There are some songwriters that stick to a formula to create a song they think will be a "hit". They are under the delusion that they are going to become rich and famous, and a plethora of people are going to be lining up to listen to their release. Then there are songwriters that look at it as their art. When they write, they make a connection that is almost spiritual in nature. They would love people to listen and buy their music, but that is not the force that drives them to do it. It is like the writer is a conduit for a higher energy, so the songs tend to write themselves. These writers know they may be writing for 5 million people, or they may just be writing for that one person that needs hear the message they are trying to give. Rob O'Mara is a musician that falls into the second category and has in fact literally saved someone's life with his music:
"In 2001, I had lost my computer programming business (aka my straight gig). Thanks, NAFTA! Despite that fact, I was compelled to empty my bank account to record my first CD Songs from the Rafters. I found the whole process to be very cathartic yet horrifyingly stressful on the monetary/physical survival level. Yet, the day came when I had the final mix of all nine songs. I made four copies and sent them to those whose opinions I respected and trusted. Meanwhile, the emotional high of recording had subsided and I was left alone with the harsh voice of my doubt-filled inner critic. Over many weeks, I allowed that voice to beat me down to a very dark and lowly state. I was very depressed and could not escape it. Then, shortly thereafter, I received a telephone call from a young woman I had never met before. She asked for me by name and explained that she had been recently diagnosed with a deadly disease that caused her to lose her job, her husband and her residence in a short period of time. She continued to explain that for the last several weeks she had been getting her affairs in order in preparation to commit suicide at a particular time and date. The young woman further divulged that she came into possession of my CD on the prior Monday and had been listening to it almost ceaselessly. 'I love it', she proclaimed, 'and your songs convinced me to live. So instead of committing suicide on the day and time I had planned, I decided to call you instead to say thank you.' Of course, I was thunderstruck and realized right then just how powerful music is and how a million dollars could not hold a candle to a life saved. I am so stoked to report; the only voice that died that day was that of my harsh inner critic."
Rob is an artist that like myself is hard to classify under just one genre. Some might say that he fits into folk, pop, Americana, and modern country. O'Mara's obsession with songwriting began at the age of 13 when he received his first bass guitar. Shortly afterward, he learned how to play Aerosmith, Rod Stewart, ELO, Queen, Van Halen, Neil Young, and multiple other bands' songs. He always had music and songs in his head and has always been looking for a new lyric. Now, Rob only writes with a 12-string acoustic guitar, but he chooses not to play on his own recordings. He says that his true addictions are singing, composing, and lyric writing. Like many independent artists, Rob has collaborators that help him out tremendously:
"1. Producer/Arranger/Composer/Musician and owner of Visionary Music Group, Tom Gioia. His self-produced & performed compositions have been featured on thousands of indie records and hundreds of TV and films, including Survivor, Undercover Boss, 60 Minutes, The Imitation Game, Universal Music, & Warner Chappell Music, to name a few. Tom is an amazing person and top level Producer.
2. Classical pianist, Programmer, Emmy, Tony, and Grammy nominated song writer, Tom Hammer. A great Soul, his credits include collaborations with VMG on many ESPN tracks, co-writing with Cyndi Lauper and the Broadway Hit Musical “Kinky Boots”, Twenty Feet From Stardom, The Temptations & many advertising clients. He has done session work for Paula Abdul & Alanis Morrisette to name a few.
3. Composer/Producer/Arranger/Keyboardist/Music Educator, Joe Kurasz. Joe has worked with Denny Diante (Barbara Streisand, Tina Turner, B.B. King), Alan Menken & Tim Rice’s “The Music Behind the Magic” and Bill Aucoin (Manager of Kiss, Billy Idol , Billy Squire), and many others. Joe produced my first CD “Songs from the Rafter” We, also, co-wrote underscore for Hearst Entertainment’s “The Bravest” (a critically acclaimed reality TV show about Firemen) & B. Smith w/ Style (NBC). Recently, we co-wrote a Sci-fi theme song “Dominion” for a Thunder Bay Film “Dominion: The Last Star Warrior” whose music supervisor is Russ Regan (Elton John, The Beach Boys…)"
Rob is one of the nicest people you can ever meet, and he has extraordinary talent. He and his team have been working hard on his next project,a 3 song EP called Americana. Until it is released, here are some ways to listen to more of Rob's work:
“Bring on the Rain” Lyric Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kya-HT91Tcdio
‘Big’ Lyric Video (Songs from the Rafters CD)
‘Wake Up’ Lyric Video (Songs from the Rafters CD)
My current Music Reel