TG Omori: Beating The Odds And Shooting For The Stars
In the Nigerian music industry, talent and incredible skills are present but so are unoriginal cliches. Perhaps the most common repetition occurs in music videos where a pool, semi-nude models, bottles of champagne and of course an exotic car are all you need to produce another generic ‘hit’ video.
Challenging this narrative is expressive music video director TG Omori. Boy Director as he is fondly called became a sensation after his stamp “Shot and Chopped by TG Omori” kept popping up on virtually every new music video release from Totori(Wizkid, Olamide & I.D Cabasa), Stoopid(Timaya), to Soapy(Naira Marley) and Billionaire(Teni).
He sits down with the Guardian Life to talk about the early days, the journey so far and his vision for the future.
Quick Introduction, Who is TG Omori?
My name is Thank God Omori, I’m a music video director from Lagos and I’ve lived here almost all my life.
How Did You Get Into The Business?
I started making music videos when I was 18 but I had my major break early this year but I’ve been around since 2016. Things took off when I shot “Am I A Yahoo Boy” for Naira Marley and at that point I had already made up my mind to stand out.
Before this, I was in film school because I wanted to be a stage and method actor but it wasn’t working out because I wasn’t getting roles despite going for auditions and even when I got roles, they didn’t pay well and I needed money.
By nature, I am a very creative and determined person so I feel that anything I put my hand in will thrive so I looked around all aspects of production and figured out that directors make good money then I did my research online and used the internet to find out how to be a director.
Eventually, I started directing off the information I had gotten online, through research and from YouTube. I started shooting viral videos with my friends and family. For about 6 months I was shooting free viral videos trying to better myself and every video was an improvement from the previous one.
I subsequently landed my first proper job with a sizable budget [₦500,000] and it was for ES Plus.
What Pushed You To Operate Out Of The Norm?
I had been doing the usual thing for about 2 years and I was just any other director but I wanted more so one night I made the decision to switch things up and come extra hard.
For that reason I changed my approach to film making and tried to be more aggressive, more detailed, I enhanced my art direction and production.
Meji Alabi tagged you one of the great ones to watch a while ago, is it safe to say you’ve surpassed expectation?
Honestly, before now nobody really gave me a chance but Meji Alabi has always been very supportive and yes it’s quite obvious because the work speaks for itself.
What would you say is the biggest video you’ve shot so far?
I’ve shot a lot of videos and honestly, I can’t pick one because they all have their different audiences and they’re all big in their own way.
As far as video locations go, where in Nigeria would be your dream set?
I would love to shoot in the North because I feel there is a lot of art and rich culture over there but because of security concerns and other factors. But if I have a nice budget and adequate security, I’d love to shoot in the North.
As far as video locations go, where in the world would be your dream set?
Outside Nigeria, I would love to shoot in Cuba, Tokyo, and Morocco.
What was the most difficult video you ever pulled off?
Shooting Olamide, Wizkid and ID Cabasa for Totori was crazy for me because I just had 5-6 hours to put everything together.
In retrospect, how would you rate 2019 in regard to your plans and how far you’ve come?
2019 has been my best year yet because I took the industry unawares and I’ve been holding it down ever since. They didn’t see me coming and right now I’m working to get even bigger.
What challenges do you face as a fast-rising director in Africa working from Lagos?
My biggest challenge as a director working out of Nigeria is location because in a way we are limited to Lagos and also the industry is still developing so there are a lot of improvements to be made but people are still trying their best to bring out quality content.
On the world music scene, which artist would you love to direct a video for in the near future?
I love J Hus and I would love to shoot him.
What more can be expected of you before the year runs out?
Fire! I have a ton of projects coming. I’ve got a project for Teni coming, got one for Tekno and a number of other artistes that I can’t disclose now.