Texas-based singer/songwriter Xavier Omär debuts a five-song EP titled b l u r r. The project features production from Jay Versace, Oxthello, Sango, Savon, Kaelin Ellis, Stwo, Bizness Boi, Derelle Rideout, Pelham & Junior, Billy Blunt, Justin Crawford, ROM and Shaan.
Lead single “Feelings 4 You” is a soulful track inspired by Omär’s own romance with his wife that landed Best R&B of The Week with Uproxx. The second single “Tarantino” produced by Sango and Stwo, is a “summertime bop” that took lyrical cues from his dad’s decision to pursue a woman who was already engaged and became his wife.
“Each time I search sonically, lyrically and visually to be able to give people something that’s not just a rehash of what they’ve heard before,” explains Omär. “I want to convey emotion in every lyric and note choice I make. Whether you already know my music or are hearing it for the first time, you can step in and absolutely connect with a feeling you may not have found the words for yet.”
Rounding out the b l u r r EP are an insightful look at overcoming life’s challenges while seeking what’s needed to get back on the right tack (“A Dream” featuring Pat Junior); the frustrations that can arise in any relationship, told from the female perspective (“A Concept”) and the folly of trying to outrun your problems instead of facing them head-on (“Not In LA”). In every instance, each selection showcases Omär’s unerring skillset in taking the left-of-center route to create his singular brand of pop-, jazz-, rock-and rap-infused R&B.
For Xavier Omär — named “one of R&B’s most hidden gems” — making music boils down to one crucial factor: always give listeners something different. That’s the central line connecting Omär’s diverse and adventurous catalog, launched via a series of popular EPs beginning with 2015’s Hours Spent Loving You and the subsequent release of his first two studio albums: 2019’s Moments Spent Loving You and 2020’s critically acclaimed if You Feel.
Growing up, music was the connection that helped Monterey, Calif.-born Omär and his two siblings adjust to frequent moves with their military dad across the country and overseas to Japan. Mom and the children sang and played drums and piano; dad was also a writer, producer and minister of music at church. As a fledgling 12-year-old rapper (“I thought I’d be famous within a year”), he wrote and produced his first song, recording it in his family’s basement. Eight years later, he moved to San Antonio, Texas to be near his dad.
Influenced by artists and bands such as Kanye West, John Legend, James Blake, Arcade Fire and Coldplay (“major pieces of my life”), Omär opted to give singing a go. His steadfast determination to push forward yielded a pivotal liaison with renowned Soulection producer Sango (Frank Ocean) and a string of EPs starting with his and Sango’s Hours Spent Loving You in 2015. Subsequent EPs with other collaborators include 2016’s The Everlasting Wave, 2017’s Pink Lightning and 2019’s A Late February. After partnering with Sango again in 2019 for debut album Moments Spent Loving You, Omär returned the next year with the critically-acclaimed sophomore set if You Feel. Featured on NPR’s Best Music of 2020, Feel elicited praise from critics ranging from "the perfect blend of traditional and experimental R&B" to "on a clear path to R&B greatness."