I was actually on facebook when this friend told me to listen to this brandnew upcoming artist from Jamaica. An artist with his own touch, his own sense on music. Interesting. Then this same friend told me he could introduce me to this guy. While we were getting in touch, I went to the Key Town Sound 10th birthday Bash in Leiden, where I heard Bass Odyssey Sound play one of his hits. I was already interested into this new music, but the pleasure I had to dance on it just convinced me ! Let me introduce you OMI :
Greetings OMI, can you introduce yourself to our readers?
My name is OMI, I’m a recording artist, signed by OUFAH Media & Productions. I started music from the young age of 14, my early High school years. I have memories of how I started in music, writing, composing lyrics. My father was a major influence since he was a musician also. However he died when I was a boy. Coming up, we use to drum on the desk, the lyrics that we composed were lyrics from the artists we liked. I guess this is all, you now, I grew in the craft. I started recording professionally when I was about age 20, I started developing my portfolio for the day when I would have need a producer. The universe worked it out in such a way that I met Clifton ‘Specialist’ Dillon, and that is a story in itself ! [Laughs] We have a good working relationship, and a good personal relationship, he’s like my new father figure right now. His advices and wisdom, he cares about you as a person not only as the artist he’s managing. He cares about your health and your well-being, and I respect that so much. I have a wonderful team at OUFAH Media & Productions, we have a wonderful family relationship, there is nothing more I could ask for in the business, since it’s such a tuff business to get into. It’s just a good vibe, we’ve released 3 songs and one soon to be released with the video. It’s overwhelming all the feedback we’re having from all over the world !
Then I told him that for The Key Town Sound System 10th anniversary [@LVC, Leiden, NL] , they invited Bass Odyssey Sound, who played his music and everybody enjoyed it.
Thank you very much, as I said before it’s quite overwhelming, I’ve been getting love from my own country and now people from all over the world, it’s a good look for me and I just thank everybody so much !
We can clearly hear different influences in your music, dancehall and reggae for sure, but also caribbean beat like calypso, more recent music like R’n’B / Soul , the melodies are really sweets, which music inspire you ?
There are a lot of elements incorporated in my music, elements which I have solicited from my culture, the Ska,the Mento, the Reggae, the Dancehall, and also the caribbean fusion and then the international sound with R’N’B and Soul. It’s like a collaboration of all of these sounds to form this fresh new kind of vibe. One other thing is I think the reason why people connect so well with it is because it has that familiar sound, underneath the bass, and then it has me as a new artist, bringing across the sound, that gives it the youth, renews it a bit.
Can you tell us a few words about your album ?
Actually we are in the selection process for the album, I try to write a song almost everyday ! I write and I record at the same time because, you know, in the camp we have a studio, so I have a studio at my convenience so I am blessed ! I am free to express and just do my thing, I just get creative. I’m very grateful for that privilege. I think I am the one who’s causing the selection process to be so difficult because we keep coming on with something better and better. It’s a good thing !
Do you know already when you will release your album ?
Yes, I am projecting early this year, we’re still planning for the half of the year, and as I said it is just the selection process, it is not as if we were waiting for a special song. I am now on rehearsal ’cause we are requesting for tour dates and live performances. I prepare myself physically and mentally for that because people are already receptive of the music and it’s time now to put a one-and-one visual to it, they have seen the video but they want to be in the same space with you to watch you perform their favourite songs ! I’m gonna give it my all, express myself in the music and bring you good music !
Can we expect you in Europe maybe?
Definitely, you never have to ask that [Laughs] I have a fan base in Europe, don’t I?
Oh yeah, definitely you do !
“When I need motivation, my one solution is my queen ’cause she stays strong” , a good way to celebrate the woman. Are the woman one of your favourite inspiration ? What did you do for the international Women’s day yesterday?
It’s funny you ask that question because usually when an artist has an hit song out there, people usually like to say “that must be his favourite song”, but in this case, it will probably sound to be a cliché, but it is the truth, it is one of my favourite songs. My manager always says to me “Always remember the past, to assure the future” and the people who were in your corner, you’ll always have to pay tribute and always have to be grateful because they will get you to the next point in life. For me everyday is Women’s day because , you know, I have a mother who I love very much, and I look at every woman in that light, as my mother, or my sister or my aunt. I have respect for woman, I don’t believe in being a womanizer, I’m not perfect but you should have rules to follow to live your life.
Why did you choose the word Cheerleader to describe the Queen?
When you think of the beauty of a cheerleader or what a cheerleader does, they’re just always happy, they’re suppose to be the spirit in the game, it’s a playful, colourful term, it is as deep as you make it to be. When you see a cheerleader you think ” OK, they’re pretty, they’re wearing short skirts and they have pompoms” they’re attractive. But when you think about what they represent, the meaning is deeper than the image.
In your clip for your song Fireworks, we see the legend Ernest Rangling, how did he help you on this song ?
Hey I just have to say Big Up, Love & Respect to Sir Ernest Rangling for his contribution in this song, he himself is a luminary in the business. I’m really glad he could have imported his talent on my song, Big Up to Sly Dunbar as well, everyone who’s involved, Clifton ‘Specialist’ Dillon, and everybody who helped me to develop my craft, to prepare myself for this career, Big Up Alborosie, and everyone.
If you had to tell us 3 songs you really enjoy, and that you’re listening the most , which one would they be ?
I’m a big fan of Tanya Stephens, John Legend, Tarrus Riley, those are just some of my influences, I’m also a big fan of Bob Marley, ’cause he’s recognized worldwide, I’ve seen he has invested love and time into music and it is a shame that he does paid off after he died, but I guess that’s just how life is.
Tanya Stephens, she writes really deep, her and myself we have something in common, the way we talk about sex, a lot of people think they have to be raw when they talk about sex, and I just find it more sexy and seductive when there is mystery in the lyrical composition. Tarrus Riley, he has a certain flare in his voice that I really like. John Legend he has such a signature when he sings.
So from any of those artist, there are songs that I could make refence to :
It’s cold outside – John Legend
These streets – Tanya Stephens
Stay with you – Tarrus Riley , I like this cover from the John Legend‘s song
Do you play any instrument ?
Yes I play the guitar, I love it so much.
What would you tell to a new upcoming artist ?
Just take it seriously, just bare in mind that this is a business, give it some serious thoughts, try to know all that it enters. You have to go into it all the way, the music is very jealous, very demanding, approach it from that perspective, analyze yourself and reinvent yourself, get it to the moment that pay, this it what I do, treat it as a business, be respectful, don’t have manner, try to be in a relationship with people. Don’t just be in it for the money and for the bling, make sure there is love for it. You’ll be fine.
That’s really wise !
I’m not gonna tell you my age …
But I saw it [Laugh] and you’re young ^^
One last word for the interview?
Thank you for everybody ! Thank you for my team who’s supporting me. Thank you to all my fans, I’ve never said it in an interview but I&I is a fan of my fans. Thank you for the love and support, this is what is motivating me to keep doing what I’m doing. And bless up to you with your beautiful accent.
Thank you !
Give Thanks for this interview, OMI is such a friendly artist, with a great sense of humor, and a lot of passion. Thanks also to Yoda for introducing us and Errol for everything !