Catch up with singer-songwriter Omar Alhindi and watch the video for his single "Twisted" (featuring B. Wash) from his debut EP, Back To Me, out now.
What first got you interested in music?
Omar Alhindi: Oh my gosh, that's the age-old question. It's kind of funny, what got me into music was video games. I was a big nerd when I was a kid and I loved Zelda and I wanted to learn how to play the song on the keyboard I had so I just kinda sat down and I learned how to read music and all that BS through video games.
Do you remember the first song you wrote?
It depends on what you mean by the first song. The first one's kind of funny. The first one I produced on GarageBand: I looped a beat that was already on there and I started playing acoustic guitar to it and I just tracked in the guitar through the computer microphone, so it wasn't good quality but, to me, it was like, 'oh my God, I'm doing it!'. The song was called "Blow Me Away" and I was 14 and I talk about having kids and I talk about being married and it's just really sappy and it's really just such an annoying song, but I listened to it the other day and I was like, 'oh my God'. Like I said, I was tracking everything through a computer mic, so I was whispering into the mic to sing so that I didn't distort it at all and get feedback and so I was basically just whispering into the mic and it was really creepy. So, that song's bad.
The very first song that I produced with Tyme is called "Back To Me" and it was based on a relationship that I had with my ex and that song was relevant - it still kind of is relevant, not emotionally, but it's a relevant song that can be applied to a lot of people - and the song is basically about loss and how you want somebody to come back into your life because, even though you guys resent each other, you can still work it out somehow. It's a cool song but it's not my favorite.
Which musicians would you say that you have been influenced by?
When I was producing the Back To Me EP I think I was influenced by so many: Usher, Justin Timberlake, Tech N9ne; I was listening to a lot of different sounds, it wasn't all pop. I couldn't say I have a single or a top 3 influence, I don't have a list, I just listen to so much music - I listen to Tim McGraw and country and then I was listening to Snoop Dogg - it's completely diverse.
Is there one artist you're hooked on now?
Oh, lately, Shawn Mendes. I love Shawn Mendes so much. He's so good.
How would you describe your music?
My music is really diverse, I couldn't say it's one category. I rap a little in some of my songs; I have an alternative rock background; some of my songs have some slow ballads, like deep R&B; some completely pop songs. All my music is just really diverse and it's kind of a new take on music, I think. It's all coming directly from my mind, there was no help in this project, it was all me.
What were your inspirations behind the song and your video for "Twisted"?
Oh, okay. It's a huge song. This is the one song that I actually didn't produce on my EP and it's kind of a big deal because I was doing all the production and I was like, 'well, what do I do with this, what am I supposed to do with a beat this big?' [laughs]. I've never had a producer send me beats that I was thinking, 'yo, I'm going to use this,' so, writing that, I was actually going through something with my girl and it was on and off. She wanted me to stay and then go away - typical on and off - and, basically, I was just venting about that to my friend B. Wash. I had him in the studio with me and he liked the beat as well and I was like, 'yo, you wanna get on this track with me?' and he was like, 'yeah man, let's do it, what do you wanna talk about?' and I was like, 'I mean, we're kind of venting right now, we could write a song about that?' and he was like, 'fo' sho, let's go'. He started off with his whole verse and while he was writing his intro to the song I started writing the script and I was like, 'tell me what you think of this,' and he was like, 'yeah, let's go!' [laughs]. So, we recorded the hook right there and we didn't have to change the vocals or anything, so it was completely done right there and so the song is a big song because, sound-wise and the creation that went into it, when you get that vibe in the studio, it's like, okay, I feel you.
Also, the video. The video idea was kind of a collaboration. I was working with Dale Stelly and he was talking to me and he was like, 'Omar, what do you want this video to be about?' and I was like, 'I wanna hear what you want this video to be about, I don't write video scripts, so what are you thinking?' and he was like, 'I think the story should be like, you're on this helicopter and you're flying and then you're sad because she got you twisted,' and I was like [laughs], 'I don't understand, what do you mean? Why? That's an awful idea. Let me get back to you' [laughs]. I took a week and I was talking to a lot of people about what I thought the video could be and what different directions we could take and I ended up with this whole idea where I'm the one that's going crazy instead of her. She's telling me to come and go and she's indecisive and I'm getting crazy about it so, instead of being a normal person, I ended up breaking into her house at night and trashing the place and I was like, this could be something, this could be cool. I approached Dale and I was like, 'what do you think about this?' and he was like, 'oh, that's cool man, that's dope, that's a crazy idea, let's get it,' and then he added some twists on it; he got two models - which I wasn't expecting - [laughs] he got a helicopter which, again, I wasn't expecting that, but it was cool overall. I got to meet a few people, I got to connect, I got to network, and it was just a really cool process all together.
Could you tell us more about your Back To Me EP?
It's a story, a love story, for sure. If you play it in order of how I have it, "Kiss In The Rain" is a big pop song that's just all about love and youth. Just, I'm in love and I want to kiss you in the rain, it's just simple; it's cool, it's a simple song. Then, it goes to "Twisted" and she's getting a little bit weird with you and she's like, I'm not sure how I feel about this relationship and then, eventually, things end and, for a guy in a relationship, it takes him time to want to get back together; girls have that instant like, wait, no, come back but guys are like, I'm single, I'm cool, and that's when "Broken" came along. I actually wrote that in a hotel and the room that I wrote it in was really ambient, there was so much reverb. Then, "Back To Me", which was the first song I wrote - as I was telling you - and that's all about, I'm going to be fine. The EP is already out, it's already on iTunes and Spotify.
Is there a song from that EP you're most excited for people to be hearing or one you like to perform live?
Well, I mean, for me, the most personal song is "Broken", but the one that I really like to perform is probably "Twisted" because I get a really nice crowd response. I like vibing with the crowd, I especially like to feel what they're feeling; usually, when the beat starts, it's like, ooh, can you feel this too, let's go. And, there's rapping in it so that's a different factor that I don't have on the EP and they're like, 'whoa, that's dope!' and I'm dancing and I have choreography for it so it's really fun. It's a fun song to perform, for sure.
What do you hope your fans and listeners are able to take away from your music?
I just want them to know that they're not alone in a relationship. It might be hard but they're not the only one in it and I just want them to know that, if they ever need anything, they can rely on somebody else to be around them, because you're never alone.
Is there anything you want to add?
Make sure to check out the EP, my music video, "Twisted", is out, obviously, so make sure to check that out and if you guys would like to get to know me, you guys can follow me on social media @wewantomar and stay tuned for the new stuff, because I've got good stuff coming out.