Adil Omar

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Adil Omar
Adil Omar in 2017.jpg
Adil Omar in 2017
Background information
Native name
عادل عمر
Birth nameAdil Omar Mahmood
Born (1991-05-17) May 17, 1991 (age 27)
London, United Kingdom
OriginIslamabad, Pakistan
GenresHip-Hop, psychedelic, industrial, pop, alternative hip hop, experimental hip-hop, psychedelic rock
Occupation(s)Rapper, record producer, singer-songwriter, musician, filmmaker
InstrumentsVocals, lyrics, rapping, production, keyboards, sampler, drums
Years active2004 – present
Associated acts

Adil Omar (born May 17, 1991), is a recording artist, rapper, record producer and singer-songwriter from Islamabad, Pakistan. He released his debut album and film Transcendence on July 8, 2018 and is also one half of the songwriting and production duo SNKM.

Biography and early life[edit]

Omar was born in London, England but grew up in Islamabad.[1] He lost his father at 10 to excessive drinking and saved his mother's life when he was 11. His mother's epilepsy and having to take care of her pushed him to pursue his passion for music as a career at an early age. He had a speech impediment and a stutter throughout his childhood which he cured through rapping. He was thrown out of multiple schools and eventually dropped out at 17 to pursue a career in music.[2][3]

Music career[edit]

Career beginnings[edit]

Omar was inspired by Dr. Dre to become a hip hop artist at the age of 8 after watching "Keep Their Heads Ringin'" and started writing lyrics and rapping at the age of 9 after listening to Wu-Tang Clan. He began recording and producing music by 13. In 2008, Omar caught the attention of B-Real of Cypress Hill who invited him to visit Los Angeles, helping launch his music career.[4]

Between 2010–2012, Omar put together The Mushroom Cloud Effect, a street album consisting of compiled tracks and unheard demos of Omar's early rapping and non-production work with Soul Assassins affiliated producers such as Fredwreck, DJ Solo and DJ Lethal handling the music. The most notable song was "Paki Rambo".[5][6] This was during press coverage on BBC, CNN, The Associated Press and many other news outlets which brought Omar considerable attention, but which he also felt was "heavily politicized", an angle which he wanted to avoid. This was also followed by a near death experience, professional mismanagement and a government imposed YouTube ban which momentarily affected the distribution and exposure of not only Omar but all independent musicians in the country.[4][7][8][9][10]

2015-2017: SNKM and Margalla King[edit]

In March 2015, Omar and Talal Qureshi formed SNKM (an abbreviation for Sonic Nocturnal Kinetic Movement) which came out with Omar's directorial debut for "Nighat & Paras" and followed by the duo's first showcase at SXSW.[11][12][13]

In early 2016, SNKM collaborated and performed with Diplo and Elliphant for their first Pakistan show. This was followed by the duo's second appearance at SXSW and Omar's solo EP Margalla King. The EP also featured a collaboration with Bun B.[13][14][15]

SNKM debuted in the United States at Mad Decent Block Party 2016 alongside Diplo, Kesha, Marshmello, Rae Sremmurd and others. The duo continued performing and touring with Diplo, Major Lazer, Skrillex, Valentino Khan and other artists throughout 2017 up until early 2018.[16][17]

2018-present: Transcendence[edit]

Omar announced in late 2017 that his self-produced debut studio album Transcendence will be released in 2018.[18][19] Transcendence was released as a 10 song visual album on July 8, 2018. The lead single was "We Need to Talk About Adil" and guests on the album included Elliphant, Talal Qureshi, SNKM, Tim Armstrong of Rancid and others.[20] The instrumental version of the album was released on October 8, 2018.[21]

Shortly after the release of Transcendence, Omar announced that he was working on his sophomore album titled Mastery for a 2019 release.[3][2][22]

Musical style[edit]

Omar has been described as "cartoonish, colorful and animated", "perhaps one of the world’s most interesting and unusual artists" with "highly technical" lyricism showcasing "razor-sharp multi-syllable usage and metaphors", strongly reflecting "intellect, humor, and [his] unusual personality."[22] His production has been described as "bass-heavy" consisting of "a combination of foreign influences, psychedelic rock vibes, industrial sounds, bright synths, and progressive musical structures."[22][3]

Omar has cited Dr. Dre, Trent Reznor and Wu-Tang Clan as major influences.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Omar was born with sound-color synesthesia, a neurological condition in which the person afflicted sees colors when tones are sounded.[23][24]

In 2012, Omar was nearly electrocuted to death in the shower, an incident he talks about on Transcendence.[25]


For SNKM, see the SNKM article




  1. ^ "Rapper breaks new ground in conservative Pakistan". Yahoo News Philippines. 1 November 2011.
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ a b c "Why we need to talk about Adil Omar". 2018-07-21.
  4. ^ a b c
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 1 June 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-30.
  6. ^ Khan, Rayan (2011-10-03). "Adil Omar: Paki Rambo, uncut - The Express Tribune". Retrieved 2017-01-04.
  7. ^ Khan, Laaleen (2011-10-16). "In conversation with Adil Omar, hip-hop's 'Paki Rambo' – The Express Tribune Blog". Retrieved 2017-01-04.
  8. ^ [1] Archived 16 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ Asghar, Vaqas (2013-04-09). "Talking Mushroom Clouds with Adil Omar - The Express Tribune". Retrieved 2017-01-04.
  10. ^ Lee, Jinjoo (2013-08-07). "Pakistani artists challenging YouTube ban -". Retrieved 2017-01-04.
  11. ^ "New Music Videos, Reality TV Shows, Celebrity News, Pop Culture | MTV". 2016-09-30. Retrieved 2017-01-04.
  12. ^ "Adil Omar | SXSW 2015 Event Schedule". Retrieved 2017-01-04.
  13. ^ a b Asghar, Vaqas (2016-03-30). "From 'Paki Rambo' to 'Margalla King' - The Express Tribune". Retrieved 2017-01-04.
  14. ^ "Islamabad raises hands for DJ Diplo - The Express Tribune". 2016-02-27. Retrieved 2017-01-04.
  15. ^ "SXSW 2016: Artists from Pakistan shine". Retrieved 2017-01-04.
  16. ^ "Adil Omar, Talal Qureshi to perform with Diplo, Kesha at Mad Decent Block Party - The Express Tribune". 2016-08-12. Retrieved 2017-01-04.
  17. ^ "Here's what went down at Diplo's Mad Decent Block Party feat. Adil Omar, Talal Qureshi - The Express Tribune". 2016-08-25. Retrieved 2017-01-04.
  18. ^ "Diplo to perform in Pakistan next year". 2017-12-22.
  19. ^ "There is no fear Solo album 'TRANSCENDENCE' in". 2017-12-19.
  20. ^ "Adil Omar's debut album 'Transcendence' is a visual treat | The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. 2018-07-08. Retrieved 2018-07-09.
  21. ^
  22. ^ a b c
  23. ^ "People with synesthesia". Retrieved 2017-01-04.
  24. ^ "Why we need to talk about Adil Omar". 2018-07-21.
  25. ^,

External links[edit]