Sandisiwe Mbhele
Lifestyle Journalist
3 minute read
1 Feb 2021
5:57 pm

OMI talks success after ‘Cheerleader’ and his plans to visit SA

Sandisiwe Mbhele

The Jamaican artist has released a new single Party Like It’s Your Birthday to kick off 2021 featuring Studio Killers.

Music artist OMI. Picture: Supplied

Omar Samuel Pasley aka OMI, who is well known across the world for his massive hit Cheerleader in 2015 and follow up hit singles such as Hula Hoop, Drop in the Ocean and Masterpiece.

Behind the music though, the Jamaican artist told The Citizen, is really a private, family orientated person.

“I am a person for love and unity. I like to bring off good energy, I like it when people around me are happy. Even though I am a private person I wanted to make it my new year’s resolution to be more interactive on social media this year with my fans.”

OMI says music was a very important factor in his life, since coming from Jamaica the culture of music and family are intertwined.

“My dad was a major influence for me to become a musician because he was a singer-songwriter also. The next thing is that I am Jamaican so I was very pre-exposed to music because we such a diverse cultural society we have all kinds of influences.”

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Despite the huge success of Cheerleader, reaching over a billion views on YouTube, the artist says he didn’t necessarily feel the huge pressure that comes with the follow-up singles or albums.

“For me, it’s not necessarily a competition but at the same time, you going to feel a bit of the pressure because as an artist if you take this seriously, you’re going to feel the pressure to make your follow up on par with the first one. The idea is to have a passion for music, once you have that passion the rest of it will follow.”

OMI says artists should be allowed the freedom to explore other sounds and genres to express themselves freely.

Exploring his need to branch out in 2020 he released tons of music such Bring My Baby Back, Rollercoaster, and We Got Us featuring legendary reggae star Shaggy and rising star, vocalist Shenseea.

The release of an electro track, titled Party Like It’s Your Birthday to kick off 2021 featuring Studio Killers is catchy and would set the tone for any party.

“The song was part of a writers session I did in London years ago. We’re only just putting it out now. I personally think this would have been the best follow up to Cheerleader.

He explains the delay for the release was due to the record label, but he believes the timing is apt.

“But I think we need this song currently because of everything that’s going on, everything in its timing.”

The song is a great escape from the current times, even though we can’t party as we used to.

OMI says he dreams of visiting South Africa and performing for fans in Mzansi.

“I know I have a lot of fans in South Africa. I have been promising for months to come and visit but when all this is over I can’t wait to perform for the fans.”

Reflecting on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, he says the ‘pause’ has helped a lot of people to regain sight on how to move forward.

“I have used this time to think about the next phase of my career, improving my craft as a writer, as a producer and as a player of musical instruments. I try to dig deeper into that.”

He’s looking forward to releasing more music that will show off his range as an artist and explore his other passion for interior designs and décor.

Watch the new single below:


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