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Omary: ‘I always had that dream of creating and producing my own music’

Omary and his unique sound: How traditional instruments shape his music

  • 13 June 2023

Your music is heavily inspired by African and Moroccan musical culture. Can you share how these influences shape your unique sound, especially your use of wind instruments?

First of all, I am Moroccan, and Morocco is also part of Africa and I am very proud of it. I grew up listening to Moroccan music and Moroccan music influenced me and directed me towards the discovery of African culture and wealth since we are also part of it. Many traditional instruments have emerged in Morocco and Africa too, an unlimited wealth of all types and categories of instruments. The day I started in the musical production this adventure started mainly with the use of African and Moroccan instruments and then add the electronic touch on it.

You began your musical journey with percussion instruments, particularly the Derbouka. How has this early exposure to percussion influenced your approach to electronic music production?

When I was young, I received the Derbouka as a gift from my uncle. Then the routine of playing Derbouka allowed me to do researches and to discover the various percussion instruments that exist especially African and Arab instruments. The discovery of these instruments has completely influenced me in my musical journey and it brings an instrumental touch on all my musical productions, it also allows me to showcase real instruments in my productions in order to give a special touch to my productions.

As someone who was often invited to major Moroccan nightlife events, what key insights or inspirations did you gain that have impacted your music or performance style?

The Moroccan public is a unique public, and it is well known in our culture that to satisfy the Moroccan public it is necessary first of all that the performance have to be real. Being authentic and is necessary to release a real feeling in order to convince the Moroccan public and satisfy it but above all, it’s necessary to give something creative and unique. Thanks to this, I am even more creative in my musical productions and performances and I am always attentive and I always make sure to have new creations in order to satisfy the public and avoid rehearsals. Also in the technical part of the performances where I always have to practice and try new technical approaches at the level of turntables to surprise the public and make it a unique show.

Can you recount your first experience as a DJ at a major private party in Casablanca? How did that moment influence your career trajectory?

I will never forget the first performance I did in all my career. It was in 2008 in Casablanca, and not only was it was my first performance but also a lot of unexpected events that gave me the opportunity to show myself even more. A public of 2000 People, with a line-up of 5 local DJs including an international artist. I did the warm up of the evening, but first unexpected, a failure of CDs players took place and that time was the time of CDs and no USB key. The provider had not provided a backup drive, and while waiting for him to pick up a new player I had to improvise a percussion show with my Derbouka that I had with me by coincidence that evening. A 30 minute show without stopping that bluffed the whole audience.

Then, two other DJs didn’t show up at that evening and as the others had their timing and they had not yet arrived there, I had to extend my set which was switched from a warm up to a normal performance for a first time, until the arrival of the next DJ. The fact that I was also very young and my beginnings aroused the curiosity of all the public present. For me it was MAGIC and it was a sign that music will be part of my life forever.

Since that initial debut, you've been a guest DJ at many trendy venues in Morocco. Could you share one of your most memorable performances and why it stands out to you?

Several performances were memorable for me, so it’s very difficult for me to choose one in particular. One was particular in a certain establishment and it was also a first in Morocco, an establishment where there is the DJ booth in the centre of the venue in question, and that as soon as the DJ starts his performance you have all the public that practically surrounds the DJ booth and therefore it creates a very special connection with the public that surrounds you.

Your debut album 'Soul Of Winds' was released last year. Can you tell us more about the creative process behind this album, and how you decided on its unique title?

I always had that dream of creating and producing my own music and sharing it with the rest of the world, and as my influences are a little broader, I had thought that the idea of creating an album would be easier for me to express my musical universe which is diverse. The title of the album was decided following the theme chosen for the album ‘Winds Instruments’; and as I had explored the universe of these instruments and the process of creating the album allowed me to discover the soul of these instruments hence the final name ‘Soul Of Winds’ and that also defined my artistic soul in it. The LP took me almost four years to come together, because I took the time not only to produce music but I was doing cultural research for every instrument used in this album and I wanted to know the history of each of the instruments because it will not only be useful to me for the production and creation of this album but also for my career as DJ & producer and label manager. Soul Of Winds is also the realization of several collaborations with artists such as Mehdi Nassouli, Kawtar Sadik, Idd Aziz, YADEE, OSENS, Amine Mlal, Soulzak, Roxteel and Martine labbé. A musical universe combining electronic music, wind instruments and traditional melodies.

You've recently remixed Momo Ryuk and Khalid Elhamri's 'Bladi B3ida'. How do you approach remixing a track while maintaining your signature style and respecting the original piece?

First of all, if I decide to remix any song that means that the song in question influenced me and that I felt a feeling behind. The majority of the songs I remix are songs that they were produced so that we listen to them, but it is much more complicated to play in clubbing evenings to the general public. So the idea for me is to keep and respect the original song and especially keep its basic signature and then I remix and revisit it so that it is played even more in any type of event. What attracted me most about ‘Bladi B3ida’ was the BELDI Style touch that Momo Ryuk and Khalid Elhamri wanted to promote through the creation of this song. BELDI Style is a style of traditional Moroccan music issued from Errachidia that is unfortunately not too exposed and that we do our best to give it its fair value whether nationally or internationally.

Looking ahead, what can we expect from Omary? Are there any upcoming projects or collaborations you're particularly excited about?

Several remixes will be released very soon, including my remix of the original song of Kawtar Sadik & Must Rousnam ‘Ya Guelbi’ which will soon be released on my record label OSTOWANA. The process of creating and producing my second album has already begun and several creations will see the day that it is merged with Moroccan and Arab culture but also with African culture in general. I invite everyone to follow me on my Instagram account in order to have more news and news.


Check out Omary's discography below.

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