Omar Musa is the 2008 Australian Poetry Slam champion. A rapper and hip-hop artist, he counts amongst his experiences having swum with piranhas and alligators in Bolivia and teaching Aboriginal children in outback Australia. The Malaysian-Australian baritone has backpacked almost every continent and has a treasure-trove of stories to tell. Raised in the orange brick flats of Queanbeyan, Australia as part of an artistic family, the 25-year old says he wants to “introduce a new level of poetry to Australian hip-hop.”
Musa was a winner of the prestigious British Council’s Realise Your Dream award in 2007 and relocated to London to work in the UK hip-hop scene with grime star Akala and slam poet Jahnell. He has been played on Triple J and has recorded with J Records band 2AM Club in Los Angeles. He recorded his debut The Massive EP with veteran producer Geoff Stanfield in Seattle, USA, of whom he says “I finally felt as if I had found the perfect sound to compliment my lyrics.”
“It is a strange animal of an EP,” says Musa. “Written in London, recorded in the States by a Malaysian-Australian, it definitely has an original feel.” Navigating between underground hip-hop and mainstage performance poetry, Musa’s work is unique.
Musa’s first poetry collection The Clocks was launched at this year’s Ubud Writers’ Festival.