Words by Nadine White
Over the years, Omar Lye-Fook’s dulcet tones and flawless pen have earned him the title of the ‘Godfather of British Neo-Soul.’ Although post-90s babies may not be so familiar with some of his older hits, he has been namechecked by contemporaries from Estelle and Angie Stone to Stevie Wonder and Common, since bursting onto the scene more than 25 years ago with “There’s Nothing Like This.”
His latest release, a silky smooth, summery reggae “retwist” of Omar’s 2013 tune, “Simplify,” is a family affair. The singer’s brother, the award-winning Scratch Professor, produced the track, for their collaborative remix album, The Man (Retwisted by Scratch Professor). What’s more, it is worth mentioning that reggae has played a role in this soul brother’s life; Omar’s father was a studio musician and drummer who worked with the likes of Bob Marley and Horace Andy.
The video for “Simplify” was shot at the South London street festival Brixton Splash, which just celebrated its 10th anniversary, attracting over 20,000 people on August 2. The visuals bring us a slice of Splash’s Caribbean cultural explosion, but also snippets of the singer’s personal life. He can be seen putting down some easy skankin’ as he warbles away, hot-stepping past the infamous Somerleyton Estate, taking photos with fans, commanding the mic with London’s Veteran Studio One Sound clique (some of his musical comrades) and playing with his gorgeous twin daughters and their friends on the grass – adorable!
The “Simplify” remix single (featuring Get Away,” a previously unreleased track from way back in 1994, on the B-side) drops Sept. 11; pre-order here.
Watch the video below.