In 2018 and 2019, Omar Apollo laid the foundation for what would surely be a major pop career, releasing two critically acclaimed EPs and earning early comparisons to Frank Ocean and Prince (he later filmed a documentary at Prince’s Paisley Park). Then, in 2020, the world shut down, and rather than ride the wave he was on, Apollo decided to start over. “I kind of just trashed everything that I had been making and came up with fresh ideas,” he tells Apple Music. "Every song I made during quarantine is really new, even to me. It’s new to my ears.” His aching, contemplative, daydreamy EP Apolonio is the culmination of his lockdown hunkering, and includes hushed bedroom pop collaborations with Kali Uchis and Ruel. “It’s a lot of shit that I’ve always wanted to tap into,” he says. “Flows, melodies, and harmonies—and people I’ve always wanted to work with, like DJ Dahi, Michael Uzowuru, Blake Slatkin, and Teo Halm.” You can hear the ways in which Apollo is using this time at home to explore the breadth of his range and sound; there are whistling howls, psychedelic harmonies, and soulful pleading that sounds muffled and grainy, as if it was filtered through an antique phone. It will be exhilarating to watch it all come alive when he finally returns to the stage. “I was getting so used to my life [on the road], and now it’s just like, dang, I just got to be home,” he says. “It’s low-key what I wanted, but I’m also like, damn, I didn’t realize how much touring became a part of my life, and how much I really loved it.”

Other Versions

Select a country or region

Africa, Middle East, and India

Asia Pacific


Latin America and the Caribbean

The United States and Canada