Vixen: What’s your favorite track on the album?
Omari Banks: It’s hard to say that I have a favorite track. My favorite one to perform is for my daughter—I love my little girl. It’s called “Somaiya.” All the songs mean a lot to me. They generally come from personal experience. This is my first child, so I feel a special connection. I’m in a high emotional state when I perform that song.
What was your favorite thing about creating the album?
I recorded the album in three different spurts. First, two songs first in Jamaica, then I went to Houston, Texas, where I recorded three songs— “Somaiya,” “Let It Go,” and “How Do I.” Then I recorded the remainder, which was six songs, in Jamaica. I guess the best moment would be when it was finished. When I put it all together and listened to the tracks, I was happy with what I’d come up with.
You do some of your own production?
I produce, arrange, and write most of my material. I really like the process. All of my songs start with an acoustic guitar and from there, I take it to the studio. When I go to the studio, the song is already completed; I just put a finishing studio edge on it.
Do you have a personal writing ritual?
My songwriting process starts with a concept—with feeling passionate about something. I look within myself, pull from inside, and put it into portrait and paper. It’s a musical rendition of all the feelings I have.
Where are you inspired? Does it matter where you write?
It can be at home, maybe at a beach or my dad’s place—wherever I’m alone, so I can feel.
Music’s always been in your life, but only recently as a career. How long were you working on your debut album?
I was a professional cricketer for 11 years. I was involved in sports heavily as a kid and I was doing music even before cricket. I was singing etcetera, but what I did was after I finished playing cricket. Music and sports were my two passions. The first song I wrote was “Move On.” That was the point that I was at—I wanted to move on and do something different. I write about my life. I write about things I felt strongly about, how I view society. I just make it into a melody—into a sound. Over the past three or four years, I’ve written close to 30 songs. When I decided to produce an album, it was just a case of deciding which songs I wanted to put on the album.