Born Denzel Campbell, Zel Omar is a multi talented artist hailing from Long Island New York. He started writing songs at the age of 10 and started recording by 2005. Throughout the years Zel Omar developed his skills as a lyricist, producer, and audio engineer. By the time he graduated college with a degree in Recording Arts, he had also started to develop skills as a director, editor, and an independent businessman.
His genre-bending approach draws from a range of styles, from soul-pop and new wave to electro and contemporary R&B. He combines his jaw dropping talent with intricate wordplay that makes him hip-hop’s next star!
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What city and state are you from?
ZEL OMAR: I was born in the Bronx. When I was 3 years old I moved to Long Island, New York specifically to a town called Uniondale
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What is your music background?
ZEL OMAR: I started writing rhymes at the age of 10. At 13 I started going to an afterschool music program run by the legendary rap group Public Enemy’s DJ at the time. It was there I learned how to properly write songs, produce beats and engineer music. Once I stopped going to that program I continued teaching myself how to produce and engineer. Eventually I went to college and majored in Recording Arts which gave me more knowledge as far as mixing records was concerned. It was also at college that I was introduced to directing videos, most of my knowledge on directing and editing videos was self taught once I graduated however.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are your songs about?
ZEL OMAR: Each of my songs are naturally about various topics however I write my music based off of my life experiences. My dreams of making it in the music industry is a topic I commonly touch on; As well as my past and current relationships with significant others, friends and family.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What is your favorite song to perform and why?
ZEL OMAR: My favorite song to perform is a song off my project “For The Real” entitled “Jealousy”. The energy of this song and the events that inspired me to write this record make this one of my favorite songs overall. Each time I perform this record the crowd engagement surprises me. At one show in particular I recall I had people in the crowd dancing. At my most recent show at Club Pyramid in Manhattan when I performed the record I had the crowd singing the chorus by the end of the song.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What has surprised you most in the pursuit of a career in music?
ZEL OMAR: I would say so far the most surprising thing is the support I get from people I don’t know personally both in and out of state. Having my material on multiple online platforms exposes my music to so many people and I think its pretty cool to have someone from the U.K. and even Germany in one case be able to tell me how much they enjoyed watching one of my music videos.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: Who are your musical influences?
ZEL OMAR: My musical influences are Kanye West and Drake. I relate to Kanye because when growing up I was more exposed to gangster rap. I just thought that’s what hip hop was until Kanye came out. He showed me that you didn’t necessarily have to be hardcore to be a rapper. Drake on the other hand exposed me to a new approach with recording. He in a sense made it cool to incorporate singing and rapping on a track; because of Drake I incorporate melodies quite often whether within the production or through my own vocals. Kanye and Drake achieved success solely based off of being themselves and that is what I strive to achieve as well.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What makes you stand out from other artists?
ZEL OMAR: My music is universal I have songs you can you can turn up to as well as songs you can learn from. If your more into mainstream music then I would say I’m definitely the guy for you to check out. I’m a New York artist but I don’t make the typical New York style of hip hop, I draw inspiration from music worldwide so I incorporate all sounds and put my own twist on it.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What makes you stand out from other artists?
ZEL OMAR: I am practically a one-man band I write songs for myself and others, I produce records, I engineer, I direct and I edit videos. My skill set is what I feel separates me from the pact. My drive and my work ethic are also something that cant go unnoticed Since I started releasing content this year I currently have 63 songs available online and 24 music videos released on Youtube. I release music videos practically every week on my Youtube channel and that’s something a lot of artist cant and don’t do.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What would you like to see changed in today’s music industry?
ZEL OMAR: I would like to see the industry take the time to develop artists again. I feel like these days they latch on to artists that have popularity more so than real talent. I think a lot of artist would last longer if the industry took them under their wing to develop them.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are some upcoming projects that you are currently working on?
ZEL OMAR: I currently have two projects out one is called “For The Real” and the other is called “Mozheart”. As far as what I’m currently working on, I have a project called “Nostalgia” in the works. On “For The Real” I focused more on creating fun, catchy “radio records” if you will. “Mozheart” was more of a compilation of songs I’ve done starting in 2013 up until 2016 that I just decided to put together for my audience to digest while I work on new music. With “Nostalgia” the theme of this project is taking old records sampling them and flipping them to appeal to the new generation.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are your career goals? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
ZEL OMAR: I am aiming to be one of the greatest artists this generation has to offer. I want to be able to touch the lives of millions of people and inspire them to want to be great as my idols did for me. I want multiple Grammys for my work, I want to change the world with my art. As it is now I have a production company called Domination that specializes in providing artists with the tools they need to start up their music career. We offer studio time, music video production, photo shoots, album artwork design and much more. In 10 years I see myself shifting my focus more towards running my company.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: How can your fans access your music and contact you?
ZEL OMAR: All of my music can be accessed through my website zelomar.com. You can also find me on all social platforms under the name Zel Omar. I respond to all messages I’m very social with my supporters so I encourage everyone to follow me and message me their thoughts on my work.