Preview: Omar Apollo brings you his funky tunes

By Sandra Bazubwabo

image via soundcloud

The 22-year-old self-taught musician, Omar Apollo, will be making stopping here in the DMV on Friday, the 13th of December. This show is likely to be magical. When Apollo released his first single ‘Ugotme’ on Spotify about 2 years ago, overnight, the song was at about 20,000-30,000 streams.

This isn’t an outlandish story these days with artists like Post Malone sharing a similar tale but this makes it no less magical. His real name is Omar Velasco. On the song ‘Hijo de su Madre’ (son of your mother in Spanish), he says “you ain’t never seen a brown boy like this” which is such a true word. Many Hispanic artists are on the scene now however Omar pulls from alternative, punk rock sounding beats to make his specific brand of R&B.

If I was asked, I would classify him more in the neo-soul category. In teaching himself and discovering new sounds, he came by artists like The Internet, Smino and Daniel Caesar. All of these are artists that create from a very wide array of sounds and are kind of hard to classify. His EP Stereo contains both of the tracks mentioned above and ends with a beautiful ballad “Amor Malo” (bad love).

Earlier this year, Apollo released another EP, Friends. The first song “Ashamed” supports me in the description of his sounds drawing from alternative and rock-y places. The song is reminiscent of Prince with the play of his vocals coupled with hard drums that resolve in a beautiful chorus.

Both EPs are 7 songs long. Friends, true to its title, covers some fun subject matter. I feel so lucky to have so many artists out now that are our age and share all of our many feelings of angst. The song ‘Kickback’ enters with a groovy bass as Apollo has a conversation with someone who - it sounds like - is kind of getting on his nerves. But at the end of the day, he’s at the kickback and though “nothing will content me” (a lyric from the song), what’s being young if not just having fun for the moment and caring about the responsibilities later, right?

Come check out Omar Apollo at the 9:30 Club on Friday, December 13th at 6 pm. This is only the beginning for him so let’s support him on the way! And below, enjoy the video for the song “Kickback”.