For someone who has come to accept that being moody is a big part of her personality, you’d think that I’d be listening to R&B all the time…but honestly, I haven’t listened to it like I feel my soul has needed it. Until I developed a new music crush.

I have to talk about the way I’ve finally woken up after sleeping on Omar Apollo.

Omar Apollo is a Mexican American singer songwriter from Hobart, Indiana. He’s been nominated for Best New Artist at the Grammys and is known for his “bedroom soul” approach to music. My music producer friend Faith was right to be surprised when she learned I hadn’t been obsessed with him earlier. Honestly, if I had to be transformed into a more masculine version of me, I hope I’d look and sound exactly Omar Apollo.

So, where does this new love affair start? It starts with a perfectly timed TikTok moment.

It was September 2022 and Omar had just been on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series and a cutdown of his song “Evergreen (You Didn’t Deserve Me At All) made its way to my FYP. Immediately, I was captivated.

Maybe it’s because I was slowly realizing I was being ghosted by someone I really liked and the fact that years of being in unrequited love situations finally seemed to add up, but hearing Omar passionately sing:

“You know you really made me hate myself
Had to stop before I break myself
Should’ve broke it off to date myself
You didn’t deserve me at all, at all, at all…”

really struck something deep in me. Like, I felt that this song was begging me to be loud about my feelings. So I gave into it.

It felt kinda weird to listen this song amidst exciting things going on in my life at the time, but it nonetheless gave me space to grieve the way that connection faded.

As I watched the rest of the Tiny Desk performance, I found myself charmed by his playful soulfulness as if it was something I didn’t know I was missing in my life. But then I didn’t follow up properly and listen to his discography because I was too devoted to being an indie rock girlie again.

HOWEVER, that changed when SZA dropped her album SOS.

When SZA dropped her long awaited follow-up to CTRL, I listened as a music critic and casual fan. But even as I listened passively, I found myself swept away by the emotional storytelling and the way she artfully wove through different genres. She transformed any preconceived notions about R&B as a genre with that album. So much so that I decided to buy tickets to her tour.

When I had learned that Omar Apollo was set as the opener for the tour, that got me even more excited because I’d been meaning to check out his music after watching his Tiny Desk performance. So I started my courtesy pre-show listen to his entire discography and I immediately realized I’d been FULLY SLEEPING on him.

First of all, it made complete sense as to why he was opening for SZA. Like her, he is prone to genre hop and genre blend in really fascinating ways. You’ll hear it in the playlist at the end of this post, but his approach to music feels so unapologetically him — which I firmly believe is the mark of a great artist.

Second of all, I distinctly remember seeing people rave about him when his first album Apolonio was released in 2020. I remember thinking to myself that I needed to listen to him, but did I do it then? NO I CAN’T BELIEVE I DIDN’T!!!!

As I listened to his discography, I felt the depths of my soul awaken. He hooked me with the fun production and catchy song structures he employs but when I stopped to listen close to the lyrics, I realized how emotionally congested I was.

For example, let’s talk about my fixation on “3 Boys”. I talked about this one in last month’s winter reflection and honestly, it has not ceased being a mood. It is just a perfect song to me. It’s longing, dreamy, and melodically driven. But what makes it for me is the way it hits me from different perspectives. In the first verse, Omar tries to play himself as a someone who’d be “emotionless all the way”, an approach I’ve been trying to trick myself into. But the chorus explains how more lovers would work if he wasn’t so “tethered” to this partner, which is typical me behavior. In the second verse, he calls out his lover for praying “to God that [his feelings] would leave”, which I do every goddamn day. If you think I’m handling what’s been happening in my love life well, then no! Listen to all the tension in this dang song! It hurts but at least this sexy song helps me voice it all.

Whether I let myself stew in disappointment from past unrequited love situations, give space to sit with a new intensifying crush, deal with the frustrations of living at home with family, or long for friends I’m in long distance with, I’ve felt safe to be brutally honest with myself in Omar’s songs. And not without a healthy dose of playfulness.

If I was already obsessed when I got to see him open for SZA, you can imagine how FERAL I felt seeing him from the nosebleeds. I was bummed that I had missed like half his set from getting a lil too lit at dinner with my bestie but the songs that I did see were enough to convince me to see him again.

Anyway, now that I’ve woken up from my slumber, I literally can’t stop listening to him and talking about him to anyone that cares to listen. I also bought tickets to see him at a festival in San Diego this summer and I am SO excited, you should come with. So, that said, lemme explain a few songs that got me down bad.



“I know, deep in me, there’s everything. What if I trust myself endlessly?”

This song is about self trust and reflecting on how fixated I got on it after the Tiny Desk performance, it makes sense why this one hit me at the same time “Evergreen” did. And you know what, I’ve been trusting myself endlessly! The whole journey of therapy last year was learning how to not fall into old people pleasing habits with new people I was meeting. This song feels like a fun bop to reflect on as I think about how people make me feel in my life.


“Remember when you let me down…”

I listen to this song a normal amount ok?! By that I mean, I quite literally feel uneasy if I don’t listen to it at least 5 times everyday. IT’S NOT A PROBLEM IF IT’S THAT FUCKING GOOD. The reverbed guitar is just so pleasing to my ears and soul. And then the drums and bass feel so punchy in a good way. It sets up such a vibey, daydreamy space for Omar to express thoughts about the past, stopping to think about someone “‘cause [he’s] an addict” (same bestie), and how he wants to “leave the state and never come back” — which feels so tempting to me these days. Where to? No clue. My soul ascended when I heard this one live and it is EVERYTHING to me. The more I’ve poured into this song, the more it perfectly captures all I’ve been stewing in this spring, especially in the way I’ve been struggling to relate to my parents. I’m really frustrated with the way I only run away from expressing myself with them, to the point of wanting to leave the state and never come back. If I could explain my mental/emotional/spiritual state lately with one song, hands down it’s this one.


“Bitch, I’m making bread, sound like Pavarotti…”

I described this song to my dad as his “Bad Bunny” song and it’s a fucking JAM y’all. I’m not often into reggaeton but I’m obsessed with this one. He carries himself in this song with a playful bravado. I think it’s the Spanish guitar sample playing throughout that really feels right for me. After looking into the production credits and seeing an interview with Omar where he mentioned working with Pharrell, I understood how clearly this song has Pharrell’s magic production touch all over it. More Pharrell x Omar Apollo collabs, pls and thank u.

Go Away

“I just don’t see you enough, I wish I saw you enough…”

The way I felt like crying to this song in the Seattle airport after hanging out with my best friend Juliette for an entire four days. I really miss her. Omar closed his set at the SZA show with this song and I swear I felt like I was floating. The production in the song and specifically his voice in the chorus is heavenly. This song is so sincere in its longing and it’s given me a wide open meadow to feel how deeply I miss my best friend. Not to mention, it also gives me the space to feel how deeply I wish another friend was in LA…but we’ll talk about them very soon. As in the next song highlight.

Want U Around (ft. Ruel)

“Baby, I need you to notice me, see your name on my phone ‘fore I go to sleep. Are you tryin’ push me away? What else are you tryna gain?”

There’s nothing like fighting your feelings on a daily basis. You know, when you have to choose your words carefully or dismiss friendly actions seeming to mean anything more…when all you really want to do is SCREAM THE WORDS TO THIS SONG FROM A ROOFTOP. Every time I listen to this smooth makeout jam, I can’t help but think of a certain person I want to be around me. And maybe not in just a friendly way. Ugh I’ve said too much, but this song says it all. Due to my pride, that’s all I’m gonna say.


“I’ve been foolish, think of you all the time. Play some music like a harp in the sky…”

Alex, I’ll take ‘songs that perfectly describe me every time I have a crush’ for $600. When I heard this song for the first time, I felt immediately seen. From the four chords that play through the whole song to the desperate yet ethereal vocals in the chorus, it feels exactly like a song I’d write. This song is partially the reason I’ve rebranded my most current crush as my nemesis. I refuse to let a man know I’m weak for them in any way moving forward. I’ll keep that shit to myself in my songs.

Killing Me

“What I do makes me wonder if I’m alright, holding back feelings like it’s the end of my life…”

My lawyer told me to refrain from mentioning the reason I’ve kept this song repeat lately. But yes, I’ve already mentioned it multiple times if you’ve been paying attention. To be explicit, I have an intense crush on someone and I want it to stop because it’s killing me since I’m in no place to get involved with this person. I recently started coming to terms with the fact that I’m emotionally unavailable and how I’ve known I don’t want to be in a relationship but I keep fantasizing about it anyway. I honestly have no idea if there’s a way to reconcile it without me further repressing my feelings or finding a way to get the ick. Would be nice if a hot, stable person came into my life to shake things up!!!

En El Olvido

“Cariño, yo fui buen amante. En el olvido quiero dejarte…”

I showed this song to my dad and he LOVED it. Another song he played on Tiny Desk, this corrido-style song is all about heartbreak and needing to let someone go. This song fits so perfectly in Omar’s discography for the way it leans into his Mexican heritage and showcases his true to self playful soulfulness. I love how Omar’s R&B vibrato shines through in this song. I’ve seen people say it’s very Juan Gabriel of him for this song and honestly it is, slay king.

Hit Me Up

“I’ll waste my time if you pursue me…”

Ok time to embarrass myself: I used to get Omar and Dominic Fike confused. So knowing they actually have a song together, I’m glad I can tell them apart AND it fucking slaps. Also, Omar has so many great collabs: Joji, Kali Uchis, Daniel Caesar to name a few. But this song has a great carefree summer vibe that I’m carrying with me as the weather gets warmer. It also explains my exact vibe towards dating right now. I’m open, but to nothing serious. In fact, I’ll say it — I think I just want attention. But from guys I think are actually cool and interesting. Is that too much to ask?

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