Born in the rural Jamaican parish of Clarendon, Omar Samuel Pasley, aka “Omi,” grew up like many of his contemporaries, singing in church, absorbing musical vibes from his father, a singer known as Jah Ken. But where most Jamaican kids aspire to get involved in reggae or dancehall, Omi took an interest in American rap and later began writing melodic pop songs. After catching the ear of Clifton “Specialist” Dillon, the man responsible for bringing Shabba Ranks, Mad Cobra, and Lady Patra to worldwide attention, Omi recorded a track called “Cheerleader,” which was released in Jamaica in 2012 to local acclaim. Fast forward a few years, and Felix Jaehn’s “Tropical House” remix of the tune blew up in Sweden before becoming a worldwide hit, selling over three million copies and sitting at No. 1 spot on Billboard pop charts for several weeks this summer. During a whirlwind promo tour for his debut album, Me 4 U. Watch the video above as Omi answers five questions in under five minutes.



Drew Pierce

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