Cito was born in Los Angeles, California on the 18th of July 1974 as Martin Rafael Otto. Most of his childhood was spent in a Hispanic Christian community in New York City. Both parents influenced Cito with their musical abilities - especially with the Spanish guitar. Up until his teenage years he acquired most of his singing experience through his church upbringing. For missionary purposes his family immigrated to South Africa where Cito continued his high school education. His musical interests took over most of his attention. Cito started composing songs and music and was involved in several bands. When he left high school he joined a ten-piece classic R&B outfit called Heart & Soul as bassist. A year later he left the band and started his own rock band called Moonchild. He then joined 8 Legged Groove Machine, a funk rock band, as lead vocalist.
In 1996 WONDERboom was conceived. Headlining festivals and releasing chart-topping hits, WONDERboom’s fan base grew. They were nominated five times for Best Rock album at the SAMA awards. In 2004 Wonderboom won Best South African Rock Band for the Global Battle of the Bands and went on to achieve second Best Rock Band in the World at the finals in London. WONDERboom have just released their eighth album, The Automatic Shuffle.
In 2004, Cito formed an acoustic side project called Absinthè with Sugardrive frontman Paul E Flynn and best friend, Paulo Rego. Debut album, a Rendezvous at Nirvana was released in December, 2010.
In 2006, Cito was cast for the role of Jesus of Nazareth in the Pieter Toerien production of Jesus Christ Superstar, directed by Paul W Griffin. The production ran for 20 weeks in SA, with Cito singing at every performance. A bigger production of JCS toured Greece & Korea in 2007 and was received with great appreciation. Unsurprisingly, Cito was nominated for a Naledi Award as Best Newcomer in the South African theatre 2007. In 2008, the musical theatre stage saw Cito perform a lead role again as Frederick Trumper with Pieter Toerien’s new production of Chess, The Musical which boasted full houses throughout the run. Due to popular demand, JCS was brought back to the SA stage in 2011 with Cito’s reprise of the lead role. Again, receiving rave reviews.
Cito is also the founder of Peace Starts, an independent, non-profit, event organization that promotes the International Day of Peace, a United Nations’ commemorated day dedicated to peace, which falls on the 21st of September. Peace Starts is endorsed by Peace One Day and the International Day of Peace.
He also runs his own recording studio where he composes, produces and does sound design for radio and TV.
Cito is also currently working on his highly-anticipated first solo album.