Cheerleader was originally a Jamaican hit, before being remixed by German producer Felix Jaehn. It was only the new version that topped the charts worldwide, despite the fact that OMI and the producer had not yet met each other physically. Jaehn explained that he “wanted to take the vocal and convert it into a danceable, feel good song.”
Although the lyrics are obviously romantic, OMI denies the song being addressed to somebody in particular. He elaborated that “its meaning is timeless because it speaks to more than just a significant other. It’s dedicated to anyone who is that support system.” For the young Jamaican singer, it seems that it’s his mother who feels the closest to a “support system” at the moment. He emphasized that in an interview with Billboard when describing her as giving him “a sense of what to look for in my ideal cheerleader when the time comes.”
OMI has yet to release a full-length album, but is already set on going in different directions. He is aware that “people are expecting 15 [versions of] ‘Cheerleader” but says that instead we should look forward to an album that’s going to be “pretty diverse, with a few features and songs written from different perspectives”.
Cheerleader spent 7 non-consecutive weeks at number one in Billboard Top 100, both times being dethroned by The Weeknd’s Can’t Feel My Face.