There are times when you come across an extraordinarily talented artist and you post their music and write about their latest song, you say how much you’re feeling it and you sprinkle in some witty wordplay or point out an ill line or two. And sometimes those artists hit you back because they appreciate the support and are genuinely cool people who are down to do an interview. This is one of those times……
Omar Aura, straight outta Grizzly City, for those unfamiliar with your town, give us an idea of what it’s like growing up there. What is the Central Cali culture like, how does it differ from LA and The Bay?
Fresno is in the heart of California, sandwiched between two markets, LA and The Bay which get a lot of national attention, be it music, sports or politics. We rarely get that attention, so growing up you develop a deep sense of pride and honor for your area because you know you’re the underdogs. Unfortunately, our hometown heroes majority of the time remain only ours, the world doesn’t always get to embrace them as you do in your Comptons or say an Oakland. But, I’m here to be one of the people that change that. I give you a taste of the culture every time I rap, get dressed or tell you about the food I like. Its just who I am. Fresno.
What or who inspired you to make music into a career? and how long have you been making music?
My family back in Stockton California inspired me. My uncle was a vocalist and bass player for a funk band called 9th creation, they actually had national tours, cut real records. I would wake up in the morning to him playing the bass and rapping or singing. One day he placed a camera on me I think it was Christmas of ’94 or ’95, might’ve been in kindergarten and I just started rappin’ been breaking off game ever since ha.
What is your relationship with Fashawn like? What was your reaction to him getting signed to Nas?
Fash is my dawg we came up doing cyphers and mixtapes together. Through music he became my friend, been on tours with him with guys like Wiz, Evidence, Murs. My reaction was, perfect match. And I wasn’t surprised it was all just a matter of time. I’m really happy for him and his family.
Where did the Player’s Only project and movement come from? and what does “Keep It Player” mean to you?
My first album Auradon Sessions was well received on a underground level, locally nationally and worldwide. It touched on childhood stories, politics, gang culture the cycle we get caught up in and even my relationship’s with women, very introspective. Moving forward off the heels of that, creatively I wanted to express another dimension of myself one that is more care-free, more charismatic, the guy that’s just looking to ride with a fine woman under the city lights. To Keep it Player is to keep it original, keep it unique, keep it (You). We’re in days and times where everybody wants to do what the popular guy is doing. I come from a place where the objective was to have your own style, to be the trend setter and when the trend picks up leave it to the copy cat dude and move on with your next style. So you can have 1 lady or 10, you can be male or female keepin’ it player is just keeping it true to you.
What were your biggest takeaways from being on tours with guys like Wiz, Evidence and Murs? Did you get to see anything crazy go down?
There’s always something crazy going down ha ..what I learned was you gotta deliver every night, the show yesterday is in the history books. There really are no nights off in entertainment but I love it because this is something I will gladly do every day. I learned professionalism from all three of those guys for sure. Touring is like this long ass party that every once in a while feels like work but for the most part is a long ass party ..if you do it right ha.
Do you feel like you’re received as a hometown hero in Fresno? does it have the small town feel where they get behind you if they believe you’re going to “make it”?
I’m always humbled by the love I receive from my city, they got my back fareal. I definitely consider myself one of the hometown hero’s. I was known in my little neighborhood from day 1, but I started getting buzz around the city in 2008 from a mixtape series i started call “Mr 559” I had my own shirts being sold in the mall. I was on the radio dropping remix verses to popular songs and doing tons of shows. So if you’re from this area you know for a fact I have a legit resume and I put on for us and made it cool to holla 559 when the climate wasn’t as easy to do so.
In 2015 what are your plans and or goals? Any projects or tours in the works?
My plans for 2015 are to really bring this Players Only Project to life as much as possible via visuals, my performances and interviews like these. Just double and triple the amount of people in this beautiful world that listen to Omar Aura. There may be a 2.00 type version of Players Only to release later this year, new clothing pieces at www.omaraurastore.com, and touring is definitely in my sights. Also reaching out to other artist DJ’s and producers in various cities and states not just emailing songs, but actually hopping out, two feet to the pavement, recording in your studio hitting y’all clubs eating at y’all hood famous restaurants. I’m a guy that loves to create new experiences that’s how my music is created. I want to make some dope experiences with dope people just like the good folks at RosecransAve so if you’re on the same page let me know. Peace to everybody supporting my music or just discovering it via this blog its all love contact me at IG @OmarAura, FB Omar Aura Twitter @TheAuradon.
At this time next year, January 2016, where do you think you’ll be, geographically and career wise?
Geographically where ever the Lord leads me, could be LA where I’ve lived or somewhere new like Houston, I’ve been thinking of moving there or ATL for years. Career wise I plan to be touring expanding The Omar Aura brand, bringing funky fly fresh ass music to the world you know. My passion runs so deep, at times its hard to look that far because I’m trying to kick today and tomorrow’s ass. Us musician’s are living in days and times where things move fast if your not on your game your wave can wash away in a sunset. There is soooo much work to be done before 2016 and I’m just happy to get to it man let the player times roll.