Omar, Modern Soul Legend, Interviewed in Blues and Soul Magazine
September 28, 2012
One of our all time favorite artists and friend to site, Omar Lye-Fook, more commonly known simply as Omar, has been trailblazing the global soul scene since the early 90s. With an amazing vocal and rhythmic gift, he will go down as one of the greats of our time despite limited commercial success (but loads of critical praise) in the U.S. Omar has clearly been sustained by his remarkable talent and his insatiable fan base, which he has nurtured worldwide, year after year. Now, he is reaping the benefits. With the recent re-release of his last album, Sing if You Want To (on Tru Thoughts), he continues to shine. He sits down with Blues and Soul magazine and discusses his home studio, moving to Brighton, Amy Winehouse and of course, his work on his upcoming seventh album.
Indeed it is an old and I expect pointless assertion that he should be bigger than he is because he frankly is not that bothered. Maybe in a way it is better because he has kept the much coveted position of independence which has allowed his musical productivity to be totally about what he wants to produce. As we await his seventh album (produced in his own studio) Omar continues to be as busy as ever it seems.
The seventh album “probably my best.”
It is my seventh album and the second that I recorded in my new studio. This time I decided to keep it free of cameos because the last album I had Stevie Wonder, Angie Stone, Common and Erykah and this time I wanted to keep it in house. I have written some songs with my brother Scratch Professor who produces as well as plays. If you know about Omar’s music then you know about the soul, the funk, the jazz, the reggae, the Latin and the classical. I would have to say this is probably the best I have made so far. To me it is such a free album I mean my stuff is always free because I tend to go with how I feel but this album is the biggest selection of stuff that has that free element.
The new studio brings “freedom.”
I think so I have been able to spend time in the studio to work things out without having to watch the clock and how much money I am spending. It is a little different now because at the time I was living in the house where the studio is. The missus, my twin girls and I have moved down to Brighton so now I have to give myself an allotted time to work in the studio. It still works out however because it is there and available.
Facing the pitfalls of a music career and not becoming a victim like Amy Winehouse.
People have their ways of dealing with stress. I cannot go to those extremes but people have their own little vices and things and I had mine. It is such a shame that a person that was so talented died at such a young age. It was like I was saying to someone though she was a star that shined brighter than most, but those stars that burn bright are burning at a faster rate than others and so it will implode faster. I am all about music from the moment I wake up and so I think that is what has helped me to survive. Now I am forty three this year and music is my destiny. Wherever I am in the world performing people know me or know my music and that is just so powerful. I just give thanks that I can still play my music to the young and old.
Read complete interview here.