Cheerleader singer Omi opens up on his breakout hit, debut India tour, avoiding the one-hit-wonder curse

Anvisha Manral

Mar,04 2018 16:11:32 IST

The big breakthrough of Jamaican singer Omi in the global music scene is nothing short of a miracle. His track 'Cheerleader', which was declared the hottest song of summer 2015 by Billboard, was conceived in 2008. It took Omi a few ears to develop the track and it finally released and became a hit in his home country in 2012. But, for him, that wasn't enough. The tables turned in 2015, when US-based Ultra Music discovered his song and commissioned German DJ Felix Jaehn to build a remix. And in no time, everyone was humming to the tune of the buoyant reggae fusion tune. His popularity got the final seal of approval from 'Swifties' after he shared the stage with Taylor Swift at a San Diego Concert.

Jason Derulo on his India tour. Image from Twitter/@omimusiconline

Jason Derulo on his India tour. Image from Twitter/@omimusiconline

Omi had finally arrived. Did he see it coming though? "'Cheerleader' was really just an awesome song that people started to gravitate to quickly and ​based on all the attention​ I saw​ it was getting​,​ ​I figured it was only a matter of time before it became an anthem of some sort," says the singer, in an interview with Firstpost.

However, many would agree that with a sudden hit, the 'one hit wonder' curse looms large. Vanilla Ice, Gotye and Kimbra, Carly Rae Jepsen...the list goes on. While it's especially difficult for artists to have their big breakout in the music scene today, he says he always believed he was above it. "I knew I had more to offer therefore the 'one hit wonder' title would not stick on me, not with the passion and dedication I have towards my music along with one of the best team behind me," says the singer, who considers Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Sam Cooke, Nat King Cole, MJ and James Brown to be his most prominent musical influences.

Unlike a lot of other pop stars in the business, Omi writes his own songs. Since any kind of collaboration requires multiple people to put production before themselves, he says it's a good idea to "leave your egos outside the door". According to him, taking that one hour before recording to 'vibe' with the co-writers is imperative because the composition of music is more spiritual than anything else.

The singer recently marked his debut on Indian soil, which saw him go on a multi-city tour in Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad. Omi recognises that the country has hordes of up and coming artists and a limited number of studios willing to take the plunge and promote new talent. He believes talent shows, in such situations, are a safe bet, since you just have to develop your skill and sharpen your craft with less pressure.

Despite the sudden attention that 'Cheerleader' received, he doesn't think there's a foolproof formula to a global hit, as it's the listeners who make or break a record. "Plus if anyone had the formula to making a hit song, they would probably be selling it on eBay," he says, jokingly.

Published Date: Mar 04, 2018 16:11 PM | Updated Date: Mar 04, 2018 16:11 PM