Omar Apollo at 9:30 Club, 12/13

BY JORDYN PAUL-SLATER// Omar Velasco, also known as Omar Apollo, is a 22 -year-old Mexican American singer and songwriter from Hobart, Indiana. He started playing guitar at the age of 12, mainly playing at church events in Chicago. He grew bored of this and stopped playing consistently. At the age of 18, Apollo started to branch out his tastes in music to the likes of Gary Numan, John Mayer and Elliott Smith amongst many others. He picked up his guitar again and has continued playing ever since. After dropping out of college 2 weeks in, Apollo began writing and recording a mix of alternative, soul, funk and pop music. In 2017, he released ‘Ugotme,’ which was an overnight sensation. After, he released various singles and two EPS: Stereo (2018) and Friends (2019).

For me, Omar Apollo’s music kind of popped out of nowhere. I was looking at Spotify’s Pollen playlist, as I often do, to find new music that I could add to my new monthly playlist at the time. I don’t remember which song hooked me in to explore his discography, but I do recall being obsessed with the Stereo EP, especially the song “Hijo de Su Madre.” I loved how effortlessly he blends Spanish and English while maintaining a soft, haunted minimalist style to his vocals.

But, more importantly, I fell in love with Omar Apollo’s appreciation and constant referencing to his heritage. Reading some of his interviews while listening to my favorite songs of his made me realize how much of his family and culture affects the sound and delivery of his songs. Also, in his interview with Pitchfork magazine, he talks about being financially able to support his parents. That’s a big life goal of mine, and it’s inspiring to read that someone you look up to has the same ambition and was able to achieve it. I just love Omar Apollo so much, and I can’t wait to dance with one of my closest friends to ‘Hijo de Su Madre,’ ‘So Good,’ ‘Frio,’ and so many more favorites at my favorite venue.

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