After achieving international stardom and a platinum record, reggae-pop singer OMI took a few steps back and returned to Jamaica to spend some well-earned time with his family.
"Coming from such a humble beginning I must say I'm truly grateful for the level of success "Cheerleader" gave me," the singer told Popdust. "Following such a massive hit, I focused more on staying true and relevant." Five years later, OMI is ready to step back into the limelight. His latest single "I Want You" an EDM infused pop song, is destined for radio takeover, and OMI knows it. We caught up with the Dancehall star and talked about life since Cheerleader, his new album, and more.
Tell me about "I Want You!" What can you say about your next project?
The track, funnily enough, was demoed from a female's perspective but, myself and a few other writers changed it all up to match what OMI represents, what I represent. It's always about love for me, giving the world, the fans different dimensions of my musicality. We did the track in London and the vibe was nothing but joy in the studio that day. I personally think that song shows off a whole other dimension to my voice and had a nice vibe while recording. As for the project, for now lets just consider it as a playlist for all my fans.
How do you creatively push yourself, and present that in your music?
I am always challenging myself, stepping out of my comfort zone and experimenting with different styles and sounds on my piano. I am [inherently] a people person, and believe that it's important to stay connected to your community and learn about different cultures and life experiences. I believe [these experiences] are evident in the last 3-4 singles I've recently released. You'll hear some of the lyrics highlighting some of the social and relationship issues we experience with every day.
What are your thoughts on the dancehall scene as a whole?
At the end of the day everyone including myself has their own appreciation and preference in terms of how this art form is expressed, but what I most appreciate is that dancehall is the one sound that always gets the party going.
Do you get the party going?
I am OMI, there is no other OMI! *laughs*"
What do you feel you bring to the genre?
I stay true to my core beliefs. I stay humble, and am willing to learn and remain respectful to others. I [focus] on writing great songs for my fans.
Prior to your debut, you had several hits in Jamaica with no album behind them. Now that you're famous, did you feel pressured to put out a body of work before you were ready?
I never really felt pressured to put out a lot of songs because we're always strategic in how we release new music. I think strategy always pays off – "Cheerleader" is proof of that. But now the next move is to tap into other aspects of my talent all while I create new music. Hey producers and directors out there! Your next film could be starring OMI *laughs.*