Singer - Songwriter Omar Apollo Is Poised To Put Northwest Indiana On the Map

Photos by Michael Salisbury

Essential Listens


The first time you hear Omar Apollo you will quickly notice his one of kind vocals and catchy melodies. Using his unique talents, he aspires to cement himself as one of the most diverse sounding artists in music. Creating pop/rock/etc that stands out, Omar’s goal is idiosyncratic recognition. 

”I want someone to hear any beat and be like I can hear Omar over this." 

Omar grew up in Northwest Indiana near Gary. He started playing guitar at age 11 after his parents gifted him his first for Christmas. Giving Omar an electric guitar without realizing it needed an amp, his parents were able to obtain an acoustic one for him shortly after and Omar quickly got to work on learning the basics. Omar taught himself how to play the instrument via Youtube, absorbing the essentials of guitar. “I would just try to remember all the chords but I didn’t know the names of them, it was just play whatever I thought sounded cool," says Omar.

Omar covered a lot of ground in those initial years but found himself putting his music life on hold during high school. Luckily, Omar decided to return to his guitar and pointed to the Ego Death album by The Internet as one of his main inspirations to continue working on music. “I didn’t know there were so many chords when I was younger, but when I heard that Internet album it was better than anything I ever heard." Omar took this inspiration and eventually started singing at 17 and writing songs at age 18. "I used to make so much music back then because I knew I had to progress. So I was making 40 songs a month when I was 18.” 

Another crossroads in Omar’s career came after high school ended and the reality of attending college approached. Omar recalls going to college for a few weeks and dropping out in order to pursue his musical dreams. His parents were not in favor of this decision at first, as they  immigrated from Mexico and wanted their children to attend college. “When I first graduated high school they (his parents) wanted me to go to college, they knew I was making music but didn’t know if it was good and wanted me to have a backup plan. Then I showed them my work and they’re really supportive now.”

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Being from a rural area, Omar used the internet to network with people and get his name out there. “Indiana had no scene, but I never complained, I had to figure it out myself”. By the time he dropped his first release, he had a strong enough following that multiple sites started posting his music. Omar recalls that Indianapolis played a huge role in the support of his music as his following started growing exponentially there. Although his initial songs gained steady traction, “ugotme” was the first song that made him realize how big of an impact his music could have. “I knew that all I had to do was work on the music and everything would come. I remember earlier this year I was getting 16 likes in the three months, but when saw the "ugotme" listens I was like, 'uh oh, thats a lot'.” 

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Fast-forward to now, his song “ugotme”  now stands at 70.2k listens and has been picked up nationally by many websites. If you’ve ever listened to Omar’s music you know that his voice is one of a kind, complimented perfectly by his guitar. Omar points to Jimi Hendrix for his inspirations behind his guitar play and Prince for the inspiration behind his vocals. He’s recently dropped a new hit for his fans with the new track “Brakelights”, and recalls the song coming together a month ago. ”I made the drums and had something a lot slower ... I trashed that and kept the drums then added guitar and recorded the hook. It was unfinished for a while, but then I showed my friends and they told me I had to drop it. So I had my friend from the Burns Twins (Issac Burns) add horns and I released it.”

As for the future, Omar has not started an album yet, but it's on the mind. “If I drop an album I don’t want it to be overlooked, so I’m gonna keep dropping singles for now.”  He does have a project dropping with the Burns Twins coming soon, and a few collabs with other Indianapolis artists. Before we get his highly anticipated project, Omar plans to continue experimenting with other genres and pushing the envelope. “I’m gonna keep on experimenting with a bunch of different genres, I don’t want people to say I only do slow, low vibe music.” Omar also has plans to drop bilingual songs in Spanish, tapping into his Mexican heritage. As for his community in Indiana, he wants to use his success to inspire kids in his area to continue to be creative and show them it's possible to make it out of his region. Omar continues to push himself to new heights.  “I want my music to never be boring, I want it to be a feeling that you get attached to.” With all the moves he has planned, I wouldn’t bet against him.

Follow Omar Apollo:  Twitter // Soundcloud