Omar was the first Black artist in the UK to get a major recording deal with his album “There`s Nothing Like This” . The Uk had indeed seen nothing like this: Fred E Kwafo of WOM@ said "I happened to pop into Kongo Records in Harlesden NW10 (then a little known independent record label) on the day this momentous deal was struck and the place was buzzing with joy. On previous visits the atmosphere had been more akin to the stock exchange trading floor with frenetic activity as daily sales and chart position figures were called out from one desk to another as the phenomenon of a local grassroots hit turned into a national chart busting record."
That was 20 years ago and a number of successful albums have followed, including collaborations with giants like Stevie Wonder, Angie Stone and Estelle. Omar`s success in 1990 has paved the way for the latter day greats like Craig David, Lemar, Finlay Quaye and others.
It is, of course, a major coup for any UK recording artist to be able to call on the services of a musical legend like Stevie Wonder. The simple truth is that Stevie has been a fan of Omar’s music since he first heard There’s Nothing Like This back in the early 90’s – the same year he promised to write Omar “his first number one”. The 14-year wait turned out to be well worth it when, one day, Stevie called Omar out of the blue and told him he was in London and had just what he’d promised.
Omar tours worldwide often, combining new material with his classics. Recently over 10,000 Indonesians sang ‘It’s Nothing Like This" back to Omar on a Far East tour!
He now has his own label Blunt Music which again gives him the artistic and studio freedom he enjoyed with his first record deal. He said "”I’m out in the open now,” says Omar. “I left a label and created a new joint venture with my new manager called Blunt Music- and so now I can do what I want, I’m in control. If I want to spend all day in the studio, I can and I don’t have to worry about the time or the cost I’m racking up. Plus now I can take my music direct to the fans.”
The “urbane lad” as he was described by ” The Guardian” has matured into a cool and sophisticated man with his 7th album soon to be released.
Omar’s Tabernacle gig is part of WOM@ and Carnival VIllage’s Best of British Season celebarting pioneering UK based African, Caribbean and Latin artists’ excellence and achievements with awards to the artists planned. WOM@ presents in top quality venues like The Tabernacle with high production values. The not for profit organisation offers music education opportunites in formal and informal sttings and plans stagecraft training with young people (NEETs) .
Omar @ SoulFest at THE destination of choice – the fabulously refurbished Tabernacle, Powis Square, London W11 on Friday 7 May promises to be a brilliant affair. Theevent begins at 2pm and closes at 11pm with four magical hours in between. Tickets are £10 advance and £15 on the door with advance sales accessed via carnivalvillage.org.uk
West London proudly welcomes back its funkiest son. There’s Nothing Like This!