He’s twenty-four years old and has already been compared to Frank Sinatra. This Palestinian singer-songwriter found his love for music during the most difficult time of his life.
Omar was born in Nablus, a town on the West Bank of Palestine, which was considered a rough area. While growing up, Omar experienced the Second Intifada, which was a period of extreme tension between Palestinians and Israelis. It was during that time Omar learned how to play the piano.
“I’m not trying to pick this up from a fairy tale, but I think music was always the escape from … reality,” he told NPR Music. “That little space where you can be creative and kind of dream and move away from everything that’s happened to you.”
Omar spent most of his time listening to a multi-cultural mix of music, which is how he discovered Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me to The Moon”. He gives Sinatra full credit for giving that push in the back to start singing career and went on to found the Sinatra Society during his time at Cardiff University. He even toured the UK with the University’s Big Band.
Omar Kamal’s debut single has reached over 100.000 views on YouTube.
Omar returned to Palestine in 2014 to organize a few concerts and got noticed by Sony Music Entertainment Middle East. After signing a record deal with Sony, Omar recorded his debut single; a cover of Michael Jackson’s “Love Never Felt So Good” and record an accompanying music video which already has over 100.000 views on youtube.
For his debut album, Omar got the opportunity to work on some of his songs at Capitol Studios, where Sinatra himself recorded most of his albums. “I was very nervous — I was trying to keep it together around all of these people,” Omar told NPR music when talking about the recording of his album. “But it was a great experience.”
Being a Palestinian artist can be both positive and negative, he told MEMO. Omar believes there is room for many types of artists, some more political than others.
Even though Omar mostly sings in English, he also sings in Arabic, French and Italian. His video of him singing the Palestinian Anthem gained him over 300.000 views since the upload.
His debut album “Serenade” got realized by many iconic artists like producer Dave Pierce (Michael Buble, The Frank Sinatra Estate), producer Bob Rock (Metallica, Aerosmith) and session players who have worked with legends like Michael Jackson, Paul McCartney and Sammy Davis Jr.
As his fan base grows every day, we certainly expect great things from Omar Kamal.
This article was written by Yasmine Nollet