At the beginning of this year, fast-rising act from Rivers State, Stanley Omah Didia, well-known by the stage name Omah Lay was just a Port Harcourt boy, with nothing but his talent and passion for music.
He announced his emergence on the music scene with singles such as Hello Brother and Do Not Disturb, which he released in 2019, and followed up with Alternate Cuts and Tonight, both this year. He got everybody’s attention with You, and Bad Influence, both tracks are off his debut Extended Play with the title Get Layd.
Following the validating reception of both singles, Omah Lay shared the Get Layd EP contained other songs like Damn, LoLo, and Ye Ye Ye, which he released on May 22 to rudder-stamped the endorsement of his talent.
On what went into the making of Bad Influence, which has become one of the biggest jams on the airwave, Omah Lay said: “Bad Influence is actually a story of many things happening at the same time. I wanted to put out something on Instagram because I’d been away for a long time so that people had something to listen to while I was away.”
“So I made Bad Influence as a one-minute song but it turned out to be everybody’s favorite and they all requested that I make it a complete song. Like I said, it was inspired by a whole lot of things. It was me coming to Lagos, being exposed to a new type of life, a lot of things around me, and putting all that experience together,” he added.
So far, the song has garnered more than 10 million streams on all streaming platforms giving the singer a promising good start.
Born into a family with deep musical roots in Port Harcourt, his grandfather, a percussionist played in Celestine Ukwu’s highlife band, which is reputed for great highlife hits like Ije Enu, Igede and Money Palava in the 60s until 1976.
His father also played the drums though he didn’t reach the heights of his father. This no doubt gave Omah more confidence in music, as he created his own brand of music, Afro-fusion, a blend of Afrobeat and Highlife genre.
As a gifted artiste with an uncanny ability to exist in his space, even when circling around the afro-fusion tag that has seen a recent rise in adaptability, the promising act left many music buffs to tip him to win ‘Rookie of the Year’ at the next Headies awards.
Speaking on career trajectory, Omah Lay said: “I started out when I was around 15. I became a music producer for a long time and then started singing again. I heard a lot of stories about my granddad while growing up, that he was a percussionist for legendary highlife singer Celestine Ukwu at a time. I think that’s where the whole thing comes from. My dad was a drummer also. These people were all inspirational to me.”
“My sound is afro-fusion, but I don’t like being boxed in some type of way; I’m not that kind of artiste. There are so many influences to my music,” he enthused while describing his brand of music and sound.
On how COVID-19 has effected change in the regularly scheduled program, Omah Lay said: “I’m not so much of a business person but I know for sure my team puts the business out there. I basically just make music.”
Omah Lay, who is currently signed to the Dvpper Music, is the first African artiste to be highlighted by the Africa Rising Initiative launched by Apple Music, a music and video streaming platform. Every two months through the programme, Apple Music’s editorial team selects one artiste from the continent and amplifies their music to its users in 167 countries.
Reacting to the development, the fast-rising act said, “I have always used Apple Music, seeing my favourite artistes on playlist covers and features but here I am looking pretty as Apple Music’s first Africa Rising artiste. I am overwhelmed, dreams really do come true,” he said in a statement.