From cricket to music - Omari Banks makes the move

Former West Indies cricketer now recording music

By Basil Walters Observer staff reporter waltersb@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, September 23, 2011

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In May 2003, Omari Banks made history as the first player from the tiny Leeward island of Anguilla to play test cricket for the West Indies. Today, eight years later, this brilliant all-rounder who appeared in 10 test matches for the West Indies, has moved on from cricket to music.


"The track that I did on my dad's album is a song called Move On. It's basically an inspirational song speaking about moving on in different areas of your life," the son of Anguilla's best known musician Bankie Banx, told the Splash.


Explaining his transition explicitly in song, the former cricketing sensation now evolving into an aspiring musician, said. "In life we tend to go through different ups and downs, but the most important thing is that we move on and grow from it. That's what the song is about really. I wrote the song, the music but on the track itself it has a number of big name musicians like Junior Jazz, Glen Bowne, Robbie Lyn and Sly. Stanley Stevens produced the track."


Is the song Move On indicative of the reinvention of Omari Banks?


"In a lot of ways it could be, maybe not," he chuckled, adding, "you can't get away from it. I've played cricket professionally since I was 18 for the Leeward Islands. I've played cricket in England and as I have said before I've played cricket for the West Indies for couple years as well. Yes, I love cricket still, but as I say in the song, sometimes we need to move on. In different points of our life we move on to other things. That's what the song is about. It could be relevant to anybody who wants to move on in whatever it is. It could be relationship, could be life, it could be a job opportunity. It's just a case of moving on from whatever stage you are at to something else."


There can be no denying that Omari Banks who last played for the West Indies was in 2006, and having already realised one of his dreams being part of a record breaking partnership in cricket, is now on a different journey at this point of his life. For there is another song that he hopes to release shortly that won't be included on his father's album.


"And then there's another song that I wrote called Oh Africa. I'm looking to release that one sometime soon as a single. But that's the one I'm looking to really push. I am a black conscious person and I believe that we all should connect as black people to Africa in some way, form or shape. And I think it is important for us as Caribbean people that we identify Africa as our home.


"And I think that's what the song speaks about. It doesn't necessarily mean that we all should go back to Africa. If you want that, that's fine as well. But I think that it's important for us to realise and be conscious of the fact that Africa is the home where we started. Where we all came from and have an awareness of that sort of thing. That's what the song is about, that we should love Africa. Some big names (musicians) on that one too" stressed Omari, who has been in Jamaica for the past week putting the finishing touches on his music as her prepares to the launch of his musical career.


"And I think that's what the song speaks about. It doesn't necessarily mean that we all should go back to Africa. If you want that, that's fine as well. But I think that it's important for us to realise and be conscious of the fact that Africa is the home where we started. Where we all came from and have an awareness of that sort of thing. That's what the song is about, that we should love Africa. Some big names (musicians) on that one too" stressed Omari, who has been in Jamaica for the past week putting the finishing touches on his music as her prepares to the launch of his musical career.


"I've been working on a track that will be on my dad's album as will as some background vocals on a song for him. I'm also doing another track that I am suppose to be releasing in another couple of weeks/months as a single," explained the young Banks.


"I've been playing with him, my dad Bankie Banx, since I've been a child, but this is the first time I actually put something on wax, as they would say. I've done a bit of stuff in Anguilla working with a producer called Terrence Hodge Carter, he is a young musician who produces calypso, R&B... just about all different genres of music in Anguilla. I did a bit of stuff with him, but this is the first time anything of this magnitude.


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