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Chicago “Rock-n-Soul” Band Comes Full Circle With Lollapalooza Debut

The O’My’s lead singer tells us about their Lolla debut, incorporating new sounds, and more.

Nick Hennessey (left) and Maceo Vidal-Haymes of the O’My’s will premiere new music in their Lollapalooza debut.   Photo: Michael Salisbury

The O’My’s first made a name for themselves on the Chicago music scene, and now this self-described “rock-n-soul” band is set to make its Lollapalooza debut.

It’s an especially meaningful show: Back in 2007, founding members Maceo Vidal-Haymes and Nick Hennessey saw each other at Lollapalooza (they had met a few times before) and decided to form the band. Since then, they have collaborated with hometown heroes ranging from Twista to Chance the Rapper to the Chicago Children’s Choir, and they’re ready to debut a new sound at this year’s fest. 

Vocalist and guitarist Vidal-Haymes talked with Chicago ahead of the band’s 1:50 set on Thursday.

What can people expect out of The O’My’s Lolla debut?

Folk can expect a whole lot of new music (and a couple of the old songs). It’s definitely a new arrangement of the band.

We are in the middle of finishing up an album right now, which should be dropping in November. In the studio, we’ve been experimenting with a lot of different sounds, some electronic. We have different instruments besides our original ensemble, which is very horn-driven—we’ve dialed that back. It’s just a little more polished: a melding of electronic with the more vintage sounds that we’ve always had.

Any plans on how you’re going to deal with the early set?

We’ll be playing loud, and play our hearts out, and hopefully that’ll grab people’s attention.

What has the road to Lolla looked like for you guys as a Chicago band?

Nick Hennesey, the keyboard player and other bandleader, and I talked about recording music together at Lolla back in 2007. Now, getting to play Lolla is kind of full circle for us. We’ve seen a lot of shows at the festival, we’ve seen some of our favorite acts, so it means a lot to be playing as us. In the past, we’ve backed the Cool Kids, I’ve sang background for Chance, so it’s a blessing to play our own music.

What’s your perception of the fest, having grown up here?

It’s the first festival I ever went to. It’s gotten monstrous, a lot bigger, and a lot more variety of acts. It’s nice that the last couple of years there’s been a focus on local acts. To watch people perform their own music, on stage in downtown, in their city—it means a lot.

Who are you excited to watch at the fest?

I’m excited to see Migos, Little Dragon, Whitney, Noname, Kaytranada, and Chance.

Any plans to join Chance’s set at all?

Not at the moment.

What else is in the pipeline for the O’My’s?

We’ve been on a hiatus from performing shows, working on this project. Once the project is done, people can expect a lot more shows.

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