Soul and funk meets geek nextdoor chic
Mixing soul, r’n’b and lo-fi sounds with a nerdy, laid-back attitude à la Boy Pablo and Rex Orange County, Omar Apollo is making strides into the broader public consciousness with his new album Friends. On debut album Stereo, his slow and drowsy sound was drenched in blues and fuzz guitars, but now he is bringing the funky uptempo vibes. His new single ‘Ashamed’ is channeling the spirit of Prince while ‘So Good’ brings to mind modern indie funksters like Toro Y Moi and Blood Orange. We spoke with him ahead of his Berlin show and first ever European tour.
You’re a Mexican-American artist: how much of this double identity transpires in your music?
I think both of the two. I come from Mexico but my music is a mix of many different backgrounds and tastes, not just these two.
Is this your first time in Europe and in Berlin?
Yes absolutely and I am really, really excited about it. I have a good feeling that there will be a good vibe at the show.
Your videos are geeky, colorful and funny. Can you tell us a bit more about your image?
My videos are like little stories. I make them myself with my friends. We try to be natural and spontaneous. They come across as funny and unpretentious little universes.
A lot of your lyrics relate to failed love stories.
Yeah, love and relationship are my main source of inspiration at the moment. I believe everyday life reflects better the mood of my songs.
A lot of artists are choosing to release singles and videos one at a time, what is making you stick with the longplayer format?
I prefer to show the world a whole period of my life with an album and a full story as in a book or a movie. It’s like a more accurate polaroid photograph of my life, instead of giving single fragments.
Do you have any tips for today new bands and musicians?
I’d suggest to concentrate more on the music overall, instead of only on the image and aesthetics. In this way the band is tighter live and more consistent when it comes to quality of the material given to the public. We need to give attention back a bit more to the music.