Since the spring, Soul and R&B fans have been listening to his ‘Sex, Love & Loyalty’ album– and now singer and songwriter Omar Kadir returns and continues to keep it real, this time with a new track featuring Australian recording artist Joey Djia titled ‘Villain.’ The pair gives us a pop-sounding record and combine their styles that result in a bumpin’ track.
Omar Kadir strives in versatility, creating sounds in the moment, which ultimately leads to records such as ‘Kings’ featuring Visionz and Rome Castille – which combines R&B and hip-hop. Then there are tracks like ‘Over the Hill,’ which voices his smooth Soul-style.
Listen to ‘No Love’ by Omar Kadir off his ‘Sex, Love & Loyalty’ album:
XMPL got the chance to talk to Omar Kadir on his music journey, creative process, working with Joey Djia on ‘Villian’, ‘Sex, Love & Loyalty’ album and much more. Listen to his ‘Sex, Love & Loyalty’ album and read the full exclusive interview below.
XMPL: You are greatly recognized for your singing and dancing. What inspired you to start the journey down this path?
Omar Kadir: Well, I started dancing long before I ever got into music, so if I were to take it back to where it all really started I’d say it was around the age of 3 when I saw Michael Jackson on TV. He originally inspired every part of me wanting to be a performer. Fast-forwarding to when I was in high school – I met friends that were heavily into the street dance scene, and that was when I started taking it seriously. I would ditch school to go perform at other schools in the area and go battle some of the best dancers across the country. And then I got into music and writing after high school. I got a $1400 financial aid check, and decided to blow it on a bedroom studio. There’s an even longer story that follows that but lets just say the rest is history.
What keeps you motivated to continue on this path?
I’d say my team, my family, my supporters, and the art itself keeps me motivated. I can’t let them or myself down. Not now. Not after everything I’ve given up and sacrificed. And I absolutely love being a creative. At this point in my life, I just want to wake up everyday and create. That’s it. I could care less about the money.
You have established yourself as a writer. Can you walk us through the creative process of writing a song?
Honestly, I don’t ever think about making sure the next song sounds different, or new, or hip. I don’t even focus on keeping a consistent sound. I just released “Villain”, which is more of a pop record than anything, and two weeks ago I dropped a song called “Faze Me”, which is a hard hitting hip-hop record. It’s all about how I feel that week, and what beats happen to inspire me. Not staying consistent might be hurting me but I don’t care. I feel and I write and I’ll keep doing exactly that.
As of my writing process, I usually skim through beats first, find something that clicks, and start creating melodies. I just get in and start free-styling melodies until I find something that sounds catchy. It sounds likes a bunch of mumbling and gibberish at first, but once I find the melody I’ll start putting words to it after. Every song is different, sometimes I’ll have a producer create a beat around a melody I just have in my head, but I’d say for the most part I start with a beat first.
Recently you released a new track ‘Villain’ with Joey Djia, you two complimented each other greatly on that song! What made you two collaborate on that song, does the track have special meaning to you?
Joey’s a close friend of mine, and Villain was definitely a special record because it’s how I met her. I had already recorded my part and my manager asked if I’d want a girl on it. I’ve never actually done a record with a girl before but it sounded like the right record to be the first. She literally came to the studio, we met, I played her the record, then she walked into the booth and about 15-20 minutes later her entire verse was done. I was blown away by her talent. So impressive. So fast. We both fell in love with the record after and just started staying in touch since and I can now consider her one of my great friends.
Listen to ‘Villain’ featuring Joey Djia below:
We also got to see you release an album this year, ‘Sex Love & Loyalty’. What was the vision behind it and did it come out as you pictured it?
The Sex Love & Loyalty project honestly had no vision. I was just working on a bunch of songs all year. I finished about 20 songs that I liked, and cut it down to the 7 songs that made the most sense together. There were a few good pop sounding records that didn’t make the cut but it was because I ended up wanting to keep that dark, soul, R&B vibe. I’m really happy with how it all came out. Definitely my best work yet, in my opinion.
‘Sex Love & Loyalty’ displays a vintage feeling of Soul & R&B – are there any tracks that really stand out to you on that album?
I would say ‘Kings’ stood out to me for a couple of reasons. It originally wasn’t even meant to be on the project. It was more of a rap record with two of my friends on it, and I wasn’t even going to put a verse on it. I just sang the hook and if I remember correctly, it was going to be a record for my boy Just Visionz to release. I originally wanted the Sex Love & Loyalty project to be just me, without any features, but once I wrote my verse and it all came together, everyone on the team loved it and couldn’t stop playing it. They all pushed me to throw it on the project. And really, if I was going to have any features on the project I’d rather it be two of my brothers instead of someone I was just collaborating with for the sake of having a good marketing edge.
You’ve worked greatly with a handful of artists this year like Eva Shaw, Dougie F, Joey Djia etc. What does it take to execute great tracks with other artists without conflicting or forcing a sound that doesn’t fit?
It’s just about the vibe. I’ve been in the studio with so many artists and started so many songs that never got finished. Some people you just instantly click with and some you don’t. I can usually tell within the first 30 minutes of a session if we’re gonna end up working together or not. And most of the time its not even about the music, its just the people in general. For instance, Joey Djia and I make completely different types of music, but somehow we just work. We vibe. I love getting in the studio with a new face and within minutes of meeting them l can tell we’re about to make something great. Those are some of the best sessions.
Can you tell us some artists that you’d like to work with and what attracts you to their sound/style?
Drake, Tory Lanez, Bryson Tiller, The Weeknd, H.E.R., Ella Mai, Belly are just a few I can think of off the top of my head. They’re all just so good at what they do and I’m such a fan of all their music. It’s all right up the alley of the type of music I like to make as well – all melodic and lyrical.
You’ve had songs like ‘Got That From You’ & ‘Sex Love & Loyalty’ get choreographed on Youtube. Ever think of releasing your own dance choreography lead by you? Maybe throw in some ‘Bench Moves’?
Yes! Bench moves all day! Haha! I think about doing choreo to my music all the time. I always have little ideas that run through my head but it seems like the only time I’ve been having lately to do any dancing at all is during video shoots when they have to get done. I wish I had more time to actually practice and put together dope sets. Music has got me so busy nowadays it’s hard to make time to just dance like I use to. I need to just start setting time aside, even if its once a week. I don’t wanna lose my groove!
Your catalogue for 2018 was very impressive thus far and very enjoyable! What can our readers expect from you over the next calendar year?
I just wanna start releasing more stuff. The goal now is to drop a new song every two weeks, and video content to go along with the songs people really connect to. I think one of my biggest releases in the next few months will be my 4-song EP with Mozzy. He’s literally one of my top 3 favourite rappers right now, so getting to collab with him on this project is really exciting for me.
Listen to Omar Kadir’s ‘Sex, Love & Loyalty’ below: