|Also known as||Otara Millionaires Club|
|Origin||Otara, Auckland, New Zealand|
OMC, or Otara Millionaires Club, was a music group from Auckland, New Zealand best known for their 1996 hit "How Bizarre" which was named as one of the greatest New Zealand songs of all time by the Australasian Performing Right Association. The full name of the band is a tongue-in-cheek reference to Otara's status as one of the poorest suburbs of Auckland.
The Otara Millionaires Club was originally formed in 1993 by Phil Fuemana after his earlier bands, "Houseparty" and "Fuemana". Fuemana and his younger brother, Pauly Fuemana, recorded two tracks for producer Alan Jansson's Urban Pacifica collection Proud. However, the professional collaboration between the Fuemana brothers did not last long.
After a falling out with his brother, Pauly Fuemana approached Jansson and he suggested that Fuemana keep the initials as a name, and thereafter Fuemana and Jansson were, in effect, OMC. Whilst Fuemana fronted the project and took it around the world, the music was created by both of them. Fuemana was the frontman and played some of the original instrumentation. Jansson co-wrote all the tracks and arranged and produced the duo's albums. Sina Siapaia (stage name "Sina"or "Sister Sina") was the female backing vocalist on "How Bizarre" and other tracks on the debut album of the same title.
Signed to Simon Grigg's huh! label, OMC released the single "How Bizarre" in New Zealand in late 1995. It was an immediate smash hit even without a video, reaching number one in early 1996 and staying there for three weeks. It sold over 35,000 copies (3½ times platinum certification), a figure not exceeded in New Zealand. That same year, "How Bizarre" went to number one in Australia for five weeks, sold over 150,000 singles, and was certified as a platinum single. Later in the year the single went to number 5 in the UK and number one in countries across Europe and much of the rest of the world. It was followed by their debut album, also entitled How Bizarre. Their third single "On the Run" reached #56 on the UK singles charts in 1997. In 1997 and 1998, "How Bizarre" spent 36 weeks on Billboard's Hot 100 Airplay chart, peaking at # 4. The song never charted on the regular Hot 100 as it was not released as a commercially available single there. It also became BMI certified million airplay song two years in a row. The album went on to sell in excess of a million copies in the United States alone, as well as charting in many other countries such as Switzerland. Between 1995 and 2000, OMC are estimated to have sold between three and four million records worldwide, and "How Bizarre" is the biggest selling record ever to be released by an act originating from and recorded in New Zealand.
How Bizarre was followed by the singles "Land of Plenty" which reached the top 5 in the New Zealand charts, "Right On" which achieved platinum-status in New Zealand and "On The Run" which was a minor international hit in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. By 1998, Fuemana and Jansson had had a falling out over royalties, which ended up in court, but after a settlement, it was agreed Fuemana could continue to use the duo's acronym as a solo artist.
In 2002, their song "How Bizarre" reached #71 on the 100 Greatest One-hit Wonders hosted by William Shatner.
Record producer Phil Fuemana, Pauly's old brother, died of a heart attack in 2005, aged 41.
In January 2007, OMC released a new single, "4 All of Us," featuring Lucy Lawless. Like their earlier work, this was produced and co-written by Alan Jansson.
On January 31, 2010, Pauly Fuemana, aged 40, died after a short illness in North Shore Hospital, Auckland. A week later, as a result, "How Bizarre" re-entered the New Zealand single charts and reached #40.
|Born|| February 8, 1969|
Auckland, New Zealand
|Origin||Otara, New Zealand|
|Died|| January 31, 2010 (aged 40) |
North Shore City, New Zealand
|Occupations||Singer, songwriter, musician|
Pauly Lawrence Fuemana (February 8, 1969 – January 31, 2010) was a New Zealand singer, songwriter and musician. Fuemana was the lead singer of the music duo, OMC (Otara Millionaires Club), which was best known internationally for the 1995 hit, "How Bizarre". The song is still the best selling New Zealand record of all time, as of February 2010.
Fuemana was born in Auckland, New Zealand, to parents, Takiula Fuemana and Merelyn Fuemana. He was of half-Niuean and half-Māori descent. His father, Takiula Fuemana, is originally from Mutalau, Niue, before immigrating to New Zealand, while his mother, Leigh, was Taranaki Maori. Pauly Fuemana was the youngest of 4 children.
OMC was formed by older brother Phillip Fuemana and was passed on to Pauly Fuemana. Fuemana's musical duo, OMC, reached worldwide fame in 1995 with the single "How Bizarre", from their debut album of the same name. OMC, which consisted of Fuemana and Alan Jansson, ceased recording in 1998, but recorded again briefly in 2007.
The song, which was named Single of the Year at the 1996 New Zealand Music Awards, hit number one around the world, including Australia, Austria, Canada, Ireland and New Zealand. In 2002, their song "How Bizarre" reached #71 on the 100 Greatest One-hit Wonders. The single was a chart hit in many countries and spent multiple weeks at number one in several countries, reaching the top for two weeks in Austria, three weeks in Ireland, three weeks in New Zealand and five weeks in Australia.
He often spoke about the hit: "I put a lot of hidden stories in there so people could read between the lines and sense it for what it is instead of telling them, 'Yeah, we got pulled over by the cops, and my mate got his head smashed in, and we got arrested, and they found some pot on him,'" Fuemana told Reuters in a 1997 interview.
Fuemana declared bankruptcy in 2006, losing his home and remaining royalties. By declaring bankruptcy, Fuemana also lost his copyrights to his songs. His older brother, Phil Fuenama, who pioneered a form of Polynesian influenced hip-hop and R&B, died in 2005 at the age of 41.
Pauly Fuemana died following a protracted battle with Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, ultimately succumbing to respiratory failure at North Shore Hospital, North Shore City, on January 31, 2010  His death occurred shortly before his 41st birthday. He had been in declining health for several years. For a few months prior to his death he had been suffering from a neurological condition, and also developed pneumonia. The week of his death, "How Bizarre" re-entered the New Zealand singles charts at #40.
Fuemana's funeral was held on February 5, 2010, at the Pacific Island Presbyterian Church in Newton, New Zealand. The 200 attendees included rappers Dei Hamo, Ermehn and Darryl Thompson, who is also known as DLT, and the Mayor of Manukau City, Len Brown.