Growing up playing multiple instruments, Ommi has always been in love with music and always will be. Hailing from Toronto, he shipped off to university and kept up with his passion for music by learning how to produce in his spare time. He started making a name for himself in the dubstep scene after climbing into the top 10 Beatport charts with his heavy hitting “Mutant” EP. Now Ommi focuses on many genres, and is looking to stay on the rise with his heavy dubstep, and high energy electro productions and sets.
I’d have to say the biggest and most consistent thing in my life, other than my family, would be music. I can enjoy any genre from jazz and classical, to the heaviest dubstep or death metal, and everything in between. I’ve played guitar since I was nine, bass since 12 and drums, which I’d have to say are my favorite, since 14. I have been a huge music lover my whole life, and I barely do anything without music. I think it’s pretty amazing that there’s music that can relax you when you’re stressed, get you fired up for a big game or workout, or just make you dance in whatever style you want. Now that I make my own music and I get to see people dancing or reacting to it the way I would if I was a listener is probably the best feeling ever. No matter what happens I’ll always have music in my life, whether I’m creating it or just listening to it, and I think that’s pretty awesome.
Home Town: Burlington, Ontario
Currently Living: Just finished school and moved back home
Origin Of Name: In high school on the football team everybody calls each other by their last names, and mine is a little hard to pronounce, so it kept changing and becoming shorter until Ommi stuck. Most of my friends actually still call me Ommi so I thought it was best.
Weapon of Choice: Growls and guitars
Source of Power: Dubstep, electro-house, movies scored by Hans Zimmer, Marvel Comics
Was there one particular moment in the recording or mixing process for your Discovery Project entry that made you feel like you were creating something pretty damn special?
When someone told me about the Discovery Project I decided to try it out, but I wanted to also use it as a chance to try something new and have some fun. I tried making a genre that I hadn’t in a long time (electro-house) and just had a lot of fun with it. There was a moment when I played an original track that I made…and the crowd went nuts for it. The energy made that a pretty awesome moment for me.
Are there any dots to connect with where/how you grew up to your musical output?
My mom loved rock when she was younger, so when I was growing up and starting to listen to Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and all those awesome classic rock bands she was pretty stoked. And when I wanted to learn the guitar to play along with them she was very encouraging.
What do your parents think of what you are doing?
They’ve always been very supportive, but definitely when they realized I was actually getting paid to travel and play in front of people it changed their perspective from me just sitting on my computer making music to something bigger.
What’s the strangest part of your job?
The fans. Just in general the fact that there are people that I’ve never met, from all around the world, that enjoy my music, respond and give feedback on Facebook, and send me amazingly nice messages is pretty awesome to me.
What’s the biggest misconception about being a DJ?
I wouldn’t consider myself a DJ as much as a producer, and when it comes to production a lot of people don’t realize that making a nice clear sound that sounds and flows well in a song is a lot more difficult than you’d think. As far as DJing, I would say a lot of people don’t realize there are some people who take a lot of shortcuts and mix very simply, and then there are guys that are doing things that take an unbelievable amount of talent on the fly.
How does what you do for a living affect you on a day-to-day basis?
Well I just graduated from University so up until now my main job was being a student, and I am now just getting into a career with my business degree. Being a producer however is something that I enjoy greatly but I try to keep separate from my normal life. I don’t walk into a party and turn on my music or start DJing, if people ask I’ll talk about it, but I try not to be very in your face about it.
What is your ultimate career dream?
Ultimate career dream would be to see the world, either via tour or just slowly over time. I love travelling and seeing how the rest of the world lives and that’s definitely my favorite part about doing this…apart from creating music that others and I enjoy.
Are you impulsive with your work or do you have a sketch in mind before you start?
I’m usually very impulsive. If I have a specific idea in mind it usually takes longer because I won’t stop until I have exactly what I had in mind, which is usually pretty difficult to translate a thought into sound. I usually just try to sit down and have some fun with it.
How, if at all, does listening to music figure into your creative process?
Listening to music most definitely has a big part in the creative process because there are so many producers creating amazing new sounds and styles; the boundaries are constantly being pushed. I love making music I enjoy so when I hear a new song or style that I love I’ll try and make my own version of something similar or try and push myself into something new that someone else might find inspiring. Anything by Space Laces or MakO immediately makes me want to produce more; the combination of groove and amazing processing and technical skill just blows me away every time.
What’s the most important piece of gear in your studio?
I guess I’d have to say my laptop. This thing has all my software and my entire life on it, I’d be pretty rattled if anything happened to it.
How important is it for you to experiment and take on the risk of failure?
Very. Every producer will find their specific sound, but I think it’s really important to keep switching it up and trying new things, this way the boundaries keep getting pushed and new styles and sounds are created.
Do you have a list of people you’d like to collaborate with in the future?
Absolutely! Trollphace is one of the hardest working guys I know and always trying new processes and techniques…the guy uses three different DAWs at any time for fuck sake. Kursa has some of the funkiest tunes around and just all around unreal style. Au5 is just an all round unreal musician with some of the most amazing melodies out there, as well as some of the deadliest drops.
If we pressed Shuffle on your iPod while you went to the bathroom, what would you be embarrassed to come back to us listening to?
There’s way more plays on a few Carley Rae songs than I’d like to admit, but I don’t even care I’m in love.
What sound or noise do you love?
Funky neuro Reese with tons of movement, best demonstrated (I believe) by MakO, Kursa, Teddy Killers, Joe Ford and Disprove.
What should everyone just shut the fuck up about?
Genres, and Skrillex for fuck sake.
What gets you excited when you think about the future of electronic music and club culture?
That more people are recognizing how fun it is, but also that it’s a sense of community and how friendly people are at shows and festivals.
When you look at electronic music and the surrounding culture, what worries you about the future?
Too many record labels and promotion “companies” or channels. I honestly feel like it’s too easy to become “famous” and for sub par music production. It’s too much about whom you know than actual music quality.
What are your weaknesses?
Canadian beer and Carly Rae.
Do you have a secret passion?
Not exactly secret but I’d die without some sort of regular physical activity. I love running and playing sports.
Is success physical or internal?
I’d say success is working at something and being able to look back and be proud of what you’ve accomplished.
What do you remember about your first DJ gig?
I was opening up for 12th Planet, playing the 10-11 pm slot so not too many people were there. I was having fun and drinking, and near the middle of my set more people started coming in so I started playing more upbeat stuff and just as people were getting into it, and as I was getting a little drunk and excited, I hit play on the wrong deck which stopped the music, then in a frantic state to get the music going again I hit the cue button right after I hit play again which started the song over and kind of killed the vibe. Tried acting like I did it on purpose- almost like a retarded rewind to show off the song—and just kept going. Was still a fun night.
What’s the hardest professional lesson you’ve learned thus far?
A lot of people will say anything to get what they want then ditch. There are obviously tons of good people out there but there are some that just really don’t give a fuck about you, so you just have to find your ways of figuring out who’s who.
Tell me about your most memorable night out.
Probably the first time I saw Excision. He plays every genre and mixes it together so well that the energy never drops and you walk away going “wow.” That was the first time I was really, really impressed with someone’s mixing and style and was very inspired afterwards.
What advice would you offer someone thinking about entering the Discovery Project competition?
Do it! Take a risk and have some fun with it. They have quite a few competitions so at the very least you’ll get some practice out of making new remixes or mixes.