I caught up with reggae rocker Omari Banks to discuss the release of his newest music video, Don’t Expect It, from his new album Sunlight.
What's the concept behind the song? I think that, in life, we get disappointed or hung-up on things that didn’t happen for us based on our expectations of a certain outcome. So, in the different versus of the song, I try to lay out the saying that expectations should be moderated so that disappointments are few. It's not a song about being all gloomy or sad. Basically, we need to work thru life in the present, and work towards our goals. So you cannot expect success but you just have to go for it.
When in your own life have you had to manage expectations? I think it's in my day-to-day life. Whether its in my music or in my personal life in relationships. A lot of people come to me as someone who has had different careers and moved things forward, and they have asked me what has helped me to stay positive. And I tell them that I keep working towards what I want, and I try and stay even keel, and not get too disappointed when things don't work out. It's not that I'm not looking for positive things to happen, but you just can't expect things to happen. You have to make it happen for yourself, and if things don't work out then you have to maintain that positive outlook.
Did you enjoy shooting this video? It was a lot of fun. This was a different kind of video to what I've shot before because I wanted to capture me in a different light, just having fun, going thru the rigors of tours life. It was an easy video to shoot in the sense that it was parts of my journey, in a sort of collage, to express the idea of working towards what you are doing and having fun while doing it.
What are you most excited for with the release of this video? This is the third single from my album Sunlight. I was really happy to promote a new collection of work, and with Don't Expect It, it's a different kind of feel, an old-school reggae feel, and a little more rootsy in terms of the beat. I'm very excited to see how its received throughout the reggae community.
In the video, you highlight certain phrases for the song. How did you decide to do that? This is the first time I've ever done it. I wanted the words and the chorus to stick out. The idea behind it is that, sometimes with a chorus, it's important to have an impact. And with this song, there is not just a melody but a lesson behind it that I want people to get from the song.
Do you write your own songs? All lyrics are written by me but I worked with the well established producer and artist Benjy Myaz from Jamaica. He's a close friend of my dad's and is like an uncle to me and he worked on the arrangements for this song.
Your island Anguilla is still dealing with the aftermath of the devastation caused by the hurricane. What is it currently like over there? People have lost their homes and businesses, and the hotels have taken a big hit which is hard because in Anguilla we really depend on the tourism. A lot of work is going on to ensure that the businesses and hotels are re-opened, and we are hoping to get back into the swing of things as soon as possible. In general, though, the mood is positive, and the people are resilient and hard-working people, so I have no doubt that we will be up and running in the next few months and excited to see all of the people that love Anguilla come back to visit us.
How can we support Anguilla? I released a song after the hurricane called Caribbean Strong and 100% of the proceeds of the song are going to APANY. It would be cool if people go and purchase that song. You can also donate directly to APANY, which is a credible source in helping Anguilla and its people.