“You love to waste my time, but this your life, I just improve it.”
Rising Latino artist Omar Apollo has finally released his long-awaited debut album, Ivory.
Ivory sees Apollo finally portray his true self through his music. His diversity has been shown in glimmers in his previous EPs, such as Apolonio and Stereo, but Ivory brings all of his many ranges beautifully together. From his heart-wrenching track Go Away to his narcissistic side in No Good Reason, Ivory has something from everyone.
Alongside his breakthrough performance, Apollo brings in some friends for the ride. Close friends and past collaborators Kali Uchis and Daniel Caesar help bring in melodic performances that help make Ivory a candidate for album of the year.
Coming off a critically acclaimed short project, Apolonio, Apollo retreated back to the studio to finally deliver his first full-length work. We saw an initial glance at the new project when Apollo released the single, “Bad Life,” featuring Kali Uchis. “Bad Life” sees Apollo reflecting on a one-sided relationship, and the struggles it comes with. With a harmonizing chorus and a short verse from Uchis, the track serves as a great lead single for the album rollout.
Another single came in the form of “Invincible,” featuring Daniel Caesar. The song starts off with both artists going back and forth asking a simple but complicated question: “If I were to go, tell me, would you notice me?” These two singles helped bolster the identity of Ivory, filled with various heartbreak bangers.
In addition, producing, a rarely talked about but crucial aspect of music, is executed ingeniously in Ivory. With Apollo’s various styles, the beats and synths are blended in so the album can flow seamlessly. From electric to acoustic guitars, from love songs to hype anthems, Ivory sees Apollo’s producing genius at work. The prime example comes in the track “Tamagotchi.” Apollo pairs his lavish proclamations with a drill beat. Along with Apollo, this track was produced by critically acclaimed artist Pharell Williams. This perfect formula of talent created for a thrilling track.
Even with his newfound success, Apollo has stayed true to his Latino roots in his various projects. Although an Indiana native, Apollo’s parents are from Guadalajara, Jalisco. Ivory features various Spanish verses in “Killing Me,” “Tamagotchi,” and a full Spanish track, “En El Olvido.” It gives me a sense of pride in being Latino that our community is being proudly represented in the music scene with such a talented artist.
Omar Apollo’s Ivory has only reinstated a long-deserved praise for the Indiana native. Apollo is here to stay, and it was only a matter of time before more people realized this.