How Dr. Dre, Mortal Kombat And The Sopranos Influenced Adil Omar’s Music

The unconventional and eccentric hip hop artist talks about 10 things that inspire his music

1. Dr. Dre

“On top of my own life experiences, I’ve been influenced by a lot of things that surrounded me. My mom listened to a lot of Pink Floyd while she was pregnant with me and I grew up being exposed to all kinds of music. I started listening to rap music when I was about five and I enjoyed it. My cousins would listen to Tupac but then I started listening to Dr. Dre for the first time when I was eight and I remember a moment when I saw a music video of his and I decided that I wanted to be a hip-hop artist.”

2. Mortal Kombat

“In terms of vibe, I’ve been told that my music videos are almost video gamey. It has the same energy of rebellious music I’ve grown up listening to. It definitely had an impact on the kind of sound that I have.”

3. His Father

“A really big influence on my music and my vibe is my dad, who died when I was young. He was an awesome person, but he lived a super crazy life, he was like an actual action hero type person, without exaggeration. He loved guns and lived a dangerous life. I grew up as a very gentle and sensitive kid but the male influence I had in my early years really influenced me. People like that don’t exist – I know  a lot of people say that their dads are their hero’s but people like my dad don’t exist.”

4. The Sopranos

“I started watching the Sopranos when it first started, probably when I was around 9 or 11. It’s the greatest show of all time. Tony Soprano is a G’. I’ve probably seen the whole series two or three times start to finish. I don’t know if it has an influence on my work directly, but in terms of storytelling and great art, sure.”

5. Wrestling

“I grew up watching a lot of wrestling. I love 80s and 90s wrestling, like Macho Man Randy Savage, NWO and Hulk Hogan. More than the actual fighting and wrestling itself, the thing that drew me more to 80s and 90s wrestling was the theatrics, the cartoonishness of it all. I really love that. It’s another thing that also requires a lot of belief, passion and dedication to do.”

6. Islamabad

“I’m from and I grew up in Islamabad. A lot of my music to me sounds like Islamabad, at least through my lens. I spent a lot of time in Kazakhstan when I was a kid because my dad used to live there, I’ve picked up bits and pieces from there as well. I was born in London and I spent a lot of time there too. I see my music as a universal thing, I’m a child of the world. I’d say my music is very, east meets west. It might be in English and stylistically it might be kind of western but it’s still very Pakistani music.”

7. The Terminator 2

“The Terminator 2 is one of the best movies of all time and obviously there’s a lot of nostalgia but Terminator 2 as an art piece is really special. It’s a timeless and flawless piece of cinema. Those vibes are definitely vibes that I’ve grown up with, they have shaped and influenced me for sure.”

8. Mohammad Ali

“Another human being who’s passionate and intense. He was very big on self-belief and I’ve needed to have self-belief in my life to get where I am and to do what I do. Anyone who has self-belief like Mohammad Ali or Bruce lee, I’m very big on that.”

9. RZA

“He’s a visionary, Wu-Tang Clan inspired me to start writing rap. Wu-Tang is the crew and all of their different personalities and RZAs production, just the whole vibe and even his philosophy as a human being is inspiring. He’s someone who’s very self-assured and low key, there’s no bullshit surrounding him. These are all just things that I admire in a human being.”

10. The Tiger

“It resonates with me. I feel like I connect with that and I can understand. It’s an image of a tiger in the snow after a battle and I’ve been through many battles in my life and I’ve come out looking and feeling like that.”

Link to video: https://youtu.be/MzigmzxSoo4 (New release, to be added)

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