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Omi on his ‘platinums all around’ hit ‘Cheerleader,’ newly No. 1 in Canada

By Nick Patch


omi plat

TORONTO _ Having just landed in Canada for the first time, Jamaican singer Omi didn’t need to wait long to be serenaded with his own song.

“I can’t begin to tell you how often (it comes on),” the 28-year-old said with a laugh. “Sometimes I get in a car and I’m wondering if the radio station knows that I’m in the car. They just put it on as I walk in.

“It’s amazing.”

The persistent tune in question is “Cheerleader,” Omi’s breezy ode to the thrills of monogamy that was originally released back in 2012 to little international notice.

Last year, German house DJ Felix Jaehn remixed the song _ adding a strobe-lit club-friendly portion _ and suddenly the world was captivated.

The song has just topped the chart in Canada (it sits at No. 7 on the U.S. Hot 100) and bubbled to similar heights in Europe and Australia. The early adopting Swedes are particularly fond of the song, lifting it to platinum status six times over.

“Just platinums all around,” Omi laughed.

Although he swears he never lost faith that the song would eventually break through _ “it’s about stick-to-it-ive-ness,” he explains _ he also knew right away that Jaehn had hit upon something special in his interpretation.

“I loved it instantly,” he said. “I thought it was a pretty interesting angle that he took it from.

“I was very happy he didn’t take away from the song. He really complemented the song very much.”

An album is Omi’s eventual goal. He’s released a couple new songs since everyone flipped for “Cheerleader,” although he sounds almost shocked when one of the new tunes comes up in conversation.

If he has to talk about only one song for the near future, he’s glad it’s one with as sunny a message as “Cheerleader.”

“Today at the TV station, the guy who reads the news (on CP24), he came up to me and he was like: ‘Thank you for doing a song that my son is able to listen to and I’m proud to play for my son,”’ he recalled.

“Because with all due respect to everyone and their music, it’s quite refreshing to have something that doesn’t have to be a guilty pleasure.”


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