Omar Awarded MBE for services to music
Queen’s 2012 Birthday Honours List Announcement
Saturday 16th of June marks the day that Neo-soul artist ‘Omar’ is to be awarded with an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) in the Queen’s 2012 Birthday Honours List by the Prime Minister and Cabinet Secretary in recognition for services to music
“I AM ABSOLUTELY CHUFFED TO BITS TO BE NAMED IN THE BIRTHDAY HONOURS LIST. I WANT TO DEDICATE IT TO ALL MY DIE-HARD FANS WHO HAVE ALWAYS TOLD ME TO KEEP ON DOING WHAT I’M DOING”
“The music I make comes from the heart because it is all about self expression, a true art form and now to be recognised in such a way is outstanding and I couldn’t be more humbled. I wake up every day and give thanks for the job that I do”
For press and media enquiries contact Lucia
To celebrate here’s a free track, Scratch Professer’s remix of ‘Sing (If You Want It)’. See below for detailed look at Omar’s career.
Omar came to prominence more than 20 years ago, when his debut single for indie label Kongo Dance Mr. Postman/You And Me made him a hot name on London’s underground. It was soon afterwards that the success of his Ohio Players-influenced love ballad, the much celebrated There’s Nothing Like This, led to his signing to Gilles Peterson’s Talkin’ Loud label. Omar released a couple of albums (There’s Nothing Like This & Music) for the Phonogram affiliate during 1992/3, the first a re-working of his Kongo set for the wider audience, the second, Music, a vastly more orchestral and organic affair that highlighted Omar’s maturing as a composer, arranger and vocalist. Aside from the memorable title song, standout tracks included the still requested Get To Know You Better and the brilliant duet with Carleen Anderson, Who Chooses The Seasons.
Thereafter Omar signed to RCA, for whom he cut two further albums (For Pleasure & This Is Not A Love Song) that notched up acres of critical acclaim as well as introduced him to several of his musical heroes and heroines. On 1994’s For Pleasure, the set that includes such Omar signature songs as Saturday, Outside and the Erykah Badu favourite Little Boy, he worked alongside the legendary former Motown producers Leon Ware and Lamont Dozier. On ‘97’s This Is Not A Love Song, largely a collaboration with LA-based producer David Frank, he did a great cover of The Stranglers’ Golden Brown and got to sing with one of his all-time favourite vocalists, Syreeta Wright on two songs, including the sumptuous slowie Lullaby.
By 2000, Omar had moved on again, this time signing up with hip French imprint Naïve Records. The following year, now well established as the leading icon of the UK’s resurgent soul movement, Omar released his fifth album, Best By Far, a self-produced set on which he allowed his interest in cinematic soundtracks and jazz to rise to the surface. Once again, the star names turned out: on the album version of Be Thankful, a re-cut of the William DeVaughn seventies soul hit, it’s Erykah Badu who came good on her promise to work with our man. [On the version released as a single, it was Angie Stone on co-lead.] Meanwhile recent MOBO winner Kele Le Roc supplied the strident lead on the anthemic groove Come On, also a single edit.
Omar released Sing [If You Want It], on Blunt Music in 2006, (re released on Tru Thoughts in July 2011) the British soul supremo’s sixth and perhaps funkiest album so far. Featuring guest appearances from Stevie Wonder, Angie Stone, Common, Estelle, Rodney P, JC Bentley, Canitbe and Ashman, and with additional production from Omar’s brother, Scratch Professer, it’s a brilliant collection of music that manages to break new ground for the artist, yet at the same time re-establishes that unmistakable, unique Omar signature sound with his army of fans.
“I want to thank my parents Byron and Sonia , my brothers and sisters (Rachel, Kareen, Kimon, Scratch, Samia) who have always been there to support me along with my beautiful partner Vicky and my daughters Gabrielle and Carmen who’ve been so patient and understanding of the business and all its unconventional ways,you’re my inspiration!. And my manager Lucia Fiore, I couldn’t have got this far without you. Also Monique O’Neil, Jenny and Darren Davies, Root Jackson and family, Huey Walker of the arts council, England, Somaya Oueslati, Keith Harris, Vie Marshall, Diane Laidlaw, Roy Merchant and everyone at Wendyhouse studios.
All the musicians, producers, promoters, booking agents, DJs, Journalists and labels I have worked with over my 7 albums and tours, home and abroad, you’ve all been part of this journey!
And last but not least to all my fans i say i big thank you!!! I’m a person that likes to do things differently and without your reassurance that I’m doing something right I’d just be some nutter making up beats and grooves in his mum’s basement! As long as I have music to put fire in my belly, I will keep on keeping on.”
Omar’s new album ‘The Man’ is finished & will be released in the not too distant future. As well as his music/touring Omar has branched out into voice-overs & acting (Been So Long & Love Song) so watch this space for more on Omar.