OMC, or Otara Millionaires Club, was a New Zealand music group. They were best known for their 1996 hit “How Bizarre”, named 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 1992 by Phil Fuemana, who was previously in the bands House Party and Fuemana. Fuemana and his younger brother Pauly Fuemana recorded two tracks as the new band for producer Alan Jansson’s Urban Pacifica collection Proud. Jansson had previously achieved cult status as composer/producer for the synthpop group Body Electric during the early 1980s. Pauly suggested that they shorten the band’s name to just the initials, and thereafter, he and Jansson were OMC. Pauly became the public face of the band and its primary performer, serving as the frontman and playing several instruments during performances and tours. However, the music was created by both of them, with Jansson co-writing all of the tracks and handling most of the arrangement and production duties in the studio.
“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 UK. By 1998, Fuemana and Jansson had a falling out over royalties, which ended up in court. After a settlement, it was agreed Fuemana could continue to use the duo’s name as a solo artist.
Fuemana and Jansson regrouped as OMC in 2005 and released the single “4 All of Us”, featuring the actress Lucy Lawless as a guest vocalist, in 2007.
On 31 January 2010, Pauly Fuemana died at North Shore Hospital in Auckland after suffering for several years from a chronic degenerative disease, progressive demyelinating polyneuropathy, an auto-immune disorder similar to the nerve disease multiple sclerosis. He was 40 years old, and was survived by his wife and five children. His elder brother Phil had died in 2005 of a heart attack. In February 2010, “How Bizarre” briefly reentered the charts in New Zealand following news of Pauly Fuemana’s death.