SAN ANTONIO — The child of a military father, Xavier Omär has traveled all over the world. The singer then used these trips to create a diverse musical sound. Since moving to San Antonio, Texas, Omär has been able to focus on his solo career, which continues to blossom.
While using his own personal experiences and those of those close to him, he puts his heart into every song, making his music accessible to others. On July 22, Omär’s “blurr” will hit all digital streaming platforms. He refers to it as an extension of his latest project, “if You Feel”.
His two singles – “Tarantino” and “Feelings 4 You” – set the tone. Xavier will also shoot a video for “Feelings 4 You”. Omär spoke with Zenger about his diverse style, new music, and why he chose to base his music on his life.
Zenger: While preparing for your album releases, like “blurr” on July 22, do you feel anxious or relieved?
Omär: It’s a bit of both. I’m considered R&B, but I know I’m sonically diverse. I give the fans what I know they want, but I also do what I want. Sometimes these two things are very different. I had a revelation in the car last week while driving to Dallas. I listen to music, James Blake and Pharrell are two of my favorite artists. I don’t like everything they put out, but you tell me they’re going to be in my town, and here I am.
If I have fans as connected to my music as the people I love, then no matter how the project is received, they’ll keep rolling with me. That’s what matters most to me. Each project you set up corresponds to a season in people’s lives. Some people will log in and some won’t. But I’m really convinced that this project will touch a lot of people.
Zenger: How different will “fuzzy” be from “if you feel?”
Omär: It’s not completely different in feeling. To some extent it could be an extension, but at the same time you feel the emotion has changed. Not just the cover art and the title, but you can see when I try to describe my feelings – that it’s not as loving and open and free. It’s really murky. A lot of the emotions I try to describe are introspective, where I have to face myself. I always wanted to give people what they want, so you get “Feelings 4 You” and you get “Tarantino”. That’s about as happy as it gets (laughs).
This once in life was truly a blur. I still need to be who I am as an artist, but also to be real and show people how I really feel. I hope they can identify. It’s acoustically an extension, but you feel the change.
Zenger: In the past, you have made your music based on personal experiences. It doesn’t look like you plan to deviate from it.
Omar: Of course! “Feelings 4 You” stems from a last ditch effort for this girl who is now my wife. It was really direct. Sometimes it’s not really my life, but the life of those around me. “Tarantino” is about my dad picking on my mom. Each of these discs, you can see my personal feelings. Sometimes I even think that I am not doing it well. I don’t know if I get the feeling across in a way that I try to. Curiously, this remains revealing. It’s so complex. Looking at the cover, you could see how I feel, and I think the music does too. It’s very personal.
Zenger: When an artist chooses a single, you hope it will be well received because it leads to a project. You must be very happy with the success of “Feelings 4 You” and “Tarantino”.
Omär: Ah, man, that’s incredibly relieving — because you never really know. One of my most popular songs is called “Blind Man”. When I released this song, I didn’t do it wanting it to be this big popping song. I did it like this: I’m just trying to put another song on SoundCloud. He took it all back. It just boosted my career – and it’s still my most-streamed song. I’ve been really blessed because every time I release a single it’s well received and well aired too.
Zenger: You have a varied style and voice. When you walk into the booth, does the thought process, I feel more hip-hop today, I feel like singing, or do you just let it flow?
Omär: Honestly, I end up getting the production first. So whatever that production is, if I feel it, I try to figure out why I feel it — and make this record work from there. I have so many influences, and so many styles of music that I love. Someday a slow song like “Feelings 4 You”, that traditional R&B style will hit me, and I want to do it. And the next day Detroit club music like “Tarantino” hits for me.
If you go back to “if You Feel”, I have a song called “More Than Less”. This should never be on an R&B artist’s album. I’m glad I’m able to do it and people accept it, because I’d feel lost here if I didn’t have fans validating that I’m doing what I want here and there.
Zenger: Considering you were a military kid and traveled overseas, do you think that helped your diverse sound?
Omär: I would like to think so. I was much younger when we traveled more often, but these are my childhood memories and experiences. I feel like everywhere I went; I was learning something. When we lived in Japan, we lived on an American air base. But I was still able to see how the Japanese perceive American music, and what they like the most. When we moved to Maryland, you come in…obviously it’s still America, but DC and Virginia have it all: style, sound, slang. It’s a whole new part of the world to dive into. Learn Go-Go music and all the different styles they have.
Going to Georgia just when the South was starting to take over. Lil Scrappy was going crazy. I was growing up in a time when every field I entered had its own influence. Not only in the region, but really began to conquer the world. I didn’t realize it, but each of the places I went to not only piqued my interest in styles and sounds, but each of those places became a part of me.
Zenger: What do you want listeners to take away from the “blurr” EP?
Omär: I want people to be able to recognize what they are feeling, to be able to sit there and learn more about it. Either I go to therapy or they take the time to write down how they feel. To a certain extent, it’s me in certain situations trying to live through music.
“A Dream”, which is a track from the project, is definitely me. Just kind of journaling and sorting out the emotions of feeling so melancholy. I need a win, but I feel like I can’t get one. I did a song “Not in LA”, where I’m introspective: I can’t keep running away from my problems. Whatever the issue… part of it is within me. It’s not where I am physically, it’s who I am. Moving does not change certain things in my life.
Things are certain ways because that’s how I am. I had to face this. I wrote a song for women where, it’s a situation where you just have to defend yourself. I wrote it from their point of view. Know your emotions in depth, so you can know if you need to change them or lean into them more. Say what you want, what you need and be definitive.