Omar Musa, 2008 Australian Poetry Slam champion, is not your traditional rapper. Many rappers brag about dodging bullets in the ‘hood', but it is rare to meet one that has swum with piranhas and alligators in Bolivia or taught Aboriginal children in outback Australia. The Malaysian-Australian baritone has backpacked almost every continent and has a treasure trove of stories to tell. Raised in the orange flat bricks of Queanbeyan, NSW, the 25 year old wants to “introduce a new level of poetry to Australian hip-hop.”
What did you dream of being when you were a kid?
An actor. I would stay up and watch the Oscars and dream that one day I would win one. Somehow hip-hop found me and the road changed.
What are you doing now in your life?
I just won the Australian Poetry Slam and released my first record, The Massive EP, which I wrote in London and recorded in the States. I have shows at the Opera House coming up, as well as in Indonesia and Singapore. Basically I’m grinding away trying to make people realise I’m the best new rapper in Australia.
What has been the best advice given to you to about surviving in the entertainment industry?
That even if you are the most talented person ever, it means nothing unless you work really, REALLY hard, especially during the rough times. Believe in your art. Most of all, instead of talking about doing something, go out and actually do it!
Where do you get your fashion inspiration from?
Mostly from the countries and cities I travel to. When I was living in London, I loved browsing through markets and little shops for cool scarves, embroidered jeans or jewellery. I just got this woven lilac and silver scarf from Iran which is RAD.
Describe your style to us?
Describe your outfit when you go out?
I like simplicity and comfort. I hate it when people go over the top, like those lame jeans with rips and paint and patches all over them. Jeans, blazer and a graphic tee usually do the trick for me. Brands I’m into at the moment are Maharishi, Giaroye, OBEY and TRUE clothing. And Spader of course.
What item of clothing would you like to see brought back?
Do snap bands count as clothing? Haha. This doesn’t really answer the question, but if I could, I would make it ok for men to wear sarongs as a fashion item. Sarongs are sick.
Who is a person that has been an inspiration to you?
My mates the 2am Club. I’ve seen them go from being a dirt broke band in L.A. doing open mics at laundrettes to being about to blow up in the hardest market in the world. Really inspiring. This sounds funny, but sometimes you forget that it’s actually real people that accomplish big things! It makes me realise that I can do it too.
Who is the ultimate Spader to you?
Kanye, Rakim, Lil Wayne, Michael Ondaatje, Ben Okri, Ben Tour, Geoff Stanfield, me. Haha. Basically, anyone who is insanely creative and works really hard on their art.
Omar Musa has just released a new mixtape called 'The Massive Mixtape'. To get your free copy download the link here:
OMAR MUSA 'MASSIVE MIXTAPE'