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Writer, Consultant, and Project Manager in New York
Although Omar “Animal Steele” Barnes’ goal was to work in entertainment, he started his professional career as a buyer with the S&D Underground/Jimmy Jazz specialty store chains. It was here where he learned about creating niche markets and branding. Omar also received a firm understanding of operating a traditional retail business. Featuring couture fashion lines like Versace and Moschino attracted Hip-Hop recording artists Jay-Z, Diddy, and others to frequent the store. This connection was the perfect segue for Omar to enter into the music industry.
While there he obtained extensive experience in the indie record label scene from his several stints as strategic marketing and A&R on various projects. Omar developed production duos Midi-Mafia and Dangerous L.L.C. who went on to sell 35 million records with 50 Cent and G-Unit. He managed mixtape DJs Vlad and Sickamore laying the foundations for VladTV.com and Interscope Records Vice President Randall “Sickamore” Medford. Working with talent like Kanye West at the inception of Kanye's career helped Omar cement his approach and style of artist development.
Today his long-term dream of writing, developing, and producing television and film is being fulfilled through several partnerships with established production companies. With 2 reality shows in development for cable and 1 scripted series at a major streaming service his personal journey has just begun.