Massachusetts Daily Collegian

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A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Omar Apollo discusses the struggles of coming out in new song ‘Ice Slippin’

Omar Apollo uses his musical gifts to create a safe space for the LGBTQ+ community
Photo from Omar Apollo’s Instagram

This August, Omar Apollo released his new single “Ice Slippin” as part of his upcoming October EP “Live For Me.” With an alternative R&B and soulful sound, the song focuses on Apollo’s struggle to come out to his family and being met with disapproval.

After being accused of queerbaiting by a fan through social media back in November of 2022, Apollo publicly addressed his sexuality for the first time coming out as a gay man. He tweeted, “No, I be sucking d*** fr.” He followed this tweet with another statement, “From the back,100%.” Later he explained he had such a blunt response to claims because he is sick of people tiptoeing around sexuality.

Omar grew up in a very conservative part of Indiana and was raised catholic. “All the rules man. Can’t be gay. Can’t cuss. Can’t do drugs. I’m just like, ‘What am I supposed to do?’” he said in an interview with GayTimes. Omar’s coming out story is notable because a young artist being so open about their sexuality and the struggles when coming out to family members that aren’t accepting can be beneficial for queer fans. It allows fans to not only feel understood but also allows them to have more representation in mainstream media and music.

The music video for “Ice Slippin” was directed by Rubberband, a New York based production company. The video started off with artist Apollo alone and submerged in icy water and ended with clips of his family members and parents showing him affection as a child. The lyrics are emotional and embody the internal and external struggle of coming out: “Are you turnin’ off your phone again? If I take back my words, would you return to me?”

Omar was faced with the decision to live authentically as himself and potentially lose the people he loves the most or hide his identity in hopes of keeping those relationships intact. It takes an immense amount of courage to face the fear of rejection especially from loved ones. These lyrics show the true pain that rejection can cause and how it is easy to question if his words were taken back, would the relationship still be the same.

Apollo’s debut into the mainstream music industry was through his first studio album “Ivory” released in October 2020. The album hit the charts reaching number 19 for top alternative albums and number 152 on the Billboard 200.

Omar is originally from Guadalajara, Mexico, but his parents immigrated to the U.S. shortly after his birth. He grew up in Hobart, Ind. with three older siblings. Indiana is a rural area and historically Christian state, which had a huge impact on Apollo’s upbringing. Before he got signed with labels AWAL and Warner, Apollo started his music career releasing singles on music platforms like SoundCloud and Spotify. In 2017, he released “Ugotme” on Spotify and reached 20,000 streams in one day by being added to a Fresh Finds playlist.

One of Apollo’s most recognizable songs is titled “Evergreen (You Didn’t Deserve Me At All)” released in 2022. The song reached number 51 on the Billboard Hot 100 and over 150 million streams on Spotify alone, gaining attraction through TikTok. He was also nominated and later won best new artist at the 65th annual Grammy awards.

With the upcoming release of Omar’s new EP “Live For Me” set to come out later this week, fans can expect Apollo to continue to provide a safe space for those who may feel misunderstood or rejected by society.

Taylor Zirilli can be reached at [email protected]

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