Cover photo—Jacket by Sies Marjan, top by Bode, jewelry is talent's own
Now, the script has been flipped, and Omar is able to fully support his parents with his music career. It's any first-generation brown kid's dream—not to mention Omar gets to do so by doing what he loves—but even still, Omar is perpetually chill.
He got his start by working at Guitar Center and teaching himself how to play, make beats, and sing. The music at hand is unquestionably soulful and funky, psychedelic-infused, and typically about love. On stage, he's energetic and otherworldly, and he's built a fanbase that adores him because of how relatable and magnetic he is. When I pull up to Brooklyn Steel to interview Omar, these fans are lined up around the block just to attend his meet and greet, and I notice that they're mostly Gen Z, mostly POC, and above all, bright-eyed and eager to see their favorite performer up close. Omar captures a youthful energy that is hard to encapsulate, but in this age of immediacy, young music lovers are looking for authenticity more than anything—and, oh, Omar's got it.
Read our interview with the singer below.
How was the shoot? I caught a vibe that you don’t love being photographed, I was like feeling your anxiety.
No, I mean, I like it when I get them back and stuff. Just like during it is awful. I don't know what I look like or if I'm going to look bad. So that's why…
So, lets talk about being Mexican. Growing up Mexican, first generation, in a place like Indiana where you're just surrounded by white people, what was that like? Did you experience any racism or bullying?
In school, yeah. But not like, who I hung out with. You just have to like find your own tribe in the city over here. I had tons and tons of it when I was young. Even from teachers. Like teachers would tell me I can not speak Spanish in the United States. “Go to Mexico,” or something. I think Spanish is a nice language. At work it would be like they would see me personally like some brown kid, like first day of school type shit. Like, yeah. It's like you're not a drug dealer are you? Or some shit.
Did that affect your personal life or your music in any way?
Yeah, it just does not make sense to me. Like why would you do that to people, you know?
The song of yours that really got me was "Frio." That's my favorite song of yours. Have you noticed any differences in your process when you're writing in Spanish versus English?
Yeah. It just allows you to say different things, which is cool. Different sayings and stuff are different in Spanish than they are in English, sometimes it's like, what are you saying? And I'm like, it's not going to translate well. It makes sense in Spanish.
Is there like a specific moment that you realized you were blowing up? Like a specific event or does it feel like you blew up very suddenly or is it kind of like, okay, finally.
Yeah it’s, I don’t know. Probably the Metro show, like a year ago. It was like my first kind of big at night show, like 1200 people. My parents were there. I was like, “Okay, this seems steady.”