Success is smiling on the child from Kulture Break
CANBERRANS acquired used to calling Tim Omaji by his hip-hop title Timomatic, however today as a number one stage performer, he’s higher recognized by his start title.
Both method, he’s “our Tim” and with the announcement that he’s going to play the position of Ike Turner in “Tina – The Tina Turner Musical,” he’s larger than ever.
I caught up with Omaji by telephone to Sydney, the place he says he’s been based mostly for 11 years.
Effectively not fairly. He had a strong 18-month run taking part in Toulouse-Lautrec in “Moulin Rouge! The Musical”, which premiered in Melbourne final yr.
However neglect Sydney and Melbourne. Canberra is undoubtedly the place the place he fine-tuned his artwork.
Arriving right here as a 10-month-old from Nigeria after his dad acquired a scholarship to check sociology and criminology, he spent the primary 5 years of his life within the ACT, later education in Perth and Darwin as he and the household adopted his father‘s tutorial profession.
He landed again in Canberra at Narrabundah School in yr 12 and instantly began dancing and instructing with Francis Owusu’s youth empowerment organisation, Kulture Break.
“That nurtured me as an artist, particularly by way of leisure and it additionally nurtured my love of stagecraft,” he says.
“Timomatic was my stage title for music, however Tim Omaji is my stage title for performing and my precise title.”
As Timomatic, he grew to become well-known in Canberra as a break-dancer earlier than branching out into singing, which had been a part of his household life.
Omaji’s dad and mom have now repatriated to Nigeria, however he tells me that due to his upbringing he feels that “my African heritage is a part of me”.
“I grew up with music in a Nigerian family the place music and the love of music is intrinsic to the tradition. It makes you free,” he says.
With an educational father, it’s unsurprising that on leaving college, he enrolled on the College of Canberra to check psychology and administration, however dropped out after six months to pursue his pursuits with Kulture Break.
A transfer to Melbourne adopted, after which in 2008 he did a diploma in vocal coaching at JMC Academy, then in 2009 auditioned for “So You Assume You Can Dance”.
“That basically launched me to individuals within the trade and all through Australia,” he says.
In 2010 he scored a task in “Fame: The Musical” in Melbourne, on the again of which he acquired into “Australia’s Acquired Expertise” in 2011, an intro to the Australian music scene. He has since change into a four-time platinum recording artist.
Later he would change into a decide on “Australia’s Acquired Expertise”, for which he gained a Logie nomination – “it made me simple with audiences,” he says.
But it surely wasn’t till he acquired a task at Sydney’s Hayes Theatre within the musical “Within the Heights” in 2018 that Omaji fell in love with the craft of performing and went on to check display performing in Los Angeles and Sydney.
A job as Sam Onatou within the Australian season of “Madiba: The Musical” adopted, then the a part of Monty, the disco MC in “Saturday Night time Fever” in 2019 on the Lyric Theatre in Sydney.
“Madiba” was purported to go to America, however then covid struck, however it doesn’t appear to have fazed Omaji a lot.
“I created music, performed a task within the Netflix mini-series “Clickbait”, which was filmed throughout covid and fell in love – I acquired a girlfriend,” he says.
The position in “Moulin Rouge” adopted and now he’s making ready for the a part of a lifetime taking part in the intriguing Ike Turner.
“I play a personality that has a lot darkness, it’s a problem to play a personality like this,” Omaji says.
“Tina: The Tina Turner Musical,” Theatre Royal Sydney, Could 4-31.
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Ian Meikle, editor