Omar Apollo’s Soulful Stylings Woo At SXSW Be Sure To Catch Omar Apollo On Tour!
AUSTIN, TX- One of the more anticipated acts of this year’s SXSW, at least on a personal level, was an artist by the name of Omar Apollo (born Omar Velasco). A first generation Mexican American from a small town in Indiana, Apollo has gained a very sizable following after uploading some music onto Spotify three years ago. Since then he’s amassed over 2 million monthly listeners, and is currently on a US tour with multiple sold out dates. I discovered his music while browsing through Spotify one day and instantly fell in love with his voice and sound. So when I saw that Apollo was scheduled for multiple performances during SXSW, I decided it was perfect to catch him on my first night there at Antone’s for the AWAL showcase.
Before Omar Apollo even took the stage, I felt a rising murmur and anticipation within the crowd. It had gotten exponentially larger since I had arrived a few hours earlier and seemingly everyone was excited for this set as much as I was. When Apollo finally appeared there was a roar from the audience led by screaming fan-girls at the foot of the stage. What I noticed and felt immediately was how profound Apollo’s sheer presence was on that stage. Tall, fashionable, young, good looking; he had something about him that just radiated “star” qualities.
When Apollo started singing, his enchantingly smooth vocals (despite him admitting he was sick) took over the room and everyone in it. A perfect tandem of love ballads and psych-pop sounds, he was able to woo the audience and to have them feel the stinging emotions of his songs. And did I mention he also plays guitar?
Apollo performed his most popular singles like “Trouble”, “Ugotme”, and “Unbothered” as well as few others from his debut EP called Stereo. What makes Apollo a standout artist is the pride he has for his heritage and incorporating that into his music. A handful of songs are bilingual and those transitions between languages are seamless and beautiful.
I would very much compare Omar Apollo to the singer Miguel as they have similar styles and equally as seductive and emotional singing voices. They also both tend to use Spanish lyrics within their songs. Apollo has a bit of a way to go to achieve the fame that Miguel has, but I honestly think he has the chance to become just as big, if not bigger. He’s a rare and unique talent and I was absolutely overwhelmed seeing him live at SXSW. His newest EP called “Friends” came out on April 10th and it’s already become a part of my daily music rotation. This EP explores a variety of different sounds for Apollo as he adds a little bit of funk in “So Good” and more R&B, very Miguel sounding track with “Kickback”.
I really can’t say enough great things about Omar Apollo and his immense talents. I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for this gifted artist and I suggest everyone gives him a listen. He is currently touring the world June, and seeing him live would be in your best interest. Trust me.