We had the good fortune of connecting with Omari Johnson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Omari, how does your business help the community?
My goal is to impact the community by expressing myself and situations that I’ve been through that contributed into making me the man that I am today. I try to spill a part of me in all of my craft and if I feel I need more to do that, I will teach myself a new skill like I’ve been doing from the start. So far I’ve taught myself how to paint, play the bass guitar, write poetry and lyrics. All of these things holds meaning in some shape or form with my personal ties embedded within. For me, there were moments growing up where I could’t express myself because I wasn’t fully aware of how to speak on problems. I had no voice. With that being said, as I developed over the years, I tell my story through other senses. Visuals (paintings), Sound (guitar), Fashion (Sight), and just recently found my voice again and picked up writing poetry and lyrics. I figured that I could’t be the only one in this world who goes through traumatic experiences and couldn’t find the vocals to actually speak on it. So now that I have my voice, I try to tell my story and speak to those that relate and haven’t found their voice yet.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My art is really a mix of who I was and who I am today in it’s purest form. I’m big on storytelling so everything I do tells a story in some way. It may not be as concrete for others to pick up easily, but personally I would know what story a certain product expresses. I’m really excited about releasing my debut album because I’m taking so much time to perfect it to the point where it builds a scene for whoever is listening. So far, I’ve released one single about one of my friends/brother Khobi who passed away on my 21st birthday in 2019. The song was released on my 22nd birthday this past March. I’ve gotten a lot of feedback from people who listened and they told me how it made them feel and things that they liked about it along with things that they thought I could brush up on. Haven’t released anything since then but you might catch me listening to a lot more unreleased tracks if you’re near. The road that brought me to where I am today wasn’t easy at all. I constantly get an urge to learn something new to express something that isn’t being projected into my craft fully. Discouragement and doubt visits me every once in a while as I’m creating too. Also, just dealing with reliving certain situations in order for me to tell them is a tough fight within itself. I overcome these obstacles by remembering the outcome this may have on others out there who feel or been through similar situations. Some lessons I’ve learned along the way are to not think any less of what you can give because the slightest attempt to speak or grow as a person can really impact someone else. With that being said I learned not to drown in doubt or discouragement at all. Just keep going. The more you try, the better you get.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
I’d take them to Atlanta and outside areas easily. I know a few spots out here fit for every vibe from waterfalls to underground clubs. Literally… Underground. Or if they’re down to lose in go-carts, pool, bowling, arcades etc. I’m always free for that too. No mercy.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I actually have a long list of people that I can give credit to. First and foremost, I would like to give credit to whoever is up above for pushing me at my lowest. I would also like to give credit to my parents for supporting me. Crazy to say but as I continue my journey telling my story within my craft, they are learning new things about me along with everyone else that are tuned in. Shouts out to my organization, Progressive Black Men Inc. For opening a new gate to my development. Kelsey, Da’Marcus, Bryant, PJ, Caleb, Terence, Cameron and all of the other Chapters throughout Florida. Much love. Gwen, Gene, Karriem, LA, and the whole familia gets a special shout out too. Credit to Eddie Stokes for helping me with developing my music as well and everyone else that continues to influence me. I think I’m done lol.
David Curry, Dro, Kelsey Jay