Today Liam Orsi is a 21-year-old chasing his dream to be a rap musician. His recent success is even more sweet after the struggles he has already endured in his young life.
Orsi recorded an album and is working on a second one. He performs concerts and has a clothing merchandise line that sells out of beanies and stickers.
His stage name is Pomi, an acronym for “product of my insanity,” he said.
He works at the Slanted Door in San Ramon as a buser, supporting himself with an active music career. He lives in San Jose but house sits for his mom and little sister in Pacifica sometimes.
He went to Cabrillo School then Terra Nova High School and graduated from Thornton High School. He worked at the former Surf Spot, now Pacifica Brewery, as a buser and at Green Room Music as a janitor.
“Mark Sessler and Jay Michaelis of Green Room Music are like second fathers to me. I learned how to play the drums,” he said.
His career veered off the drums and into songwriting and singing his own creations.
In his junior and senior years of high school he says he struggled with cocaine addiction.
“It tore apart my life,” he said. “I struggle with it still.”
By the end of his senior year, he was introduced to a 12-step program. He wasn’t ready to take it then and was introduced to crystal methamphetamine right after high school.
“Within three months, my life fell apart. At the end of that time, I was more willing to get the help I needed. I saw a therapist. I started to listen to people to get help,” he said. “I found friends in recovery and I became employed in recovery.”
He had given up writing music but then remembered the passion he had for it. He started playing music again with his Pacifica friends, Getty Franco and Cody Cranston.
He performed shows at several restaurants in San Francisco. In 2020, before COVID-19, he rented a space at the Pacifica Community Center for a show and performed for 80 people. He worked on some livestream concerts. The next concert will be in Pescadero in August.
He has a repertoire of 25 rap songs he sings.
“My favorite is ‘Replace Me’ because it was the model of quarantine when I wrote it,” he said, “I was able to put all that in a song. I think that is relatable.”
Mac Miller, a rapper from Pittsburgh, Penn., was Orsi’s biggest influence in his music. Miller also wrote raps about addiction and died of an accidental overdose at age 26.
“The art he brings to the table, I hope to bring that to the table,” he said.
Orsi keeps healthy habits such as working out in the gym six days a week and walking his rescue dog, Buddy. He fondly remembers dances at the Community Center in middle school and then those at Terra Nova.
“My favorite place to be is at the beach. The ocean is where I feel at home. I love my friends in Pacifica,” he said.
He keeps busy composing.
“I write three songs a week. Out of those, I will pick which ones to record in a studio,” he said. “The more recent songs are about where my music is and where I’m headed and the progress I’ve made this far. The first ones were a lot darker and more serious. Now it is happier. I’m inspired by what is going on in my life.”