Omari Banks, hailing from the vibrant island of Anguilla in the Caribbean, has carved out a niche for himself as a prominent reggae artist, continuing the legacy of his father, the legendary Bankie Banx. Known for his soulful melodies and meaningful lyrics, Omari’s music is a reflection of his journey from a professional cricketer to a reggae standout. In conversation with Veronica Kohlbecker, co-founder of WAWW, Omari sheds light on his musical evolution, the influence of his legendary father, Bankie Banx, and how he connects with his audience through his art. Here’s a glimpse into Omari Banks’ world and his perspectives on music, life, and the enchanting island of Anguilla.
Anguilla's Voice of Reggae
Emerging from the sun-soaked beaches of Anguilla, Omari Banks has become a synonym for reggae in the Caribbean and beyond. With a career that transitioned from cricket fields to music studios, Omari’s passion for music has always been the driving force behind his success. “I always aspired to be the best at whatever I did,” Omari says, reminiscing about his journey. “I worked hard to become a top cricketer, and now I’m channelling that same dedication into my music career.” Music was an integral part of his life, even during his cricketing days, leading him to pursue it full-time after retirement.
The reggae star credits his father, Bankie Banx, for his deep-rooted love for music. Growing up with a legend as a father meant Omari had early exposure to a variety of musical genres. “My dad’s record collection was like a musical buffet. I couldn’t decide whether to grab a plate for reggae, rock, or a side of soul. So, I just took a bit of everything. Like father, like son, right?” he jokes. This eclectic upbringing laid the foundation for his solo career, which quickly garnered international attention.
Reflecting on his musical influences, Omari notes, “Growing up in Anguilla, surrounded by the rhythms of reggae and the soulful melodies of the Caribbean, music was like my second language.” He views music as a powerful medium for expression and connection, saying, “When you put a melody behind your words, people tend to tune in and listen more attentively.”