Initiated to the Gnaoua by Mahmoud Guinea, Maalem Omar Hayat created his own group in 1991. He is one of the new generation of maalems perpetuating tradition but who are particularly at ease performing on stage. Omar Hayat has his very own style and has been influenced by different artistic trends, in particular reggae. A singular artist who has gained a faithful public on the Essaouira Gnaoua and World Music stage as well as those of other Moroccan and international festivals. He is also a master of fusion. This was shown particularly in 2003 with Franco-Vietnamese guitarist Nguyen Lê, in 2008 with guitarist Mohamed Derouich, trumpet player Ibrahim Maalouf and at his performance in 2009 alongside pianist Meddy Gerville and the percussionists of the group Lindigo from Réunion.