14 quick fire questions with OMI: "Cheerleader has created so many pinch myself moments"

The singer talks to Official Charts about his incredible year with Cheerleader, rapping and Christmas songs.

Hi Omi! Where in the world are you today? 

I’m in Jamaica! It’s a little between the warm and cold side though. It keeps raining.

That's rubbish. How's your mood today on a scale of 1 – 10?

I’m good thanks! Probably an 8 or 9. I’m running around a little bit so I’m a little stressed as I’m not staying here for long. I’m feeling great though.

You’ve been doing a lot more than “a little bit of running around” these past few months…

[laughs] Yes! Of course, I’m always trying to keep positive though. The fact that I get to do this, I have good people around me… there’s nothing to complain about really, is there?

2015 has been a massive year for you. Can you remember anything that’s happened over the last few months or is it all a blur?

Thanks man. I’ve had a lot of pinch myself moments this year and they’re hard to forget. From the album coming out, to hitting Number 1 is so many different territories… it’s all very surreal but completely unforgettable.

Of all the great stuff that's happened for you this year, what's been the ultimate highlight?

That’s so hard! There have been lots of moments: The major performances moments, the album coming out moment, and personal encounters with some of my heroes which mean a lot to me... I honestly couldn't pick just one. 

Your new single Hula Hoop is impacting at a very festive time of the year. Were you tempted to whack some sleigh bells on it for its single release? Or even with Cheerleader?

[Laughs] Are you kidding?

We’re deadly serious.

I don’t think the label are going to let me do that! Don’t get me wrong though, I love Christmas and the Holidays. I don’t know if it’s the festivities or the way I was raised, but Christmas says 'family' to me. It’s the end of the year, and you feel good to be alive, whether you’ve had success or failures. That’s why this season is so important.

Cheerleader is one of the biggest songs in the world this year, but be honest, are you sick of it now?

Honestly, I'm still very happy to listen to it. I’m a big believer in remembering the past to ensure the future. I’m big on that. Cheerleader being my first ever single, it going platinum and doing everything it’s done, it’s crazy. I can never tire of it or stop performing it.

But you lived with the song for a long time before we all heard it; you released the non-Felix Jaehn in 2012...

Of course! I’ve been there since the genesis of the song a long time ago, but I really don’t mind. How could I? Cheerleader has brought so much happiness to my life, it'll never get old for me.

Rather than 12 versions of Cheerleader, your debut album Me 4 U is actually a very eclectic bunch of songs. How would you describe it?

You're right, it’s a very different bunch of songs. In a lot of instances, an album is telling a story, there’s a theme and concept and it’s quite straightforward. I think this album is more like a compilation of different moods of me. I’m bringing lots of different vibes. Inspiration for me comes through travelling, meeting with people, working with other musicians and artists. The creative juices have been flowing!  

Please sum up the album in 3 emojis.


Apart from Cheerleader, what’s the best song on on Me 4 U?

I love Hitchhiker - I think it shows a lot of diversity in my delivery. It’s totally different from the commercial songs people know me for.

Do you remember the first single or album you bought?

I didn’t really buy singles. My first album was The Eminem Show, though. It was quite different for me, but I loved it so much. After that I started listening to more ballad music - people like Nat King Cole and John Legend. I’m still a massive John Legend fan to this day.

Do you remember the first song you ever wrote/recorded?

I remember it was this song called Money and Power. I was a rapper at the time and really into rap/hip-hop music. Don’t ask me to sing the words though, it was a long time ago and they weren’t good. I’m much better these days! 

OMI's new single Hula Hoop and debut album Me 4 U are out now.