Omar Apollo proves that alternative R&B is in its prime. Bursting into the scene in 2017 with his sultry track ‘Ugotme’, Apollo has only continued to perfect his craft, his long-awaited album ‘Ivory’ proof of that. The singer’s talent is extraordinary, the simplicity of his tracks cutting through the complexities tied to modern music. He carefully balances a multitude of genres, blurring and mixing sounds, making his voice unique and psychedelic. His Mexican roots are felt throughout the project, hints of his culture reflected in song titles and lyrics.
‘Ivory’ proves to be a culmination of his craft. The tracks all offer their own individual sounds. Take the fifth song, ‘Endlessly Interlude’. Filled with nostalgic sounds emulating 90s R&B. His slow, sultry vocals are distinct, beautifully layered atop his music.
At just 24 years old, the alternative musician has secured iconic collaborations with musical giants that complement his style of music such as Daniel Caesar and Kali Uchis. His collaborative project with Daniel Caesar, ‘Invincible’, is beautifully arranged, with symphonic harmonies throughout the track lulling listeners through his hypnotic sound.
Apollo is a voice of his generation, and his lyricisms reflect that. Touching on topics such as queer love to post-breakup blues, the up-and-coming artist proves he is in touch with his audience.
Perhaps, his greatest feat yet was securing the seal of approval from Tyler the Creator on his track ‘Tamagotchi’. A voice note shared on Instagram, from the rapper emphasised his love for the song: “I don’t even think you realise you got a f****** banger on your hands!”
'Tamagotchi' is punchy and jam-packed, filled with catchy bilingual lyrics, dipping into Spanish and English. The product of a collaboration with iconic producer Pharell, his ever noticeable four-beat producer tag at the start emphasising the importance, is exciting as it is explosive. Apollo clearly shows his range in sound, stepping away from the slow and sultry tone that reflects much of the album and blending into an upbeat, hard-hitting flow.
Indeed, Apollo creates a new sound within his alternative style. Bouncing from indie to alternative R&B to hip-hop, ‘Ivory’ is a culmination of his interests, all mushed together to create his own sense of authenticity. It is a commanding start, clearly marking out his career ambitions as he continues his journey of success. For him, this is only but the beginning.
Words: Cora Jordon
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