About eight in the past, Omar Pasley awoke with a melody as part of his head that she couldn’t manage to shake. At the time, he was obviously a completely unknown singer-songwriter living within his native Jamaica, and as part of his craziest dreams, he could have never imagined he’d just laid the groundwork for many are calling 2015’s song with the summer. Pasley, who records under the name Omi, has watched in stunned disbelief as “Cheerleader” — a freakishly catchy pop-reggae song dependant on his melody — is continuing to grow from a radio favorite in Jamaica in 2012, to some hit everywhere Europe in 2014, to, finally, the Number One song in America this coming year. “Man,” says the 28-year-old, “it’s overwhelming.”

In the Nineties, Pasley was obviously a teenage rap aficionado using a love for Biggie, Tupac and Eminem, but things changed within his early twenties. “I got confronted with melodic issues with music when I started hearing John Legend, Nat King Cole and Sam Cooke,” he tells. “It afflicted me with a deeper desire for music.” His life changed forever when he met on top of Jamaican producer Clifton Dillon, who fell crazy about the early version of “Cheerleader” and introduced drumming great Sly Dunbar to try out on it. Once the song spread across Jamaica, Ultra Records signed Omi and introduced German producer Felix Jaehn to generate a remix that began charting around the globe last summer, ultimately knocking Wiz Khalifa’s “See You Again” from the U.S. top spot in mid-July. “It’s quite a long journey first song,” says Omi. “But I’ve always had high hopes and dreams.”

Omi’s debut LP is now in the mixing stages, and that he hopes to get it on shelves from the fall. Some artists might be worried about following up a success as big as “Cheerleader,” but Omi doesn’t have such fears. “I’m a designer,” he states. “For me, the song is compared to being off into a good start in a very race. All I have to do now’s maintain my momentum and make my composure.”

Leave a Reply