam Bakhtiar On His Way To A Quarter Billion

Dr. Saman Bakhtiar, who prefers being referred as Sam, lives in an 8200 square foot $5.2 million house, Sam is...


Copyright © 2020 Disrupt ™ Magazine - Disrupt is a Minority Owned Privately Held Company

Disrupt ™ is the voice of Latino entrepreneurs around the world. We are part of a global movement to increase diversity in the technology industry and we are focused on using entrepreneurship to grow new economies in underserved communities around the world. We enable millennials to become what they want to become in life by learning new skills and leveraging the power of the digital economy. We are living proof that all you need to succeed in this new economy is a landing page and a dream. Disrupt tells the stories of the world top entrepreneurs, developers, creators, and digital marketers and help empower them to teach others the skills they used to grow their careers, chase their passions and create financial freedom for themselves, their families, and their lives, all while living out their true purpose. We recognize the fact that most young people are opting to skip college in exchange for entrepreneurship and real-life experience. This Podcast was designed to give them a taste of that.