Omarion, formerly of the boy group B2K, has joined the ranks of many before him by recently breaking away from his former group mates and branching out as a solo artist. With his debut album, O entering the Billboard album charts at #1 last month, he says that its clear that the split from his group was necessary for his artistic, as well as personal, growth. He explains that his album reaches out to "different opinions and different minds" than his previous music.
"It’s been hard to grow up in the industry and have people accept it. Before, with B2K I was talking about love, but I didn’t really know. Now that I’m 20 years old, I’m maturing and I know about holding hands. I know about being intimate. I really know about some things and I have to tell the people," he said.
Omarion also says that he recognizes that with his new solo career comes new responsibility, but that he is up to that challenge, especially since it gives him more control over his music.
"I co-wrote five songs because I feel like it is important to be involved in your writing. I want to write about topics that are personal and at the same time reach fans so that young people can really understand where I’m coming from," he said.
The newly solo artist has emerged as a visibly older artist. While his latest video, also entitled O, showcases him as a sexier man transitioning into adulthood, Omarion says that his new image should not disturb any of his former B2K fans.
"I look at my fans and most of them grew up with me. Back with B2K, they were the same age as us. It’s not necessarily that I want to be looked at as a new artist, I just want to be respected as being older and not a kid anymore," he said.
While Omarion feels that the split from his group was positive for his personal growth, his former group mates have not exactly welcomed the news. Omarion says that he has not spoken with any of the former B2K members except Raz-B, with whom he spoke with at church.
Along with his new album, he also has two new movies scheduled for release, The Hostages and Solider, a publishing deal and he is preparing to go on tour this summer.