On his first EP Stereo (2018), Indiana’s soulful singer-songwriter, Omar Apollo, shied away from any of today’s common music trends and showcased a unique style of his own. “You ain’t ever seen a brown boy like this,” Omar gloats on the fifth track of the EP, “Hijo de Su Madre” – a head bobbing jam that shows his pride for his Mexican heritage and also makes a point to say that he is one of kind.
Almost a year later, we continue to get a taste of his originality and learn more about his roots on his most recent projectFriends (April 2019). “Baby talk ‘bout California/Heard it’s not like Indiana,” a lyric from “Hearing Your Voice” that was written in the point of view of someone he misses back home.
Released earlier this year, the super groovy track “Ashamed” opens up this EP with a kick. Omar goes from “Don’t need you in my life” to “Can’t live without you by my side” in just three minutes and 25 seconds. The cool yet cocky lyrics in the beginning that express his disinterest in being in a relationship with someone, abruptly spiral into the realization that he desperately needs to be with that person.
After reading the replies to Omar’s tweet, “Kickback” seemed to be a fan favorite. The casual and chill message of the song fittingly matches its title. The catchy, easy flowing chorus talks about him and his love interest just minding their own business, not really taking any action to move their relationship forward.
Listening to the Friends EP is like opening up a personal journal of his and finding a collection of everything he was scared to say out loud, everything that he held back, and everything that he has kept inside of him.
Along the way, Omar tackles more serious topics such as loneliness, confusion, and rejection. There is a noticeable theme of contradiction found throughout the EP: hopefulness and sorrow, love and lust, platonic and romantic. We can assume the EP was named after the track “Friends” because of how the track best displays these contrasting themes with its beautiful acoustic that unexpectedly blends the solemn lyrics together.
The most electrifying track on the EP, “So Good”, tells a fun story about chasing after someone’s love. Looking for a song to play under a disco ball at a roller skating rink? This song is the one to pick! It’s a modern day twist to a funky song you might come across in the 70’s.
Friends reveals Omar’s obvious appeal to old school inspired guitars, his use of falsettos, and his strength in writing about romance. It is indie pop meets alternative r&b – although we cannot put an exact label on his style of music because it is constantly evolving. Picture a script of a rom-com film about the imperfections of adolescent relationships. These seven songs embody just that! And they take us on the same emotional journeys that Omar has already lived through,
It is almost unheard of for a Midwestern kid to accomplish this much musical success in such a short period of time, but Omar Apollo has proved to be up to par with the rest of the LA and New York kids who are trying to make it big in the industry as well. We are so excited to hear what’s in store for him next!
Have you listened to the Friends EP? Tweet us your favorite song @CelebMix!