Omar Apollo takes us inside an ordinary home that seems to be the setting for a regular college party on the inside, complete with weird doodling on the wall, lost Xbox controllers, and a vehicle door lying against the kitchen bar. He’s dressed simply for the time being, in gray sweatpants, a black flannel over a white tank top, and Birkenstock clogs. It’s around 11 a.m.; in a few hours, he’ll be filming the video for “Tamagotchi,” his last single before the release of Ivory, his magnum opus, on April 8.
He’s referring to his highly anticipated full-length debut, IVORY, which will be released on Warner on Friday (April 8). The Hobart, Indiana native, who has since migrated to Los Angeles, jumps through melodies and moods on the record, showcasing his astounding range and tragic songwriting talents. And even giving fans a Spanish-sung Mexican song (“[My parents] had been telling me I needed to sing like that more, so I was pleased for them to hear that,” he adds).
Apollo released “Bad Life,” a duet with Kali Uchis, in November. He released “Go Away” and a rendition of the Mamas and the Papas’ “California Dreamin'” throughout the summer.
Meanwhile, uptempo tunes like the Pharrell-produced Tamagotchi and the pounding Talk seem shoehorned in for radio play, taking away breathing room for Apollo’s vibrato-laden vocals and overstuffing the album to 16 tracks. Apollo’s proclivity towards odd genres may produce lovely results, like as the longing En El Olvido, yet it can also speak of a jarring restlessness. He will come into his own once he accepts the fact of that softness.
Ivory is the title of Mexican-American singer and songwriter Omar Apollo’s first album, which is set to be released on April 8, 2022. The album’s first single, Go Away, was released on July 8, 2021. On July 20, 2021, Apollo got the chance to sing it on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
Apollo has been previewing this album on social media for quite some time, dating back to January 26, 2021, when he shared the demo for Bad Life, another song on the album. Collaborations with other prominent musicians such as Daniel Caesar and Kali Uchis will be included on the highly anticipated album.
Apollo finds his power on his first album in the whispered intimacy of downtempo songs. Highlights include Mr Neighbour’s sorrowful guitar strumming and piled harmonies, as well as Invincible (with Caesar), which dovetails the pair’s startlingly similar vocals over fast, compressed percussion production.
More About Omar Apollo:
Omar Apollo, born Omar Velasco, is a Hobart, Indiana-based first-generation Mexican-American singer/songwriter. The name Apollo is derived from his middle name, Apolonio. He used to play guitar in church when he was younger, but he stopped because he didn’t like the music they were playing.
Apollo began his career by writing songs and submitting them on the DIY streaming site SoundCloud. He worked at Jimmy John’s and Guitar Center and resided in an attic at this period.
His parents got him a guitar for his birthday when he was 11 or 12, but it was an electric guitar with no amp. He gave it in at a pawn shop for an acoustic guitar, which he finally learned to play on YouTube. When he was 15, a newer guitar he’d purchased later in life was stolen, and it took him a few years to replace it and get back into playing.
In 2018, Omar Apollo released his debut EP, Stereo, which was also warmly praised. He embarked on two tours in 2018 and 2019, the “Want Tour” and the “Voyager Tour.” In April 2019, he launched his second EP, Friends, on the 32-date “Voyager Tour.” The EP was produced by rock producer John Shanks, who has worked with artists such as Michelle Branch and Melissa Etheridge in the past.
After his father and others criticized his voice, he decided to learn how to sing on YouTube. Omar enrolled at Indiana University Northwest but stopped college after two weeks because he believed he should be doing something different and wanted to concentrate on music. He creates trippy indie pop, r&b, and jazz.
Shanks’ son, Dylan, manages Apollo, whom he met on Twitter in July 2017 when the latter booked Apollo for a university concert at NYU. Apollo had signed with Artists Without A Label earlier that year and had played at SXSW as part of the group’s showcase.
In 2019, Omar Apollo embarked on his first European tour, performing at Lollapalooza and Tropicália. Apollo released the tracks “Fro” and “Hit Me Up” in late 2019, both in cooperation with producer Kenny Beats.
Apollo released the track “Imagine U” in April 2020, another collaboration with Kenny Beats. Apollo released the first track “Stayback” off his forthcoming debut studio album on August 7.
Omar Apollo’s second song, “Kamikaze,” was released on September 10th. Apollo made an appearance on the single “High Hopes” from Joji’s second album, Nectar, on September 25. Before releasing his first studio album Apolonio on October 16, Apollo released “Dos Uno Nueve (219)” and “Want U Around” (with Ruel).
Apollo released the song “Go Away” in 2021, which included a live performance on The Tonight Show. He later released the tune “Bad Life,” which featured Kali Uchis. Apollo was also nominated for two Latin Grammy awards, Record of the Year and Best Alternative Song, both for his duet with Spanish musician C. Tangana on “Te olvidaste.”
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