Omah Lay. Understand
With his darkly sparkling vocals, evocative storytelling, and contagious rhythms, Omah Lay is becoming one of Nigeria’s most talked-about musical innovators. Omah Lay’s brand of Afro-fusion pulls from his deep history with West Africa’s percussion-heavy highlife genre, as well as his enthusiasm for the popular sounds of his generation—from U.S. rap, to the Afrobeats empire flourishing in his home base of Lagos. Raised in industrial Port Harcourt, a city infamous for oil-driven conflict, Omah Lay found comfort in the music around him. His grandfather was a percussionist in Celestine Ukwu’s legendary highlife band, and his father played, too. But it was hip-hop that inspired him to record. After becoming the neighborhood go-to guy for beats and witnessing his tracks help others succeed, Omah Lay found his voice. Throughout his breakthrough Get Layd EP, that seductive coo unravels tales that range from introspective to explicit, expertly laid over lush and soulful instrumentals that he often dreams up himself. Layered with vivid scenarios and heartfelt confessions, Omah Lay’s music depicts a young man daring to reveal his grittiest vices and innermost feelings. Moreover, with his roots dug in firmly beneath him and a global audience tuning into Lagos’ thriving scene, Omah Lay gives us a fascinating window into Afro-fusion’s bright and expansive future.