Omni Potent opened for Mobb Deep in New Zealand early last year, this was their debut gig. Since then Franko and T.D of Omni, along with their extended Omni crew have been creating, performing and collaborating throughout the Auckland hip-hop and producing circles. Tonight they will perform at Neck of the Woods with Pastel Collective. We caught up with Frank and T.D to talk all things Omni.
How did you two meet? When did you start working together on music? When did Omni Potent become official?
Franko: I met T through one of my high school boys, Liam. I dropped out at the start of Year 13 and spent a lot of time with him and one of the first dudes who heard me rap, Locarno. So one day I was going to link with Liam near school, and we tryna score. Not far down the road we headed to this industrial studio type place and it trips me out people live there. We went up this long flight of stairs and I was greeted by this tall as lanky dude, I recognized him from this party out near Mission Bay like a year before. At this point I was just hanging out a lot, smoking weed type stuff. I had always known T rapped but just preferred hanging out as a pose to pushing the rap shit. One night I left some shitty drinks to go link with Locarno, but he was with some girl so I went to T's and it was just him there. So we just had a sesh and this rap shit came up. 10 minutes later we were in opposite corners writing a verse. We liked Omnipotent Poets at first but didn't realize the pronunciation of the word, we'd been saying omni-potent the whole time. Put out my first track in April 2013 I think and then came "Alter Ego".
T.D: In my high school days my brotherhood and me formed a clique called CBC (cornbeefclan). We were all about mischief and the culture of hip-hop, but mainly graffiti and m'cing. Liam (my day 1) kept on hitting me up about this n**** Mikyle, said he had flow and was on the same vibe. Eventually we met up and dayum the bro wasn't lying. I was about 16 when I met my long lost brother Frank O.G! Instantly we were on the same page. We shared the same morals and dreams, it was fucked. The universe always comes through with the connections, if ya know what I mean! At the time I had just got kicked out of school for some bullshit and Franko dropped out so we had plenty of time to spend our days vibing, ripping type beats off the net and spitting silly shit! After 2 years of practice, dropping singles here and there and a few lil EPs, we got asked to be one of the opening acts for Mobb Deep. Franko and I thought it was a dream, one of our dreams actually came true! From that day onwards Omni Potent was official to the public but the crew have always known from day 1 that this shit is destiny.
How would you guys describe Omni Potent?
Franko: Well for me, I'd say it was crew made out of a bunch of high potential delinquents, gravitated together by interests and weed that turned into young dudes really trying to make a difference out here. Definitely an aura of moral, pure, organic vibes that get put toward art, and helping others understand us, the lifestyle and maybe themselves through the music, and the images and other forms of media. Omni Potent the clique, Omni the lifestyle. One of being happy and fulfilled and pursuing whatever it is you want, and that you ain't gotta do it on ya own.
T.D: Omni is a lifestyle we all live. Life ain't fun alone so we all about putting each other on and positive vibes. It is also a platform to express ourselves whether it's personal, or about political beliefs. Like they say, it's better out than in . That's not it tho haha! Shit's gonna be clothing brand very soon. Omni is universal whatever we decide to do. It will always have a strong foundation backed up with morals and hard work . Shit sounds mad serious but we lit.
Your first ever gig was opening for Mob Deep, a pretty big deal for a new act. How did that happen?
Franko: This dude Kane Hawkins from Talk Later shout outs and reached out to the public asking for local acts to show interest to open for the Mobb. All the support was mega overwhelming. All in the thread was Omni, Omni, Omni - and I guess at that point it first hit me, we weren't just rapping to our boys and each other no more.
Shat myself 6 bricks backstage before going on. That was literally the first time I would be rapping in front of someone other than T and Locarno and the boys. It was pretty packed out and a very crazy first experience. Once I put my foot on stage and felt the heat from the lights, I just blacked out. Inner Franko G came out and we murdered that. I love performing now, getting real live and loud and turning up with crowd. Feels more home than the booth.
Locally and internationally, who in your opinion is killing it right now and why?
Franko: I'm a bass head, like literally. Of course Anderson Paak and couple others not really down my alley popping at the moment, but all I pretty much listen to is Atlanta. Also 21 Savage up right now cause of the Metro project, but there's Gucci, Future, Migos and Young Thug and those are just the big names. I fuck with Carti, Uno and Thouxandbands heavy, and anything HoodrichKeem be involved in.
Locally I'm only fucking with my central homies at the moment. Eno & Dirty show love and that shit is enough for me. Them and T are the youngest artists really out here speaking with material and content thats putting the older dudes in the back seats. I'm not letting up either. My man Debris & Sole Tree. My boy Yancey, who made Galactus and a couple tracks on my new project on the way. I'm also fucking heavy with Baccyard from Wellington. Young young dude that's really making waves as a producer. I sent him a sample and he made some ill ill shit in like 3-4 minutes. Dudes just got a highly tuned ear. My man Chef Blacula who had a lot to do with early Omni and our early gigs, still making fire together. He made a banger for T that I'm sure we'll do on Wednesday and blow the place up. Shout outs my Welly DnB cats Loc and Jazz. Dirty motherfuckers.
T.D: Personally I get inspired by local artists Eno X Dirty, Liam Bree aka debris, FRANKO.G , BACCYARD, JORDAN aka LUCA and my fellow pairs. Internationally the bro Koder (but he's on the local side too), MAXO KREAM, Erykah Badu, Nas, Michael Jackson and the rest of the greats. There are too many to list!
What can we expect on Wednesday?
Franko: Fuck expectations. Just don't wear lots of gears, you are coming to see Omni. You definitely are not gonna be still, that's all I got I guess.