THe song seems to have a lot in common with the music of fellow Aussies INXS to me. by VENTS MAGAZINE: Chris Lee
There is an uproar of energy, catchiness, with an upbeat tone that keeps the music moving forward. by Indie Music Reviews: Natalie Perez
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Omid Master former lead singer of popular Melbourne heavy band Freakshow went solo when moving to remote North Queensland in 2001 with a creative yet mainstream style of his own. The song “When I close my eyes” describes how he has a free reality within where ever he may be and he zones into it anywhere be it at home, the office, on a small stage or at a concert arena.
When only 7 years of age Omid Master was invited to join the Australian National Boys Choir and at primary school his interest for music grew. At 9 years of age he was given a guitar. During childhood Omid Master and his brother Mobin Master (known for his production of dance hit Show Me Love) would hear his older brother playing scales on the piano over and over and he developed an ear for music.
In high school he met a drummer who learnt of Master’s ability to play electric guitar so they formed a band Engine Room and soon were playing shows at schools bars and events. The drummer and the lead guitarist would write songs with Master. During these years Master was influenced by all kinds of music from pop to jazz.
Master studied a Bachelor of business Accounting at Ballarat University College where he opened for major national acts at the union nights. He later transferred to and finished a bachelor of business Marketing at Monash University in Melbourne doing his honors thesis on the music industry. At the same time his band Engine Room was playing at hotels and venues such as the Corner Hotel and the Punters Club. He studied voice with David Jaanz, the William Bates Academy of Acting and The Melba Conservatorium of music. He joined the Melbourne Swing Choir as a tenor and performed at shows such as with Jon English on Hey Hey It’s Saturday. He had private song writing lessons with Greg John Macainsh from the Sky Hooks and Beeb Birtles from Little River Band.
During his twenties he was playing regular shows with Engine Room who won the battle of the bands contest at the Palace in Melbourne and were picked up by triple J radio first cuts. He then joined a cover band known as Crazy Haus followed by joining hard power grove original band Freakshow. Co-writing around 20 songs Freakshow quickly built up a following playing at Hell Club in Melbourne packed out shows at Chasers nightclub and a sell out independent EP launch at the Esplanade Hotel.
In 2001 Master moved to Far North Queensland and went solo acoustic full time.
He 2009 Master independently recorded at Nigel Pegrum of Steeleye Span recording studio in Cairns. With only independent promotion by Master himself the album made it into the ARIA charts in the first week of release.
His second album progressed to the top ten new releases on the Waterfront record label for 4 weeks running. Promotion was done independently through live shows ranging form playing live on Zinc FM, Port FM, 4 CA FM ABC Far north and ABC Radio Australia to opening for Jessica Mauboy at the Townsville Cultural Fest to shows at the Tanks opening for Lior and Richard Clapton. His distribution agreement with Green Media was for three years but he can release through them at anytime or can move to a major whenever he likes. Master also various hotels in Melbourne and Sydney to promote the albums. His latest show was opening for Michael Franti and Spearhead at the Tanks Arts Centre in Cairns.
He now plays at festivals and more.
Master has been a full writer member of APRA since 1986 and has written over 100 songs. In 2005 Master’s song everything is okay was selected as the first theme song for the Port Douglas Carnviale.
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Since his days playing gigs at school fetes in his late teens, Master has experienced first-hand the changes, including self-promotion through social media and YouTube, and he’s embracing every aspect.
“Music has changed so much,” he muses over a glass of Persian tea at the back of his Persian carpet shop on Macrossan Street.
"You make a video clip and that’s how you can promote your clip globally, via YouTube. Rage and Australia MTV are national, but YouTube is constant [and] it’s virtually your own TV channel.”
The video clip to which he’s referring is his latest that accompanies his new single, I Won’t Burn For You, available to download on iTunes and featured on The Newsport recently.
The song, about Master’s house surviving when the neighbors’ completely burned down in 2003, has been five years in the making and features an exciting range of instruments including Master on the didgeridoo. The song was completed with the help of his brother, Mobin Master, a record producer, and friend and long-term lyricist, Helen Ramoutsaki.
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When the final version was ready for release, Master decided to create a video for the track. “I’d decided that this song was too good to just have a recording and tell people to listen to this song, because personally I don’t even listen to songs when people send me links. It’s a bit hard to just listen to a song when someone asks you to, so I thought, ‘I have to make a video so people will listen.’”
Shortly after he uploaded the animation on Facebook, it received more than 500 views.
“It’s nice to see people enjoying it without me asking them to. This time people would just share it without me asking,” he says.
As well as using YouTube to spread his music, Master is also relishing the convenience of DropBox, an online sharing site that allowed both him and his brother to work on the production of I Won’t Burn despite being states apart; the technological advancements that have allowed him to record in his home recording studio; and the importance of iTunes in allowing individual singles to be released instead of requiring artists to have produced a whole album of music before putting it out into the public domain.
With his 21st century approach to recording and selling his music, it’s no surprise that Master compares writing a song to writing a status update on Facebook. “The problem with today’s technology is that sometimes I’ll think of a status update instead of a song. That’s what songwriting is, it’s like you’ve got a status update and you want everyone to know about it; it’s the same sort of concept, but the difference is you write a song about it.”
In the flesh, Master can be seen on stage at several up-coming shows in the region. In late October he’s playing two main slots at the Tablelands Folk Festival, but before that he’ll be headlining the Sunset Music Festival at Rex Smeal Park on October 12th.
“I’ve played there before, but [this year] it’ll be the first time I’ll be prepared to play, with rehearsals,” he laughs, “I love playing live, it keeps me motivated, keeps me happy. If I don’t play live, I get down."
And crowds at the festival are in for a great show. Despite his current sound, which he describes as “pop acoustic with a rock edge”, Master says he still likes to pick up his electric guitar and “rock out”.
And he promises he will be doing guitar, rocking out and getting people up and dancing in a months’ time.