Brand new OMI

Entertainment

Brand new OMI

OMI's new dimension

BY RICHARD JOHNSON
Observer senior reporter
johnsonr@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, December 13, 2019

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Five years ago, OMI dropped his début single Cheerleader. Little did he know the song would catapult him to worldwide fame and gold record status, a feat enjoyed by not many Jamaicans on their first track.

The singer is currently enjoying the fruits of his labour, still travelling the world and sharing his brand of Jamaican music: a fusion of pop, R&B and a heavy dose of reggae and dancehall.

In 2015 he released the album Me 4 U, which contained the multi-platinum-selling single Cheerleader and Hula Hoop, and he hasn't stopped working.

Today, he releases I Want You, which is being described as a bouncy fusion track, produced by Nat Young and Gian Varela. This is the fourth single from OMI's upcoming album, which still remains unnamed and a possible release date is still to be decided.

OMI said the song was actually first pitched for a female artiste, but having heard the track, his team thought it could work for him.

“After we heard it, we just decided that we had to rearrange the lyrics to suit what Omi represents at this time. This track really showcases a shift in my musical dimensions. It shows of my range and flexibility and is really an indication of what is to come on the album and where I want to take my career,” he told the Jamaica Observer.

“Theses songs are just my way to keep the fans engaged and delighted while we complete the album. It's a taste of what's coming and believe me, I am cooking this album and the main course will be served soon,” said OMI.

The previously released singles from the album were Masterpiece, a collaboration with Germany's DJ Felix Jaehn, As Long As I am with You featuring CMC$ and Better For Ya.

OMI is not worried about following up on the phenomenal success of Cheerleader. In fact, he relishes the idea that his singular track could have had such as international impact.

“It is not a bad thing. The way I see it Shaggy, who is one of our greatest, most recognised musical exports, will always be known as Mr Boombastic. So to have a signature tune that you are known for; that puts you on the map; and makes you instantly recognisable is meaningful to me. I see it as quality over quantity. I could easily have had a barrage of songs as I am constantly recording and working on material, but when you are with a label which understands the music industry more than you do, it is humbling. As the artiste you just want to flood the market with your music as you become excited by the success. You just have to learn as you go along and trust the management team,” he said.

His success has, for the most part, been outside of the country. This does bother the 33-year-old Clarendonian, whose given name is Omar Pasely.

“I am Jamaican. It is in my DNA. I know there are some people who are of the opinion that I am foreign-minded and don't recognise Jamaica. That could not be further from the truth. Jamaica is always part of my big picture where my career is concerned. I always represent my country. That's what most people see and hear before I begin a performance. It is in my accent and I always pay homage to Jamaica.”

He, however, doesn't mind being under the radar when in Jamaica.

“Because I'm not as popular here, it's not a bad thing. I can just be me. Sometimes I get recognised, but there are time when I can just go about my business and I love that. I might get stopped and asked for a picture, which I don't mind doing. I can get crazy when I'm on the road overseas, so being here in Jamaica affords me a level of normalcy,” said OMI.


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