Summer time with Omari Banks

Debarati Palit Singh
Friday, 18 May 2018

Cricketer-reggae artist Omari Banks, who is performing in the city today, talks about his single and how he is inspired by different music genres.

It would be awesome to collaborate with Indian musicians,” says West Indies Test cricketer-musician Omari Banks, who is in India to promote his latest single, Summertime. “The focus is not just on introducing my music to India; I also want to come back, have concerts and get deeper into my music and share it with Indians,” he says.
   
The talented musician, who is performing at 1 Lounge today (May 19) says that he is here to connect with the people of India. “I am here to put out the video of my single Summertime from my album Sunlight. It’s an upbeat number and shares the vibe of my country Anguilla and reggae music. We have shot the video back home. The single is about energy that reggae music brings. So it’s positive, spreading love and peace,” says Omari, who landed in Mumbai on Thursday.

He adds, “Generally my music is all about inspiring people. When you hear my songs, you are not only thinking about having a good time but also listening to the words of the music. That’s the basic undertone my music brings,” says the artist, who has featured in five Tests and 10 ODIs in his cricketing career.

Omari, who has both written and produced the song, has collaborated with a couple of musicians from Jamaica for the tracks. He says that although his music is reggae, he is also influenced by different genres like jazz, blues, rock and folk.
 
He admits that listening to different genres helped him as a musician. “My dad Bankie Banx is a well-known reggae artist. I was brought up in an environment where we learnt how music made you feel and how you can connect with it,” he says, adding, “When you grow up in such an environment you have a different attitude towards music. My attitude has always been to inspire, connect at a different level and sometimes bring spiritual element.”

But when he is working on a track, how does he balance between writing lyrics and composing music? “Both are important. I also play the guitar, bass and arrange 90 per cent of my music. So, the song sometimes takes a different shape. Sometimes the music comes first and the lyrics come second or vice versa. Majority of my music has live music base, so there is a high focus to bring the musicality of it. Having said that, when you are trying to say something substantial, the lyrics play an important role.”
 
Omari is happy with global recognition that reggae music is getting. He says, “You get to hear a lot of reggae music in western culture. It’s spreading even more.”

And has he got a chance to listen to Indian music? He says that soon after landing, he heard Zingaat from the Marathi film Sairat and totally enjoyed it. “I have also listened to A R Rahman,” says the musician, who is working on his next album which he plans to launch in 2019.
 
ST Reader Service 
Omari Banks will perform at 1 Lounge,  Koregaon Park Annexe, Mundhwa Road, opposite Satellite Towers today (May 19) evening, 9 pm onwards

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