How Family's Love For Music Inspired Omah Lay's Successful Music Career

Photo: Omah Lay/Instagram

By Kinyua Mwangi

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When hard work and favor locate you; life gets better in every way shape and form as is evident with Omah Lay. 

He is currently the talk of the town as fans wait with bated breath for his new hit ‘Attention’ featuring American pop star Justin Bieber. It is slated for release on March 4, 2022. 

The fame, love, and adoration by scores of fans flip an interesting chapter into the Nigerian artist’s life. 

Born Stanley Omah Didia, Omah Lay traces his love for music from his family. His father and grandfather played musical instruments which cultivated his affinity for music at an early age. 

Despite enrolling at the University of Port Harcourt, the ‘Godly’ hitmaker would turn to music, perfecting his self-taught music production skills. 

And 2020 was the year of his breakthrough. He self-produced ‘Bad Influence’ which finally catapulted him to fame as the world grappled with the Coronavirus pandemic. 

What you may not know is that the 24-year-old labored for a while before the lucky stars located him. His is a journey of resilience that eventually paid off. 

Before doing solo music, Omah Lay was one of the members of a rap trio group known as ‘Lil King’. He honed his songwriting skills while working with this group. 

He first released his debut single ‘Do Not Disturb’ in April 2019, but it did not gain recognition as he expected. A month later he followed it up with yet another single ‘Hello Brother’ after signing with KeyQaad Records. 

The poor reception of both records nearly broke his heart, and he took a seven-month hiatus. However, he decided to come up with an EP which he got down to when he was away. 

‘Bad Influence’ which is the first song in the debut EP titled ‘Get Layd’ gave Omah Lay incredible musical mileage.  

It was the first song of the EP that he wrote after fighting social media distraction. And it was the proverbial key that opened locked doors in 2020 when Nigeria and the rest of the world battled the COVID-19 pandemic. 

‘Get Layd’ and, of course, the success of ‘Bad Influence’ proved that Omah Lay is contemplative and hedonistic in his music creation. Not to mention his prowess in music production. 

The Enugu state native is a talented musician who is able to thrive in his own idiosyncratic zone, despite the recent emergence of the viral afro-fusion wave.  

He credits his musical success to his early exposure to music production which he got into when he was only 15 years old.  

Grammy award winner Burna Boy and Duncan Mighty greatly influenced his passion because he considered them the ambassadors of great Nigerian music from Port Harcourt. 

All he wanted to be like them – make Port Harcourt proud, and he did exactly this. However, what’s his musical style like?  

Omah Lay says afro-fusion is his first love but he is open-minded and loves exploring other genres as well. 

Different things influence his music, a perfect example being ‘Bad Influence’. The battering on social media after the release of his first two single sharpened his content stores and used them to compose the break-away hit. 

As of his poetry nature in his songs, the Headies Award 2020 winner credits this for his love for hip-hop back in the day. But he has never been an ardent reader of poems. 

Surprisingly – and very unique for an artist of his repute – he says that he never let fame get into his head because he doesn’t think he is famous at all. 

Nonetheless, ‘Godly’ which is hitherto his best-selling song, proves that he is just more than famous; he is an afro-fusion cultural icon in Nigeria. 

So, what can we expect from Omah Lay going forward? Great things, of course, but time define exactly what he gives his fans. 

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