Omar Apollo

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Omar Apollo
Apollo performing live in June 2019
Apollo performing live in June 2019
Background information
Birth nameOmar Apolonio Velasco
Born (1997-05-20) May 20, 1997 (age 23)
Hobart, Indiana[1]
GenresR&B[2]
Occupation(s)Singer-songwriter
InstrumentsVocals, guitar
Years active2017-present
LabelsAWAL[3]
Associated actsKenny Beats, Dominic Fike
Websiteomarapollo.com / vk

Omar Apolonio Velasco (born May 20, 1997), known professionally as Omar Apollo, is an American singer-songwriter.[4] Apollo sings in both English and Spanish.[1]

Early life[edit]

Born to Mexican parents, Apollo grew up in Hobart, Indiana with his three older siblings.[5] Apollo's parents both worked multiple jobs to support the family.[6] His family is from the Mexican city of Guadalajara, Jalisco.[7] Growing up, he listened to his parent's favorite musicians such as Pedro Infante, Los Panchos and The Beatles.[5] His own influences include diverse musicians such as Neil Young, Paul Simon, John Mayer, Prince, Bootsy Collins, Rick James, and The Internet[1] He danced ballet folklorico when he was a child. He was also a part of his Catholic church choir.[5] At his request, Apollo's parents gifted him a guitar when he was 12.[2] Unfortunately, it was an electric guitar without an amp. Apollo traded the guitar at a pawnshop for an acoustic guitar and started learning how to play by watching and mimicking YouTube cover videos.[2] Apollo was also taught by his uncle and from playing at church.[2] He would go on to form a short-lived band with a friend at church.[1]

Career[edit]

Apollo started his career by creating and uploading his songs to the DIY streaming platform SoundCloud.[5] During this time, he worked at Jimmy John's and Guitar Center and lived in an attic.[8] In 2017, using $30 borrowed from a friend, he uploaded his song "Ugotme" to Spotify, where it was soon playlisted on the platform's Fresh Finds and racked up 20,000 streams in a day.[5] A year later, the song would cross more than 15 million streams.[6] He released his first EP, Stereo in 2018, which was similarly well received.[3] In 2018 and 2019 he went on two tours, the "Want Tour" and the "Voyager Tour". During the 32-date "Voyager Tour" he released his second EP, Friends in April 2019.[1][9] The EP featured production by rock producer John Shanks, who had previously worked with artists such as Michelle Branch and Melissa Etheridge.[1] Apollo is managed by Shanks' son, Dylan, who he met over Twitter in July 2017 when the latter booked Apollo for a university show at NYU.[1][2] Apollo signed with Artists Without A Label earlier that year and performed at SXSW as part of a showcase with the group.[3] He went on his first European tour in 2019 as well, and played at Lollapalooza in August.[1]

In late 2019, Apollo released the singles, "Frío" and "Hit Me Up", both collaborations with producer Kenny Beats.[10][11] In April 2020, Apollo released the single "Imagine U", another collaboration with Kenny Beats.[12]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

  • Apolonio (2020)

EPs[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Lyrical Lemonade". lyricallemonade.com.
  2. ^ a b c d e Tony Dominguez. "Meet Omar Apollo, the 21-Year-Old Chicano Making Homegrown, Bilingual Soul". Remezcla, LLC. Retrieved November 19, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c "AWAL signs global recordings deal with Omar Apollo". Music Business Worldwide. March 4, 2019.
  4. ^ Nicole DeMarco. "Omar Apollo is shaking up R&B with his soulful love songs". i-D. Retrieved Apr 10, 2019.
  5. ^ a b c d e "Omar Apollo's homegrown funk". The FADER.
  6. ^ a b Blistein, Jon (August 6, 2019). "Omar Apollo Wants to Inspire Young Latinx Musicians to 'Go Crazy'".
  7. ^ "Meet Omar Apollo, the blue-haired, gender-rebellious, Mexican American Prince". Los Angeles Times. 2020-10-16. Retrieved 2020-10-21.
  8. ^ Erika Ramirez. "Get to Know Omar Apollo and His First-Generation Love Songs". Pitchfork. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
  9. ^ Evan Minsker. "Omar Apollo Announces New Friends EP, Shares New Song: Listen". Pitchfork. Retrieved April 3, 2019.
  10. ^ Omar Apollo – Frío, retrieved 2020-07-17
  11. ^ Omar Apollo, Dominic Fike & Kenny Beats – Hit Me Up, retrieved 2020-07-17
  12. ^ Omar Apollo – Imagine U, retrieved 2020-07-17