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Omar Apollo

Omar Apollo fuses retro-soul and R&B with a laid-back attitude. He first emerged online in 2016, posting songs like "{}[]" and "Brakelights." His first EP, Stereo, appeared in 2018, with his Apolonio mixtape arriving in 2020. The following year, he paired with C. Tangana for their Latin Grammy-nominated song "Te Olvidaste" before topping Billboard's Heatseekers chart with his 2022 debut album, Ivory. Another EP, Live for Me, followed it in 2023. Born Omar Velasco, Apollo grew up in Hobart, Indiana, where he spent his youth skateboarding and received his first guitar at age 12 as a gift from his parents. An uncle visiting from Mexico offered early guidance on the instrument, as did a steady diet of instructional YouTube videos. By high school, he was recording his own songs, working at home on his laptop. After dropping out of college in 2015, Apollo dedicated himself full-time to music, drawing upon an eclectic mix of influences including David Bowie, D'Angelo, Cuco Sánchez, and others. He began posting tracks online, some of which, like "{}[]" and "Brakelights," went viral. Buoyed by the attention, he started booking shows, playing around Bloomington, Indianapolis, and Chicago. In 2018, he released his debut EP, Stereo, which featured songs sung in English and Spanish. Included on the album were the singles "Ugotme" and "Erase." A second EP, Friends, appeared the following year, as did the collaborative single "Hit Me Up" with Dominic Fike and Kenny Beats. Apollo's first outing of 2020 was the sunny "Imagine U." "Stayback" and "Kamikaze" arrived later that year, both of which appeared on the mixtape Apolonio. In 2021, he garnered two Latin Grammy nominations, for Record of the Year and Best Alternative Song (for "Te Olvidaste," his collaboration with Spanish singer C. Tangana). Apollo's debut full-length, Ivory, arrived in April 2022 and included guest appearances by Daniel Caesar and Kali Uchis. It charted at 128 on the Billboard 200 and reached number one on the Top Heatseekers Albums chart behind the hit single "Evergreen (You Didn't Deserve Me at All)." Apollo kicked of 2023 with the stand-alone single "3 Boys," then later in the year released an EP, Live for Me.
© Matt Collar /TiVo

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