International Breakthrough Artist Omi

Masai Williams

OMI picReggae artisit Omi – widely tipped to be the next International Crossover artist from Jamaica – is set to grace the shores of St. Kitts and Nevis soon so, since there’s such a sense of anticipation around the imminent visit and release of the long awaited debut album, we thought it only right to give you the run down here.

Omi first began attracting attention on the International scene almost two years ago now and has teased us all with his fusion of Reggae, Rap, Funk, Drum an Bass/Dub Step and even Pop so, all the talk of “Crossover” is definitely not without basis. Tracks like Cheerleader, Fireworks, and My Old Lady have garnered acclaim in some far flung places – Hawaii being perhaps the most unlikely – and have increased the clamour for more from this burgeoning artist.

Well rest assured Omi has not been idle at all having just last week launched a new Vlog, Omi’s World, in the place where it all started to pop for him, (outside of his locality and his homeland of Jamaica at least), YouTube. This is sure to get the ever growing ranks of Omi fans more excited and will allow them to get even closer to the man himself. Further proof, if proof were needed, that he’s got more than just his lyrics, musical ability and his swagger tight as the use of Social Media have, as stated, been Instrumental in sustaining the build up during the period since he first came onto peoples’ radar.

Omi’s music hasn’t been to everyone’s liking however, with some saying he’s the latest in a long line of Male artists and, more specifically, Black and Jamiacan Male artists, to negatively portray Women in both their song lyrics and music videos. Speaking recently to the Gleaner, Omi responded to the criticism thus;

“Jamaican artistes are stigmatized as being unethical in many aspects of the business of music. That is the opinion of many and not my opinion, but I am trying to change that,” he said. “I am producing the type of music that breaks down all communication barriers, so people can relate to it. I am speaking their language, yuh know, whilst embracing my culture.”

I would add that whilst there are some things in some of his songs and videos sure to raise an eyebrow, (if nothing else), the videos in particular more recent material are far less salacious and feature more clothes and less sexually graphic imagery than many a recent Global Number 1 Hit for Mainstream artists ranging from Beyonce to Justin Timberlake.

So what really makes the man tick? His given name is Omar Samuel Pasley and he hails from Clarendon, Jamaica, being the last of four children born to Kenroy and Rachel Pasley. His Father was also multi talented, held in high esteem both as a musical and a visual artist, he was known in the Industry as Jah Ken. So, when the precocious boy that was Omi first began to show signs of talent (in his crib from what we gather), who better to nurture and support him in his thirst for gaining new musical skills and knowledge as well as his passion for displaying said skills, than his father Kenroy?

Omi proved a more than willing and a highly capable student but, sadly, Jah Ken passed on when Omi was just 9 years old. It was from this dark, empty place that Omi found himself it would seem, since he tells of making a pledge to use his talents to the fullest, both to hold the family together and in memory, or as a living testament to his father. There’s surely no doubt that his father would indeed be proud and is indeed being honoured by his Son.

Read his Bio here:Omi bio 2013_dancebeatversion

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