I am Omi’s “Cheerleader”

And you are Omi’s “Cheerleader.”

By Gabi Gimson, St. Edward’s University


A few weeks ago, I was driving around, listening to a popular radio station, when an impossibly sweet and smooth voice reached through the stereo, captured my black soul, and transported me to a place I’ve never been.

There was a steel drum. There were Panama hats. There were ambiguously ethnic, bikini-clad women flanking me, and then there he was: Omi. Who is Omi? Singer or Sorcerer? I really don’t know, actually.

He could be a band of singing cartoons, like The Archies, or a duo of lip-syncing Germans, like Milli Vanilli. It doesn’t matter who he is, really, but I like to refer to him as hOmi now, because I ‘get’ him, and I want the world to know.

Omi’s “Cheerleader” was a popular hit of the summer, but I have been out of touch with contemporary music ever since I bought fifty New Wave cassette tapes on eBay a few months ago. I binged on Peter Gabriel until I acquired an accent reminiscent of Madonna’s during her “I moved to London, and I’m British Now” phase.

I didn’t think I had missed much in the way of music, with the exception of Mumford and Sons’ transition from hokey banjo nonsense to generically generic nonsense. Justin Bieber came out with something sort of catchy just like his last sort-of-catchy something, but I can’t remember either of them.

And then along comes Omi. Omi God.

I would describe his single as “fire,” but never has a fire burned so bright, emitted such blissful warmth or produced such sweet smoke as this track. I cannot recall any specific detail of the song, because while I listen, I am too busy being spiritually awakened to notice the particulars.

I think the song is about a cheerleader, but I can’t be sure. I don’t know which team she’s rooting for, but I can only assume she cheers for team Omi, just like myself.

Maybe I’m the cheerleader. Maybe we are all the cheerleader.

Outside of discovering who the cheerleader is, another aspect of Omi’s mystique (Omistique) is the fact that there are about a hundred remixes; in fact, I think even the original may be a remix. I have my favorite version, but honestly it’s impossible to go wrong with any of them. I found a YouTube video that plays a one-hour loop of the song, and this has become my preferred listening experience. The video also has inexplicably transfixing screensaver visuals and complete lyrics in the caption section (I highly recommend it).

I was eager to share my newfound obsession with friends and loved ones, and all of them played along for a while, but ultimately, they didn’t share the same enthusiasm. I guess the lesson Omi’s trying to teach me is that sometimes a girl has to be her own cheerleader. Thank you, Omi.