Omarion closed out 2014 with his biggest hit to date the platinum-certified “Post To Be” [featuring Chris Brown & Jhené Aiko] and a critically acclaimed fourth full-length album, Sex Playlist [Maybach Music/Atlantic Records], climbing multiple charts. However, in the midst of these musical accolades, something even bigger happened for the multi-platinum Grammy Award-nominated singer, producer and actor. The recent birth of his first son was the main thing on his mind.
“My muse and motivation is being a father,” he affirms. “After having a child, I truly understand all of the parents in the world. He’s motivated me to dive into my art more, challenge myself, be more creative, and try different sounds and ways of saying what’s on my mind. I saw the importance of being selfless. That’s helped me with my music and my art. I’m supposed to motivate others. I’m supposed to make people have a good time and allow them this feeling through music to turn up.”
Capitalizing on that groundswell of inspiration, he stayed in the studio and kept writing music rather than taking a break. This creative flood ignited the spark for his fifth offering, REASONS [Maybach Music/Atlantic Records].
This time around, he tapped a dream team of producers including James Fauntleroy, Nic Nac, Knxledge, and Stereotypes to craft a body of work that follows one thread from start-to-finish. As on Sex Playlist, Omarion once again eschewed the modern “singles” mindset, encouraging listeners to join him for an entire ride.
“I wanted to create a full body of work,” he goes on. “It’s about making something people can enjoy in its entirety. I like to think of it as organic. My album is like Whole Foods,” he laughs. “The music and the way I create are fresh!”
That “fresh” approach yielded the first single and runaway hit “I’m Up” [featuring Kid Ink & French Montana]. Over a bouncy Nic Nac beat, Omarion delivers one of his signature hooks with smooth swagger between kinetic cameos from Kid Ink and French Montana.
“I was watching my son and talking to my boy on Face Time,” he recalls, “The song was created in that moment. If I play you the first melody, you can hear my son playing in the background. Lyrically, it’s all about fun and what’s happening now. It’s a play on that exciting time of being young and having somebody like your photos on IG, and you’ve got the potential chance or opportunity to meet her in person. You’re working hard and getting money. That’s a good gumbo together!”
Elsewhere on REASONS, he opens up further with the title track and “Mutual.” He also continues a tradition of collaboration, teaming with Kehlani for the heavenly catchy “Angel” and rolling with Ghostface Killah on “I Ain’t Even Done”—which speaks directly to his latest R&B renaissance.
“They thought the boy was done,” he smiles. “I say it in the song, ‘I ain’t even done.’ I’m just getting started.”
He’s turning up with the same energy that fueled his ascent to the ranks of R&B’s elite. To date, he’s got three Gold albums #1 albums under his belt, namely O , 21 , and Face Off with Bow Wow . His unmistakable voice has driven smashes such as “Ice Box” and Rick Ross’s “Let’s Talk” from the chart-dominating 2012 MMG compilation Self Made Vol. 2.
He’s also left a mark on pop culture outside of music starring in You Got Served, acting as a judge on America’s Best Dance Crew, and joining the cast of VH1’s Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood—now in its second season. Along the way, he’s won multiple BET Awards and received a Grammy Award nomination for “Best Contemporary R&B Album.” On stage, he continues to impress rounding out 2015 with a spot on the One Hell of a Nite Tour with Chris Brown, Kid Ink, Fetty Wap, and Teyana Taylor as well as appearances at Essence Music Festival, Summer Jam, and the 2015 BET Awards.
Omarion knows there’s more than one reason why the best is yet to come though.
“There are so many reasons why I’m here today,” he leaves off. “There are so many reasons why I still do music. There are so many reasons why a lot of people counted me out, but I’m here. There are so many reasons I live the way I live. This is my experience from age 14 to 30. REASONS is who I am.”