Born an artist and a hustler, Taj Omari started pushing her paintings for profit at the age of 5. Though she always perceived herself as an artist, it wasn’t until 2014 that she began to see herself as a creative.
Omari vividly recalls speeding down an Atlanta highway at 2 a.m. on October 1, 2014, drowning in depression with eyes so full of tears that she decided to close them. Consequently, she slammed into a median, spun across several highway lanes and crashed into a tree.
With the exception of two scratches on her left arm, Omari walked away free of injury. Granted a second chance at life and armed with the encouragement of her best friend, she decided to take yet another chance and submitted to a local short film competition. Creating the film, she grinned, giggled, and felt joy for the first time in months. Her film won the competition and she won her salvation.
Three years later, she continues to credit art for her resurrection and is committed to creating films that will awaken and resurrect others.
Blossom: Why do you create?
Taj Omari: As a woman I feel the obligation to create. I have been granted so many beautiful gifts with the strength to breathe life into whatever I put my mind on. I feel I am honoring my blessings by giving back to the world I am inspired by.
Blossom: Explain ‘lost kite’ and what inspired its creation.
Taj Omari: Although 3 stacks is my favorite rapper of all time, Chance The Rapper currently has my heart. “Everybody’s Something” has a line in it that states “my hard head stayed in the clouded like a lost kite”. I was raised in a beautiful yet structured and disciplined Muslim household. I was told without explanation what was good and what was evil but the free spirit in me wanted to explore this beautiful world we live in for myself. So, within my personal moral bounds, I broke a couple rules and snuck out a few times. Of course I ran into trouble, heartbreak, and disappointment, but even still I was happy I took the chance. I learned valuable lessons and gathered wonderful experiences that have shaped me into the woman I am. I realized I needed to live my life flying high in the clouds, but still have a low hanging string where I can be pulled back down to earth.
Blossom: Collaboration is huge in filmmaking and an integral part of Lost Kite Productions. How do you decide who to bring into LKP? Is there a process of getting “inducted in”?
Taj Omari: I don’t really (laughs). Beautiful spirits somehow find me. Filmmaking is a very stressful process and because I am an indie film maker at the moment, I can only afford to pay my cast and crew in food and good vibes, so I typically welcome anyone who is willing to work on projects with me. My mission for LKP is for my cast and crew to enjoy the experience of filmmaking (making it as free flowing as a lost kite as possible) all the while maintaining a high level of professionalism.
Blossom: What type of stories are you passionate about telling?
Taj Omari: I am a Black Woman so I feel I can only really tell the story of Black people; Of Women who share similar experiences and struggles as I do and the love I have for Black men who choose to hold us down or keep us down. I like to bring light to the dark and make blatant what’s hidden. “Ghost” is a pretty light hearted film, but if you pay attention you will notice I’m calling folks out (laughs). I’ve always been a pretty girl that likes trap music, so “Ghost” is about hip hop music in ATL with a twist I love my people and every aspect of us, the good the bad, the bold and the beautiful. But in that love I also see our downfalls and our struggles, all of which I feel should be represented. Art gives others a chance to see a mirror image of themselves if they look hard enough. I want to create films that force people to look deeper than the surface and learn more about themselves in the end.
Blossom: Tell us about your new project premiering Sunday?
Taj Omari: “Ghost” is a manifestation of my experience working in the indie hip hop scene in ATL. So many people come to ATL hoping to blow up in the rap game and I feel the city is over saturated and truly talented artists get over looked in the masses. I have met so many wonderful hip hop lyricists that can take many mainstream artists to school; I simply wanted to do all I could to provide a platform and a stage for those artists to shine. That is what you will find on Sunday.
Blossom: How can people attend the screening or view your work?
Taj Omari: “Ghost” will premiere Sunday August 13 at the Music Room on Edgewood Ave in Atlanta at 8 p.m.Tickets are $10 and are sold online and at the door. Along with the movie viewing, there will be six hip hop lyricists performing, three amazing poets performing, and two talented musicians blessing the stage. This is a show you don’t want to miss.
Blossom: I hear LKP is already gearing up for its next short film. Can you give us any exclusive details?
Taj Omari: All I will say is the next film will be the opposite of “Ghost”. LKP is going serious and is aiming to educate and expand minds. Stay tuned.
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Lauren is an actor, multimedia journalist, recovering tomboy and media junkie. She is an advocate of social justice, to-do lists and kind people with big dreams.