Fr Carlos Luis SAC
Omkar Kalidas Naik, or OM, as his friends call him, is a resident of Bandora, Ponda, Goa. Omkaray Namah is his pen name, which has been buzzing since he dropped a teaser. Every bystander he has come across has asked him when his next song is dropping.
The award winner of Best Konkani Song of the year 2019-2020 for his first original “Jana Ashillo Hav” and the nominee for Best Konkani Lyricist, Best Konkani Music Video and Best Konkani Male Singer of the Year, is releasing his next song titled “Ravunk Jaina Majhyan” on December 6, 2022.
He is an engineer by profession and is passionately bent on exploring different forms of art like painting, poetry, storytelling, music and production. Never planning to get into the music industry, Omkar started off as an artist who would paint and sketch, participating in rangoli competitions during school and college days.
But later, when he began working, he tried his hand writing in Konkani. This transition slowly drew him towards music. Confirming what Virginia Hanlon Grohl, the mother of Grammy-winning rock star David Eric Grohl, stated, “Music is a calling that doesn't call softly or politely. It screams insistently. The musician will find a way.”
Dreaming of creating content and making good music in Konkani, which would be appreciated and supported by the local people, he proceeds, inspired by them, “The people around me, they inspire me a lot.”
He further adds, “The interactions with them on a daily basis, with emotions combined – I just write what is going inside me, or something that I have experienced, or something that I have observed.”
Music once given admission, the soul becomes an immortal spirit. Similarly, Omkar desires that his songs be remembered for generations, aiming at writing songs filled with emotions. “Something that people would really accept, connect and hum in their minds,” he says animatedly.
“Ravunk Jaina Majhyan” is a love song yet again, coming straight from Omkar’s heart, giving us a honeymoon vibe. But it is a song about a normal married couple and their romantic gestures for each other.
Omkar spiritedly states, “It is about emotions which we don't usually speak about, but are understood. You will know when you will watch it.”
The process – from writing the lyrics to the production to the final cut – took him and his team quite long, about a year and a half.
Although the process was difficult, he says, “Choosing the right people to get on board to complete this project was the ultimate task. A team of approximately 25 great talents have worked on this piece, and I was blessed to find them.”
Despite having won an award for his first song, it is not earning laurels that is on Omkar’s mind; his focus is on creating magic for the people.
Being down-to-earth, he says, “People accepted the song “Jana Ashillo Hav”, and it was amazing and beautiful. But, yes, the award happened, and it happened in a big way. Frankly speaking, the award was a bonus. I just went to the award function with my teammate to attend it as instructed by the organisers, and we didn't even know we would be receiving one, or that we were nominated, because that was never the plan. I didn't even take my whole team to the function.”
Awards keep inspiring him to make better songs and content. At the same time, he knows for sure that the awards mean a bigger responsibility.
Other than the romantic genre, Omkar plans to try his hand at rap, sad melodies and classical music. “I am inspired mostly by Arijit Singh,” he states, adding, “I feel he is a bridge between classical and Western popular music.
Also, the emotions he brings out when he is on stage are priceless. He is that awesome.” He also hints at making short films in 2023.
Omkar is ready to spread love, and support the people around him in doing good and appreciating the little things in life. One hashtag that he often uses is #Hispabhairmog. When you meet him, you are sure to experience that through his conversation.
His advice to young budding musical talents of the state is practical, “Just listen to your heart, have faith in your music and, most importantly, find your circle of good people around you who will be your team and will guide you at the right place and time; who will motivate you in this journey and will support you like family.”
(Carlos Luis is a priest belonging to the Society of the Catholic Apostolate (Pallottine) and is currently the mission secretary of the ABVM Province, Bangalore. He comments on literature and films that mirror life.)