Growing up is hard to do, and it’s even harder when you are growing up in front of millions of people. For some who start a career as a child or teenager, the stardom comes and goes – and the chances of a lasting career are even slimmer when you are in a group of four boys. Omarion is here to prove that he is an exception to the rule.
With the phenomenal success of the super boy band B2K to their abrupt split, moving on and finding his own sound, Omarion has definitely faced a lot of challenges in his life. Now with the success of his debut solo album and book, both entitled O, Omarion has something to say. AllHipHop.com Alternatives got the scoop on why he is no longer playing games, and is on the path to handling his business like a grown man.
AllHipHop.com Alternatives: Congratulations on your album reaching number one on the Billboard Charts! How does it feel reaching number one on your own?
Omarion: It’s really exciting to me, because who would have thought that I would reach this point by myself? When the record first came out I just wanted to do good numbers. I wasn’t setting out to be number one, I was just really on the humble, so when it number one it really surprised me, and showed me that my fans love me and it showed me that I am ready now.
AHHA: What were you doing when you heard?
Omarion: We were on the road, and they called me and told me that I was number one, and I just went crazy. [laughs]
AHHA: There was a lot of beef talk when B2K split up. Are you guys still friends, and will you ever do anything together again?
Omarion: The only member I have spoke to was Raz B, but I look at it like this, we were kind of young when we started and still young now, so a lot of the mistakes that were made were immature mistakes. I know there were things they could have done differently and there are things I could have done differently, but when it comes to that situation, guys are stubborn and I ain’t going to front, I know I am. So to sum it up, I am going to say when I bump into them it’s either going to be good and we build our relationship back up, or it won’t. But right now I can’t even see putting the group back together or anything without repairing our friendship, because we had a personal relationship before we even started the group – so that is definitely what’s more important to me.
AHHA: From leaving B2K to now talking about your ‘package’, what do you feel will draw the older crowd and still maintain your younger fan base?
Omarion: Well, in all honesty, I am twenty years old and I am really trying to cater to fans who were fifteen when I was fifteen and the older crowd, because to me this is a growing process and I am older. This [album] is a letter to let all the ladies know that I have grown up. I mean, I got facial hair [laughs] and I can talk about some things like love and relationships. I know [B2K] talked about love on our albums, but truthfully we were young, so we really didn’t know about real love like I have experienced now as a grown man.
AHHA: What is the hardest thing you had to deal with coming from a group?
Omarion: Nothing in particular, because I had to do a show in Philly and the boys didn’t show up, so I had to go out and do it on my own and that was something that I couldn’t avoid, so that really prepared me for doing things on my own and I did it. Some people will say that the experience [in Philly] built my confidence, but it definitely made me realize that I could go solo although I never planned on it.
AHHA: With the major success of your first single “O”, what is the next single and how do you plan to top the success of your debut solo video?
Omarion: The next joint is “Touch” produced by the Neptunes, so you know it’s crazy. But I chose it as my next single because it really goes with “O” –
because if you saying ‘oh’ then you know there’s touching. [laughs]
AHHA: So the video for “Touch” is going to correlate with “O”?
Omarion: Yeah definitely, and you are going to see a lot of dope choreography, because it’s a mid-tempo song. I am really going to be dancing because that’s what I do. Ya’ll thought you saw me break it down in the slow joint, just wait until you see how we moving on the “Touch” video.
AHHA: In addition to releasing your first solo album, you also released your first book also entitled O. What can fans expect when they read it?
Omarion: Well the album is my most personal ever, and the book is even more personal. I basically put all this out there because I want people to get a chance to know me. I’m not talking about Omarion the artist, I’m talking about Omarion the person. In the book there are really good pictures of me and my mom, and I talk about her in my book because she is my life. She was sixteen when she had me, so in the book I really let people know pretty much everything so they can really know me.
AHHA: Was there anytime you hesitated thinking you may be letting out to much information?
Omarion: No, never. I mean if you are getting to let it hang out, let it all hang out. You can’t be letting it peak. [laughs] If you are going to tell the truth, tell the truth all the way no matter what effects it has on you, because people will respect you more if you do it that way.
AHHA: Although you are twenty, did you ever think that you may be pushing it? To a lot of adults you are still that “kid” from B2K…
Omarion: No. The reason why is because when you look at TV now you see people getting shot and sex and stuff, so honestly I’m not saying anything no one hasn’t heard before. So I don’t think I’m pushing the envelope, plus I can’t hide what I am going through, because everything I talk about is real. I can’t sit here and say that I have never been in an intimate relationship, because I would be lying, so I don’t feel it’s a problem because I’m speaking on my experiences.
AHHA: You wrote five songs on your album, you released a book, you have starred in a movie, done countless cameos, you went solo and you are an accomplished dancer. What’s next for Omarion?
Omarion: You know what, I don’t even know. [laughs] I think I am going to do the music and movies for a few more years, and then possibly go to college and take some courses – so I can eventually sit behind a desk and tell people what to do.
AHHA: So college is in your future, do you have any idea what your major is going to be?
Omarion: I am really leaning towards something in business.
AHHA: I talked to Young Rome recently, and he said that the sequel to You Got Served is in the works…
Omarion: Yeah it is. The problem is trying to get the right scripting and see what direction we want to go in with it. I mean, there was a lot of amazing dance moves that were used in the movie, and our main problem is finding out how we are going to top them. I mean we made that film with seven million, and it grossed over 90 million right now between the box office and DVD sales. All this is thanks to the fans, without them I would definitely be nothing. So I want to take some time out to say thank you, and I love you. Everything I do, it’s with you in mind…and that’s real.