Omar Kadir is an Artist and Dancer who was born in Minnesota but moved to the Bay Area at a young age. Omar uses his birth name which comes from Arabic origin but his family’s roots are in Afghanistan. He originally started in music playing the violin for 6 years then taking a brief hiatus to focus more on dancing. After high school is when he started making music more and ultimately ended up taking a risk in his college years, using a 1400 financial aid check toward studio equipment. His investment into himself proved to pay off greatly.
Omar’s dance influences include his cousin Fahim Anwar, his close friend Michael Calpito and Michael Jackson who is also a big musical of Omar’s. His music influences include a list of old school legends like Outkast, Pac, Biggie, Craig David and new school heavyweights like Drake and more. He started dance as a kid and grew up competing and teaching.
He creates his own hits on most collaborations but he has collaborated with artists like Iamsu! And Mozzy. He has a project coming soon with Mozzy and plans to drop the video for their track “Run The City” which dropped a few months ago. Aside from his project dropping soon with Mozzy, Omar has an expansive catalogue and lets it be known he is most definitely looking to drop a solo project as soon as he sees fit. You can check out “How’d You Learn” & “The Last Thing I Do” both on his Youtube channel.
In todays music industry it is a great thing to stand out. Being an artist and dancer Omar sets himself to be one of the most multi faceted artist in the game today. You can follow Omar on Instagram & you can read the full Interview below.
Ethan: What’s the Origin of your name? Is Omar Kadir your birth name?
Omar: Yea Omar Kadir is my birth name. Im Afghan but the name is originally Arabic.
Did you always live in the Bay Area & can you let us know how it was growing up as both an artist & dancer?
I was born in Minnesota but moved to the Bay when I was 2 years old, so I basically grew up there my whole life. I love the Bay and can’t picture myself growing up anywhere else. It’s actually probably one of the main reasons I got into the hip hop scene. From the dancers that introduced me to B-boying and Popping, to the artists I grew up listening to that influence my sound today.
How did you first get into music?
My first musical experience was playing the violin. I played for 6 years before I got into high school and then I stopped because I got heavily into the street dance scene. It wasn’t until after high school when I actually got into recording myself as an artist. I received a $1400 financial aid check at the Academy of Art where I was studying graphic design. I blew the whole check on a small studio setup and dropped out of college two years later.
How did you get into dance?
Three people helped me get into dance. In chronological order: Michael Jackson, my cousin Fahim Anwar, and my good friend Michael Calpito. They all, at some point in my life, played a huge role in inspiring me to become a dancer. Watching them, following what they do and then putting a creative twist on it to make the style my own.
Did you start with music or dance first?
I started dancing first as a kid, and grew up teaching and competing. I didn’t get into music until after high school.
Do you have more of a passion for music or dance?
That’s such a hard question to answer. Dance will always be my first love, but music has my attention now. I feel like I can reach more people with my music, but still bust a move here and there during performances. I’d have to say I love them equally.
I love the Jabbawockeez – who do you look up to in dance culture?
Growing up, Mr. Wiggles was probably my biggest inspiration as a dancer. I studied his stuff very closely and always thought he was the best to ever do it.
Who are some of your musical influences?
Michael Jackson. Bizzy Bone of Bone Thugz. Outkast. Pac. Biggie. Boyz to Men. Craig David. Lauryn Hill. Drake. To name a few.
You have millions of streams on multiple tracks can you take us through the creation process and did you know that your tracks would be such a success? – Catch Up & The Last Thing I Do
My creative process usually starts with a beat. I’ve done it the other way around, but usually, I freestyle/mumble melodies to a beat until I hear something catchy. Once I have a catchy melody I’ll replace the mumbles with actual words. A lot of times its the first melody that comes out. Melody is the easy part for me. The words are what I spend more of my time on. I hate using filler bars.
I’ve always been confident in my music and thought at some point they would catch some traction. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t work so hard. But I definitely didn’t think Catch Up would be one of the songs to get that type of traction. I went back and forth writing and recording that song for months. I’m glad I finally decided to finish it.
How did you and Mozzy come together? & how was that experience?
About a year ago Mozzy became one of my favorite rappers. I knew he was from the Northern California area so I had my manager reach out to him to see if he would be down to do a record together, and instead, we ended up doing an entire EP.
You dance and create music do you think you would ever make beats or produce?
Yes, I think once I’m at a comfortable position as a music artist I’ll start to dabble into the production side of things. I’ve always wanted to.
Can you give some insight on any future projects & collabs coming soon?
I have 3-4 more records coming out with Mozzy to complete the EP, and a solo album I’d like to drop at the end of the year. I’d really like to get Trapboy Freddy and Casanova in the studio soon for a couple of songs I have ready to go, also.
Do you have any videos dropping soon & can you name a few video influences you look to when you gather ideas for visuals?
I have a visual for “Run The City” coming out very soon. When I think up concepts for videos I’ll sit back and watch a ton of videos for inspiration. Ive really liked a lot of Tory Lanez’s visuals lately. I love the way they shoot and edit his stuff.