Grounded in the music OMI's career begins to take off
Jordane Delahaye, Gleaner Writer
At the time of this interview, Omar 'OMI' Pasley's sensational single, Cheerleader, had more than one million views on YouTube, was number one in Dubai and was in the number one position in Hawaii for a few months. Upon searching YouTube one is also bombarded by various videos of fans doing their own covers of the hit tune.
His other single, Standing on all Threes, has also been garnering increasing popularity and the young singer is gearing up to release his third single, Fireworks, which he hopes will follow in the path of its predecessors.
You might have seen him on TV, heard him on radio, or even read about him in the papers as the artiste has been all over the media, creating a buzz with his fresh sound and smooth style.
For many, the sudden fame would lead to a disastrous ego boost, but The Gleaner's interview with OMI revealed an artiste who is as grounded and humble as ever.
OMI has always known that music was his calling. The artiste said he had always been involved in music but not professionally until the age of 20.
Three years later, Oufah records decided the artiste had something great to offer to the Jamaican music industry and the world, and he was signed.
Like most other musicians, OMI said there were times during his musical journey when he experienced difficulties but there was always something that kept calling him back.
"When you've found your calling there is always some element that pulls you back to it no matter how disheartened you get and try to branch off into something different," OMI said.
And his perseverance is finally starting to pay off. All eyes are now on the artiste to be the next 'big thing' from the Jamaican music industry.
His melodious crooning, combined with infectious beats, create a one-of-a-kind sound the artiste said he discovered a few years ago and decided to stick with it.
OMI describes this unique sound as a bold fusion of music inherent to Jamaican culture with international flare.
His many musical influences, including Bob Marley, Nat King Cole and John Legend, also denote an interest in combining the old with the new.
Most songwriters will tell you they get their inspiration for lyrics from everyday experiences. OMI isn't different in this regard, getting his material vicariously, as well from his own experiences.
"You alone cannot experience everything, so you need to possess that creative genius where you can feel other people's pain and interpret it, and then reproduce it in a way that they can have an appreciation for it," OMI said.
Many artistes feel that to make it in the music industry they will have to give up their identity in a bid to stand out.
OMI believes "it's not all about being different but making a difference".
The artiste believes that it is more important to be recognised for something worthwhile than to just merely be recognised.
It is often repeated that many of the younger artistes do not treat their careers like the business that it is.
Their poor attitude towards their profession usually leads to a career less prosperous than they would have first imagined.
OMI believes that it is important to be a well-rounded artiste, which for him means having good business ethics and also having an appreciation for all that the profession entails, including the hard work, dedication and obligation to the music.
OMI also believes that artistes should be open to constructive criticism and accept the fact that people will have more experience than they do.
"You can always pick sense out of nonsense but you can't get nonsense out of sense," OMI added.
The artiste's growing fan base can expect his first album to drop next year. Even though he admitted that he is constantly in the studio working on new ideas and new material, OMI is not rushing the album as he wants to ensure that it offers a variety and that fans will not just listen to the popular singles.
OMI said he has been overwhelmed by the reception to his music and he sees every milestone as a big accomplishment, even if others don't.