Omar Apolonio Velasco (born May 20, 1997), known professionally as Omar Apollo, is a Mexican-American singer-songwriter from Hobart, Indiana. Apollo sings in both English and Spanish.
He started his career by creating and uploading his songs to the DIY streaming platform SoundCloud. During this time, he worked at Jimmy John's and Guitar Center and lived in an attic. In 2017, using $30 borrowed from a friend, he uploaded his song "Ugotme" to Spotify, where it was soon playlisted on the platform's Fresh Finds and racked up 20,000 streams in a day. A year later, the song would cross more than 15 million streams. He released his first EP, Stereo in 2018, which was similarly well received.
In 2018 and 2019 he went on two tours, the "Want Tour" and the "Voyager Tour". During the 32-date "Voyager Tour" he released his second EP, Friends, in April 2019. He went on his first European tour in 2019 as well, and played at Lollapalooza in August. In late 2019, Apollo released the singles "Frío" and "Hit Me Up", both collaborations with producer Kenny Beats. In April 2020, Apollo released the single "Imagine U", another collaboration with Kenny Beats, and on August 7, he released "Stayback", the lead single from his debut studio album. On September 10, he released the second single "Kamikaze". On September 25, Apollo appeared on alternative R&B Japanese-Australian singer Joji’s second album Nectar on the track "High Hopes". Apollo released "Dos Uno Nueve (219)" and "Want U Around (feat. Ruel)" before releasing his debut studio album, Apolonio, on October 16.
Growing up, he listened to his parents' favorite musicians such as Pedro Infante, Los Panchos and The Beatles. His own influences include diverse musicians such as Neil Young, John Mayer, Prince, Bootsy Collins, and The Internet.
His parents gifted him a guitar when he was 12, but, unfortunately, it was an eletric guitar without an amp. He traded it for an acoustic guitar at a pawn shop and eventually learned how to play it by watching and mimicking YouTube cover videos. A newer guitar he’d bought later on got stolen when he was 15 and it took him a couple years to get a new one and get back into playing. He then also learned how to sing on YouTube, after receiving criticism on his voice from his dad and friends.
Omar attended Indiana University Northwest, but dropped out two weeks in because he felt like he was supposed to be doing something else and wanted to focus on music.