Creative Review New Music
Omar first broke through to worldwide renown all the way back in 1991 with his first releases on Gilles Peterson’s seminal Talking Loud label and went on to work with musical legends like Stevie Wonder, Erykah Badu, Angie Stone, Syreeta Wright, Common and Carleen Anderson.
Having recently been made an MBE for ongoing cultural services to the UK and already a household name with a career spanning over 30 years, Omar is an unstoppable UK talent that just keeps giving.
We caught up with him as he launches his new album which will surely become known as his most eclectic, confident, mature and soulful album of his career.
You’ve recently received an MBE, what was it like meeting Prince Charles?
“I’ve met him on a few occasions before and he’s pretty cool. He asked for a copy of my new album so I sent him one and then received a letter back from him saying thank you.”
How does your new album compare to your previous work?
“It’s pretty much the same – I’ve been striving to make music that people knew, so it’s an evolution of that.
“I’ve also had twin girls since my last album seven years ago so it’s written from a different perspective.”
Things have changed since you began making music and anybody can make a record from their bedroom now, is this a good thing for the industry?
“I think it is a good thing – music is about art, it’s about expressing yourself. You don’t have to record in a big fancy studio to make real music.
“There’s a lot of talent in kids out there and schools need to nurture it.”
You’ve worked with so many artists, did you get any advice from them?
“Yes but not that I can reveal! Being in the same room as them is more than enough quite often.”
Do you have any advice for aspiring songwriters and musicians?
“Try to be different and come up with a sound that nobody has heard – you need to stand out from the crowd. Also be patient, it was five years before before my first single came out. Making sure your profile is out there is important, social networking has a big impact now.
Omar’s album The Man is out now.