Your cart

No products in the basket.

Home » Mag » ommood with the powerful jazzy flavour

Two Mave The Masked Jedi - ommood with the powerful jazzy flavour

ommood with the powerful jazzy flavour

Producer ommood about his projects, beats, and life experiences

Two Mave The Masked Jedi 19/04/2023

ommood’s nonconformist persona is looming behind the glowing shade of his melancholic music.

Back again in full effect with your favourite column, this time we decided to travel far, making a beeline straight to the East, behind the comfortable shores of Anglo-centric Hip Hop. Ommood has been by far the dopest new discovery on my journey into crate-digging, loop-cutting, and jazzy-oriented beat chisellers.

Producer Paul McLay, known to the world as ommood, has Scottish and Armenian roots, has lived in India for almost a decade, and his artistic parable has been…well, let’s say bizarre. Probably, also the most unorthodox we have seen here in a long time. He suddenly materialized as a meteor with a beautifully done, atmospheric, refined album, inlaid with delicate jazzy moments, that not only leaves you wantin’ for more but keeps that feeling there even after.

Legend says that his first, homonymous, album, published through the guys at S!X Music, has been composed and recorded in Bodh Gaya, in the east of India, the same place of Buddha’s enlightenment.

Little do we know about how he took inspiration from the place and the journey he was doing (om!), but what came out was melancholic, elliptic, dotted with brass coming out from the mellow melodies, exuding elegance at every turn.

His music is still something less than a fully developed “instrumental hop”, but definitely way more than your everyday, crude and predictable “beat tape” beats. Little wonder that he started to collaborate with other like-minded producers, havin’ a quite similar penchant for a classy, nostalgic, Monsieur-Hulot-style eccentric kind of Hip Hop music so dear to many of us, that well deserves to be more listened to.

As he recently dropped a new EP titled Flow Fellows, alongside Gaya Police, and while waiting for new projects, we’ve jumped on the opportunity to have a proper chat with him, before losing sight of him again on the horizon, as he departs for one of his travels.

Hey ommood, do you want to introduce yourself to our readers?
Hey everyone! My name is Paul McLay aka ommood. I’m a filmmaker and music composer.

When did you start making music? What were your inspirations when you first started?
My musical journey started when I was a kid. My mom told me that I couldn’t even talk but I was dancing when there was MC Hammer’s main hit playing on MTV.

When I was 6, my father’s friend brought me a present from the US, it was the Beatles album, after that, I opened to myself Queen and fell in love with the voice of Freddie. Later, I entered a school choir and became a lead singer in my first punk rock band when I was 12.

Then, when I was 15, my friend gave me a cassette of Nirvana’s Nevermind and it literally changed everything. I started playing bass, but it was really hard to sing and play, so I switched to guitar soon. Later I became a huge fan of Blur, Beastie Boys, RUN DMC, RHCP, Pete Rock, Outkast, and many others.

ommood illustration album covers

What was your first commercial beat sold, or placed, ever?
It’s hard to remember now, but around 2010 I started to compose music for TV and different commercials. For a decade in that business, I worked with a really huge amount of international brands. Now I quit this thing and only compose music that I want and with whom I want. My story is close to MCA’s one and I now also don’t allow my music to be used in advertisements anymore.

How long did it take you to produce something that you were proud of?
Hmm, it’s a really tricky question for a perfectionist. I can just say that the second ommood album means a lot to me. It’s my ode to cinematographs and my favourite directors. When I’m composing, I always have a picture in my head and whenever I’m filming, I hear music. So, Cinematic Thoughts is kinda all in one.

What’s your favourite production set-up?
I’m a fan of Logic Pro, and using this DAW for quite a long time now. I’m playing my Fender Jag-Stang and love my ROLI. There are a lot of other things, but this is my main setup.

What’s the best digging advice you’ve received from someone ever?
I was filming a commercial in Prague as a director, around 10 years ago, and when it was a break between shooting, I came to a vinyl shop. There was an old man there, who was watching me for a while, and then came to me and brought me some really nice records from USSR, especially jazz and funk. I was very impressed, and later used them in some of my tracks.

Producer, in the last 3 months, that made you say: “Oh, shit, I have to go back to the lab!”?
There are many producers that I’m following, and I’m happy to say that some of them already became my friends and we even made some stuff together. About the wow-effect thing…I’ve just opened up myself to Akua Naru, and absolutely fell in love with her voice and lyrics.

If you should tell, what’s your worst production mistake ever made?
As I told you already, I’m a perfectionist…so, I can’t remember any mistakes so far. My production level is growing with me, and I believe that the quality level of my stuff is becoming better with every new release.

One essential mixing tip?
Be careful with compression, dear dudes and ladies!

What can we expect from you in the near future?
There are a lot of releases on the way! Hopefully, we will release our album with the mighty Boztown next autumn on my root label S!X-Music. We composed that stuff some time ago and now waiting for the factory to release both vinyl and digital.

Also, last winter I collaborated with some really great musicians, including extremely talented sitar player Abron, French guitar virtuoso Cengiz Aygun, Japanese producer Takada Fu and a marvellous saxophonist from Israel, David Goren.

Last but not least, I and my close friend, an amazing Ukrainian singer named Lina Mitsuki, are working on some new songs for our reggae fusion band Saffron Hearts. The next ommood release gonna be out on the 10th of May. It’s gonna be the 1st single from the upcoming Bossanova-hop EP Agua Es Vida, and shortly after the 3rd ommood will be introduced to the public.

Any final word for the readers? If anyone wanted to get in touch with you for beat inquiries, how can they do it?
Stay tuned the new music is coming! For any inquiries, send me an email!