May 30, 2012

The future of r&b and soul music @OmarWilson



Omar’s collection of emotionally charged and soulful tunes is a wonderful introduction to a singer inspired by the ebbs and flows of life and family. His songs, including "Mr. Survival" and many others, tackle a broader spectrum of social issues, often excluded from contemporary R&B. His preference to comment on life experience makes it no surprise when Omar cites Tupac, Donny Hathaway, Sam Cooke, and all soulful singers, as major influences. Perhaps, he can credit some of his artistic sensibilities to his roots as his father was in a band called the Soul Messengers.

However, Omar prefers to utilize the self-invented term “B&R," a term meant to differentiate his often-gritty lyrics from those of other R&B singers. Omar recalls when he was only six years old, the powerful and spiritual impact of his soulful voice as it was evident to his audience at Calvary Baptist Church, in his hometown of Norwalk, CT. “When I sang solo gospel numbers, I would see the adults in the audience crying, just brought to tears and I didn’t understand what was happening or how my voice was having this effect on people.” The remarkable evolution from a vocally gifted boy into a richly diverse singer-songwriter and arranger is the blueprint of Omar’s ongoing musical journey.

At seventeen, following a troubled period in high school, Omar moved to Durham, North Carolina, where he was encouraged to rap and with his three cousins, and joined a group called the Lost Souls. While working with producer Mike City (ie. Brandy, Usher), the group generated two albums, “Soul Talk” and “Life Is Life”, distributed by Ichiban Entertainment. It was during this transition that Omar the songwriter was beginning to flourish, writing hooks and harmonies that revealed an entirely different style. “I was getting a stronger response from my singing rather than my rap which led me to concentrate on my rhythm & blues and soul sounds. I love rap because it taught me how to outline an idea of a song which I was able to use as I started to write and sing."

Audiences are continually ‘wowed’ by the performer, re-affirming the emotional reaction he received as a child during church performances. In fact, Omar has captivated audiences and has wowed his way to three time Apollo winner since 2007 and maintained his victory upon becoming Best R&B Male of the Year for both 2008 and 2009 at the Underground Music Awards held at BB Kings in NYC. In addition to his repertoire of awards, Omar released his 1st record nationally "Get to Know You Better" featuring platinum recording artist Angie Stone. Also in the summer of 2011, Omar plans to release a second mixtape entitled "The Product". He will then release a second single entitled "Faith," featuring renowned rapper/actor, DMX in the near future.

Most recently, Omar performed the National Anthem at Mohegan Sun Casino during the live broadcast of a TKO boxing event. Reflecting on his growing career It is apparent that Omar will continue to amaze the world with his talent.