Entertainment

Bobo Omar is Out of Control

Saturday, May 12, 2018

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Five years ago, producer Omar “Bobo Omar” Phillips stepped away from the music business and shut down his One Tree Records label.

This year, he had a change of heart and decided to relaunch the label which he started 16 years ago in Brooklyn, New York, his home for over 20 years. His comeback project is Out of Control, an album driven by the Train Line rhythm.

The 13-song set will be released tomorrow, Mother's Day, which happens to be Phillips' 48th birthday.

“Dis is giving back to di mother dem, 'cause nuff a dem ban' dem belly fi di youths,” he said.

Most of the songs on Out of Control are by artistes from Phillips' hometown of Linstead, St Catherine. They include Ancient Warrior, Kananga and Don G.

Busy Signal, who does One Step Now with Mister Diamond, is the only high-profile act on Out of Control. The decision to seek out homegrown acts was strategic as, according to Phillips, the market town is experiencing an entertainment revival.

“Some a di biggest show dem keep a Linstead an' yuh have whole heap a talent there, so naturally mi waan work wid dem,” he said.

Phillips grew up in Linstead when it was home to the Soul Defenders, a band that played on many hit songs at Studio One in the early 1970s.

He started in the music business as a promoter of shows in the Cayman Islands and New York City. In 2002 he switched to production with One Tree Records, which released songs by established artistes like Capleton and Linstead-reared Sativa.

Disillusioned, he gave the scene a break in 2013, shortly after recording the Train Line at Tuff Gong studios with Paul Crossdale and bassist Donald Dennis of the Firehouse Crew, and drummer Kirk Bennett.

Other songs on the Train Line are When It Gonna Stop by Ancient Warrior and Mama Africa by Kananga.

— Howard Campbell

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