Following the 2020 Roland International Press Conference, held Wednesday, January 15, 2020, in advance of The NAMM Show in Anaheim, California, Roland and BOSS presented their fifth-annual Lifetime Achievement Awards to the incredibly versatile, successful drummer, Omar Hakim (Roland), and the world-renowned Swedish guitarist, Yngwie Malmsteem (BOSS), both of whom have incredible careers spanning over 40 years. The Roland/BOSS Lifetime Achievement Awards recognize individuals for their invaluable contributions to the music industry while using Roland and/or BOSS gear throughout their careers. Roland and BOSS’ global network of influencers now reaches more than 750 artists with a collective social reach exceeding 1 billion.
Yoshihiro Ikegami, President of BOSS, presented the veteran, world-renowned guitarist Yngwie Malmsteem with the BOSS lifetime achievement award. Malmsteem was inspired to pursue music at the age of seven and has drawn inspiration from classical composers to produce his signature neoclassical metal playing style. His career has spanned over 40 years and produced over twenty albums earning chart positions in Sweden, Japan, the US, and UK. Most recently, he released his album Blue Lightning in March 2019.
Malmsteem commented, “This was very unexpected for me. I’ve been long time friends with everybody here and in fact, I’ve been using the Roland/BOSS products for 40 years. The first time I actually used something that became a staple in my sound was a Roland DC-10 and one of the biggest things that might be overlooked is when you play guitar, especially the way I play, you need a lot of gain. When the gain goes up, so does the noise. Way back in the ‘80s, I went to sound check and I didn’t know my tech had replaced the noise gate with a BOSS NS-2, and I thought the amps were off because the they were so quiet and when I made a sound, I almost scared myself. If you want good high-end sound, you need the NS-2 in the chain. I also use the BOSS switching system, which is absolutely fantastic, and I couldn’t do a show without it.”
Jules Tabberer-Stewart, Global Strategic Product Marketing Manager – Drums, Roland Corporation presented the Roland Lifetime Achievement Award to Omar Hakim. Hakim’s work in the music industry has encompassed over 50 years of touring, recording, composing and producing music. Refusing to be confined to one genre, Hakim has recorded with a variety of iconic musicians including David Bowie, Michael Jackson, Journey, Miles Davis and, most recently, The Foo Fighters. Outside of his work as a session man, Hakim has also cultivated success as a bandleader, producer, and composer in his groups The Omar Hakim Experience, The Trio of OZ, and Ozmosys.
Hakim commented, “Thank you so much, this means the world to me. What I realized when I reviewed my time as a Roland artist, what came to mind right away is the importance of relationships. It’s one thing to discover gear and to figure out how you are going to deploy it into your professional life but what’s really made this journey with Roland special is all the friendships I’ve developed over the last 25 years. I’ve always been a fan of Roland’s gear and even more importantly, what we don’t realize is that Roland gear has been part of the foundation of a lot of the music we’ve been listening to for the past 50 years. And the thing about Roland is that the passion has always been about creating inspirational tools that make music and musicians want to create. It’s that relationship you have with an instrument when you pick it up and it makes you want to play. With the V-Drums kit, I knew it was going to change the percussion world and it was going to be a whole new way that drummers could express themselves not only with fantastic models and samples of acoustic drums but also the sound of pop music with the 808 and 909 and so many other sounds already incorporated in the TD-10 brain. I always felt like Roland supported me in my passion for creating music and it’s that passion that moves everything forward.”
Roland and BOSS Lifetime Achievement Awards presenter Brian Alli, Vice President of Artist Relations & Business Development, Roland Corporation noted, “Roland and BOSS are honored to recognize Omar and Yngwie. These individuals personify the timeless, yet ever-changing nature of music and have demonstrated a truly lifelong dedication to creating their own sound while inspiring others. Sincerely thank you for helping make Roland who we are today.”