Just back from a week-long vacation to Jamaica with my two daughters, and friends. I’ll be posting about the awe-inspiring–on many levels–trip in the coming week, but thought it fitting to play a Jamaican hit song popular here in the U.S., all over Europe, and of course, in Jamaica. The song is Cheerleader by Jamaican artist, OMI.
I first heard the song while driving in the car with my daughters right before the trip. Darla called out, “oh, it’s the Cheerleader song!” A few days later as we sat at the outdoor bar at the waterfront Luna Sea Inn in the small Jamaican town,Bluefields, (part of the Westmoreland parish), the personable bar manager, Norris, called out in the very same way Darla had, “…it’s the Cheerleader song..” Darla and her friend Sophia in their seats, and the inn staff milling around, started to sing and bop along to the upbeat tune.
I learned from Jamaican newspaper, The Gleaner, (which the artwork I purchased by local artist Jah Calo, was wrapped in–more on Jah in my upcoming blog post) that Cheerleader first came out as a ska song in 2012, but didn’t gain it’s popularity until German music producer, Felix Jaehn, remixed the song, adding African drums, a saxophone interlude, and speeded up the tempo. Believe it or not, it’s the first Jamaican crossover hit to break the Billboard Hot 100 Top 10 since Sean Paul’s 2003 hit, Get Busy.
Bob Marley and the Wailers, other Marley family members, and Jamaican reggae artists of conscious, ska, and dancehall music have entered the Billboard Top 100 charts, and/or have held a big place in fan’s hearts over the years, but as far as commercial, crossover success, it’s been a long time coming. Jamaicans are proud of their fellow artist, and fans the world over are getting to better know the music of OMI because of Cheerleader.
Cheerleader by OMI, the Felix Jaehn Remix
Cheerleader, by OMI, the original 2012 ska version
www.youtube. com, Cheerleader by OMI, posted by OMI Music Online, 2012
www.youtube.com, Cheerleader by OMI (Felix Jaehn remix), posted by Ultra Music, 2015
The Gleaner, OMI Breaks Billboard Hot 100 Top 10, June 20, 2015
Photo credit: www.ideasjamaica.com
Learn more about OMI at: www.omimusiconline.com