Omar Apollo has delivered his debut studio album Apolonio along with the video premiere of his single “Kamikaze.” On his first full-length album, the Prince references abound and in fitting fashion, Omar will be performing at the legendary artist’s Paisley Park for a livestream concert on October 28.
Apolonio follows two critically-acclaimed EPs: 2018’s Friends EP and his 2019’s Stereo. Omar admitted to throwing out everything that he had been working on pre-coronavirus quarantine for this album. The 23-year-old singer-songwriter and guitarist recalibrated and what resulted was his cohesive and addictingly smooth nine-track project titled after his middle name.
He leans fully into funk inspirations while meandering through the maze of finding (and losing) love in his early 20s. It’s vulnerable, heartfelt and triumphant all at the same time. Omar recruited Kali Uchis and British-Australian singer Ruel for guest vocals and even introduces some singing in Spanish in honor of his Mexican-American heritage. Parliament-Funkadelic legend Bootsy Collins and Strokes guitarist Albert Hammond Jr. also contribute, blending genres and generations in truly memorable fashion.
Vintage funk and nostalgic love ballads are infectiously fused with modern elements and Omar’s soulful singing throughout. Compare the melodies on “Kamikaze” to Frank Ocean’s “Novacane” and then listen to how quickly he can pivot back to falsetto crooning on “Stayback” and you quickly realize that this album is special if not all too short.
Stream Apolonio below and watch a number of visualizers from the project, too. In more music updates, Rejjie Snow and Snoh Aalegra teamed up for “Mirrors.”