For our next installment of #MDInterviews, we get to know one of Chicago’s favorite soul bands The O’Mys.
A soul-fusion septet like no other, The O’My’s have become a staple to the Chicago music scene since their 2011 debut EP, Potty Mouth. A favorite by hip-hop fans and rock devotees alike, The O’My’s seduced the ears of the Windy City with their lush instrumentals and the sensual vocals of frontman Maceo Haymes. The band’s summer of 2015 included such milestone successes as performing at Chicago’s North Coast Festival, a placement in the new HBO program Ballers with their song “Pieces,” and the release of an instantly popular single, “Pianu Wu,” featuring local artists Donnie Trumpet, Saba, Zack Wicks (R.I.P.), Ice Face, and Satellite View. And though summer is unfortunately over, the ascendancy of The O’My’s has only just begun.
MD: It’s been a while since we’ve last been able to catch up. You guys were just at the Tonic Room last week playing with the Social Experiment. Can you tell us what it’s like performing on those Jam Nights?
The O’My’s: The jam nights are always fun. The room is packed with some the city’s most talented and brightest artists and minds. It’s great that Stix puts these nights together. There are few other communities or cities where a night like this happen with that kind of talent. Chicago’s music community is thriving and it shows at Jam Nights - plus we always have a fun time out there.
MD: I remember the first time I saw you guys play live. It was at Schuba’s over the summer of 2013. Your energy is so infectious and your passion is truly inspiring. Can you speak on your most recent tour around the Midwest?
The O’My’s: Our most recent tour was with fellow Chicagoans, ProbCause and Saba. It was the first tour we’ve done with solely acts from Chicago. Traveling with musicians we know and collaborate with is big fun and we got to hit a lot of college towns around the area that we’ve been building a crowd in so it was cool to get out of town a little bit and move around the Midwest.
MD: What was the most memorable interaction with fans across the tour? Was there a particular city that showed you more love than expected?
The O’My’s: I think our show in Madison was particularly memorable. We have been building our fan base there for the past year. The show was packed with new and old fans that knew our music which made the show warm and loose. Everyone in that room was dancing and seemed to know at least some of our lyrics. We felt very much at home.
MD: Your last release came at the beginning of this year and I’ve recently had “Piano Wu” on repeat. When can we expect the next full length project?
The O’My’s: We are currently writing and laying demos for a new project. The project is slated to release at the beginning of 2016.
MD: Any notable features you’re excited to announce?
The O’My’s: We’re not that far where we’ll be letting any of the specifics out just yet, but we’ll definitely make sure Music Dealers gets a first peek when we do!
MD: I won’t ask you to confine your music to a particular style because your ability to cross genres shouldn’t be limited. Who would you say were your influences when the band first came together? Is anybody inspiring you guys as you continue to perform and create new music these days?
The O’My’s: When we began The O’My’s, Chicago’s rich history of Soul and Blues were our first teachers. Artists like Curtis Mayfield, Sam Cooke, Syl Johnson, Muddy Waters and R. Kelly. We were also influenced by acts like Sly and the Family Stone as well as James Brown and Cody Chesnutt. I feel like we accurately embody the spirit of those acts while making the music our own at the same time. It’s definitely an honor to help carry on that history.
MD: Let’s shift gears and start to think like music supervisors. Where do you see your songs best syncing to screen?
The O’My’s: Our music has a number of qualities that make it suitable for syncing to the screen. We have songs which are smooth, mellow and perfect for a rainy day or a night alone. We also make music that gets people on their feet and helps them reminisce after a long day or think about what’s ahead. I feel like our music can permeate into almost any situation.
MD: What 5 words best describe your sound?
The O’My’s: Soulful, Classic, Sprawling, Delicate & Warm
MD: In an industry that’s only getting more difficult to monetize your art and hard work, what role do you feel licensing plays in the business of music?
The O’My’s: Licensing plays an important role in both exposing artists to new markets and fans while also allowing them to monetize at the same time. We definitely appreciate any opportunity we have come our way and it definitely has helped us get to where we are today.
MD: You guys are a very young, breath of fresh air many of us have been yearning for in the urban music scene. I look forward to seeing you perform in Madison, WI this Halloween. Thanks again!
The O’My’s: Appreciate you guys as always! Thanks for keeping us in mind and letting us chat with you all real quick.
Interview by Zach Lyons, Music Dealers