Featured Artist: Omar Apollo
Three years ago, rising self-taught neo-soul artist Omar Apollo was convinced by a friend to upload one of his tracks called 'Ugotme' to Spotify, where it made its way onto the service's 'Fresh Finds' playlist... fast forward three years and two album releases later, and Omar now has over 2,290,000 monthly listeners, as well as performing at festivals and music venues around the world.
Omar has just landed in Australia ahead of his appearance at this month's Laneway Festival and headline shows in Melbourne and Sydney, we caught up to find out more about his sound and future endeavours.
You grew up in a small town in Indiana, can you tell us what the music scene was like growing up?
There wasn't really a music scene in my town so it was easy to be creative without getting intimidated. I lived really close to Chicago so that's where I first started doing shows.
We hear you taught yourself how to sing and play the guitar! We're certainly impressed. Was it mainly YouTube videos that you learnt from?
Yes, I learned so much from "how-to" videos. I would spend hours practising.
What/who made you want to pursue a career in music?
Making music was just always fun to me. I'm inspired a lot by Prince but I just made music because I enjoyed it.
How did you feel after your track 'Ugotme' hit over 15 million streams on Spotify?
I couldn't even explain how that felt, It was crazy I still can't believe it.
I sense a debut album on the way after two amazing EP's. Are my predictions correct?
I guess you'll just have to wait and see!
So, let's talk about your upcoming Australian tour. It's your first-time visiting Australia, right? You must be excited!
Yes! I'm really excited to go, I hear it's beautiful.
Can you walk us through your pre-show ritual?
I usually just hang out in the green room and stretch before I go on stage.