Although many believe that true R&B is dead, there are a slew of singers who currently thrive in the musical genre. Artists like John Legend, Miguel, and Sevyn Streeter are bringing true R&B back and another singer to add to the list is Omar Wilson. According to Omar’s bio, he is “no stranger to the music scene” with being a 3x Apollo Amateur Night winner and opening for the likes of Boyz II Men, The Neville Brothers, and more. “Growing up 30 minutes from New York City, church members at the Calvary Baptist Church in his hometown noticed his ability to have a spiritual impact through his singing at the young age of seven years old. While performing regularly in New York, fans gravitated towards his unique, gritty vocals. He has worked and written with Multi-Platinum selling recording artist Angie Stone and DMX, featuring them on songs he wrote.”
Under the BSE Recordings imprint, Omar’s newest single is “Passion,” which he co-wrote with Avenue Beatz. The track is also produced by Omar, Beatz, singer Arika Kane, and Lou Humphrey.
Check out my interview with Omar Wilson where he discusses “Passion,” what it was like to work with Angie Stone and DMX, what’s next for him, and more below, along with a listen to “Passion” right after.
1-Who are your musical inspirations?
My influences range from David Ruffin, James Brown, Donny Hathaway and Sam Cooke to Tupac Shakur and Big Daddy Kane. I’m also influenced by my life, the things I see and go through. That way there’s always something new to write about.
2-If you could work with any current artist, who would it be?
Kendrick Lamar. I believe that we would collaborate to create a musical masterpiece that not only tops the charts but a song that will be able to stand the test of time.
3-How was it working with the legendary artists like Angie Stone & DMX?
First, it was an honor to work with both legendary artists. Writing “Get to know you better” in Atlanta in the studio with Angie Stone was great on many levels. She treated me like a seasoned vet by allowing me to express my ideas for the song but also coached me through harmonies and creating vocal arrangements that helped to take the record to the next level. It was a great time and a powerful learning experience collaborating with one of the best to ever do it.
DMX recorded his verse in Las Vegas thanks to the big homie Dame Grease who put the play in motion. I had my part already recorded and X just blessed the track to make it the smash record it turned out to be. I ended up meeting X after that and it was definitely a blessed honor to have worked with a legend to feature on my song “Faith”. DMX is one of the most powerful men I have ever met–a true icon.
4-What was it like to open for Boyz II Men and The Neville Brothers?
I will never forget when I opened for The Neville Brothers. I was singing an acapella version of Sam Cooke’s “A Change is gonna come” to end my set. I turned to walk off stage and Aaron Neville met me at the steps as I started to walk down. He said, “Great job up there, you sound like a young Donny Hathaway. He would be proud.” And then he shook my hand with one of the most powerful handshakes I’ve ever felt. To this day, it is still one of my greatest moments on stage.
Opening for the powerhouse that is Boyz II Men was insane. The first time I opened for them, I did an hour set of covers and originals. There was 20,000 in attendance and the second time I opened, it was 30,000 plus. The energy was amazing and to see people from all walks of life come together to have fun and listen to great music still inspires me ’til this day. Opening for one of the biggest singing groups on the planet was an honor, blessing, and a pleasure.
5-What’s been your favorite venue to perform at?
My favorite venue I’ve ever performed at was the Apollo. The energy, history, vibe, legacy, and power coming from that building is undeniable. From Michael Jackson on down, everyone has sung at the legendary Apollo Theater. To know that I sang on the same stage as some of the biggest artist to touch the earth is my greatest honor.
6-Your first single is “Passion.” How did you come up with the song?
I wrote “Passion” from the Bonnie and Clyde type of love perspective. It’s about two people that are so deeply in love that they are willing to do whatever it takes whenever to please and protect each other. And the more intense the situation they go through to prove that eternal love gets, the stronger their bond becomes.
7-Any plans for a music video for “Passion” and if so, what can fans expect?
Definitely! I just finished the treatment for the video. Expect intense motion picture movie type swag for this one. It will definitely tell the story, the song that is “Passion.” It will be dropping soon.
8-What can your fans expect from your debut album?
The album is going to be a roller coaster ride. Unpredictable but yet familiar, the way life is. I’ll tell stories and sing songs about life, love, sex, the streets, the good, bad, and ugly. I sing about what we go through, living and loving life.
9-What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue a singing career?
Believe in yourself. Work hard and stay focused on your goals and surround yourself with people that think the way you do. Dream epic and turn fear into faith. Let nothing stop you from living your life to the fullest.
10-What is NEXT for Omar Wilson?
A-list star status. Multi-platinum. Future Grammy winner. As long as GOD keeps me breathing, everything is possible.
Photo Credit: Omar Wilson’s official website