Plugged In With Omar Apollo: The Stunning Songwriter Touching Hearts Everywhere
Omar Apollo is one of Indiana’s most exciting new artists on the rise. If you are unfamiliar, the rising stunner is a very talented artist who can make everything look easy. Self-taught, he plays the guitar like a pro, meshing jazzy guitar riffs with Spanish-influenced vocals. Whether it be poppy bops like Algo, or smooth emotional releases like Heart, he can simply do it all. Making our list of “20 Artists to Watch in 2018”, we were very excited to sit down and talk a little bit more with him and hear about his creative process.
In the past you said that sometimes one word can inspire a whole song for you. What is your typical creation process like when making a new song?
I usually just play some chords or a bass-line and start singing over it if it’s cool. The words kind of come out on their own.
What are some of the most interesting or unique things you have drawn inspiration from to create a song?
I usually get inspiration from really weird bands that sound nothing like my music. I just hear something cool and it opens a doorway for me to mess around in.
How would you say your Latin roots have influenced your music?
I sing in Spanish and I listen to a lot of bossa nova even tho bossa is Brazilian it’s still popular in Mexico — my parents listen to it too it’s my favorite right now.
How did you learn to play guitar and bass so well?
I started playing guitar again when I was 18 because I stopped at like age 14 since I got bored since I didn’t know any cool jazz chords/all the pretty stuff and I had nobody to teach me. Then I picked it up again a few years ago and haven’t stopped since. I bought my first bass sometime in like November 2016 and loved playing it. I kind of just transferred what i knew from guitar over.
In prior interviews you mentioned that you like living in Indiana because nothing is going on and it can be distraction free. Do you envision yourself staying there or would you like to move out to somewhere like NYC or LA?
To be honest, I have no clue. My mind is always changing. I kind of wanna live somewhere else. Seattle seems cool. As long as I have my friends around I should be good.
One of the things I find intriguing about you is your ability to create both relaxing and lively songs as well. Do you have a tempo that you usually prefer when making music?
Thanks hahah. I like making both slow and up tempo songs… I’m not really sure how I go about it… it just depends on how I’m feeling at the time.
Tell me a little bit about your new song “Heart” and how it came to be.
Heart is about missing somebody more than the actual relationship you had with them. The idea of a relationship is nice, but it’s more of the infatuation that causes the delusion of real love, which I don’t think I’ve really experienced yet in my life.
Lately you have been playing a lot of shows, including one that sold out. What has the transition been like going from a couple thousands of plays to people paying to hear you perform live?
It’s pretty surreal seeing people come to the shows and support. I still can’t believe people come out to come watch me sing some songs, it’s a crazy feeling. I used to play for free to 15 people and now almost 200 people pay to come to my shows. It feels fake.
I know you mentioned that you struggle a lot with believing in yourself. How have you conquered this battle of confidence to put your emotions out there and what advice would you have to others with this problem?
Yeah actually— I wrote a short film with my friend Lonewolf (https://twitter.com/whylonewolf). Nobody knows that yet hahah, I’m making all the music for it too. I’m really excited for it. Hopefully it comes out by summer.
Be sure to follow Omar Apollo on Twitter here. And watch his newly released short documentary “Figuring It Out” below.