A conversation with musical artist Omgimjoe
Today on What On What’s Good with Host Jovin Tardif, I am here with musical artist Omgimjoe. The Syracuse N.Y. native came on the scene playing with artists like Charlie Burg, Aaron Rizzo, Puji, and most importantly, his producer Skyrenzo. Omgimjoe’s musical range stretches from smooth R&B and high energy trap to anthemic pop melodies. In our interview, topics include his voice and sound, his debut album ‘The Myth of Fitting in’, performing at multiple venues, his latest track “Finbar” and more.
1. Describe your introduction to music growing up. Who are some of your musical influences?
When I was growing up, my mom would sing to the radio all the time. From an early age, I learned what singing off-key sounded like, and sometimes I still struggle with that myself. On the weeks that I lived with my father, he devalued art but revered reading and writing. This led to me writing and performing my own Emo and Hardcore songs with my cousins, who were a primary influence in my music taste. To this day, some of my favorite bands are Taking Back Sunday and Saosin.
My biggest influences can’t really be traced back to anyone artist though. I’ve always heard melodies, cadences, and vocal riffs in different parts of my life. My music is a culmination of those ideas mashed up with my personal stories. I definitely have an early 2000s, sad boy influence to my melodies. A great example of this is my verse in “52 50”, a song by my friend Puji, from his album Ecothot – Forester Version. Another example is when I channeled “Israel (Sparing)” by Chance and Noname on my song Father Father pt.1.
2. How would you describe your voice and sounds?
My voice tends to bounce between smooth and “ciggy”. My sound is based on acoustic instrumentation and combined with beep bop boop computer noise. Never…never… sleep on Skyrenzo’s drums and production. That fusion between two opposites is the whole point of TMOF. We were trying to effortlessly flow between whatever sounds we wanted to at ANY moment.
3. I just checked out your album ‘The Myth of Fitting in’. What sort of message(s) are you conveying in your debut album? What was it like creating the album? Any fun memories from the studio?
TMOFI is a coming of age story, but mostly it’s a story of coming into your own skin. It tells that through a series of stories about old loves, old habits that die hard, and ultimately, me taking charge of my own life. The album’s genesis had some songs that got cut but were paramount to us finding our direction sonically for the album. Maybe those songs will get pulled out for some singles one day. The best part about those songs is that everyone in the Wav Mark Media Crew (our closest friends) were involved. But most of the album wrote itself once we had the initial verses or beats. After those first sessions, we immediately knew what songs we wanted on the album. We produced them fully with only that intent, knowing they would be nothing else but on that damn album. Ya know?
4. Describe what it is like performing at some of Syracuse’s underground venues such as the ARK ARTS, the Treehouse, and Big Red. How do you typically prepare for these venues? How would you describe the crowds?
I performed at these venues back in college and sometimes they were so packed and smokey, I had no voice by the middle of the show. I could never find water that was actual water, usually just a mixed drink in a Poland Spring bottle, or the Gatorade was mixed with vodka. The best performances at these venues were definitely with my punk rock band, shout out Weston Stroud and Sid. The Treehouse show with Aaron Rizzo & Charlie Burg show was killer as well. Preparation was mostly my producer, Skyrenzo, setting everything up while I sang my solfège scale 20 times! But the crowds were always electrifying, especially at The Bedford. Also, big middle finger to the frat that sullied Big Red, a historic venue in the college neighborhood, and turned it into a dubstep-only party house. Ryan McKeown and Noah Steinberg would always hold it down at their Ark shows, which attempted to stay intimate but would ALWAYS get rowdy. I loved it.
5. With your new music video ‘Finbar’ that came out on August 7th, tell us a little bit about the song. Describe what it was like joining forces with producer Skyrenzo to create the visuals for ‘Finbar’.
“Finbar” is about reflecting on an old love that was really toxic and being happy that I’m able to realize now how amazing my relationship is while I’m still in it! Realizing that these are the good times while you’re living them is the greatest feeling. Aaron Rizzo delivers the hook in a melancholy tone, which makes it sound like you are with a new love but you miss your old relationship. However, if you pay attention to the lyrics of the verses, you can see it’s actually the opposite. Skyrenzo aka Sky Booty aka Bobby Blue Cheese is a maestro when it comes to producing. He makes sure every session runs well and that the DRUMS… THE DRUMS… are always crispy like a cheddar bay biscuit, ya feel me? But the real glue of this song comes from the bass line that Aaron Rizzo laid down. The three of us together are always tapped into a new level.