by Olivia Mintz
Life is full of challenges, so why not write music about it? Omar Apollo released his third EP “Live for Me,” which symbolizes a transitional period in his life and for his music. This work is very reflective, and talks about feelings that Apollo has been experiencing for the past few years. After releasing his debut album Ivory in 2022 and living the life of a celebrity, he has had time to ponder his past experiences. Throughout this record, Omar Apollo gives listeners a glimpse into his inner thoughts.
The EP opens with “Ice Slippin,” a nostalgic ballad with soft piano chords to start off. As the first verse goes on, strong drum kicks follow. On this track, Apollo talks about family acceptance and seasonal depression. “Ice Slippin is about reliving the thoughts I had passing through my mind the winter I came out to my family. Receiving cold judgment as opposed to the acceptance I felt I deserved,” said Apollo in a press release. The lyrics drive this point home with lines like “If I said what I said, would you hate me?” The music video also supports this idea with footage of Apollo and his family.
The next track “Live for Me” is another heartfelt piece that discusses the emotions that come with growing up. It is initially very soulful with several overlapping harmonies, but as the song moves into the chorus, a steady drum beat gives it a bedroom pop vibe. This emotional track specifically tackles themes of loneliness and living for the people he loves, in addition to himself.
In “Angel,” Apollo explores personal growth after a difficult period of his life. This track is initially striking because of its heavy use of autotune, which isn’t extremely common in his music. However, the autotune works with his voice rather than against it. This song is very poetic, with imagery of an angel’s appearance and metaphors for death.
The final track “Pilot” covers the feelings of unrequited love and a failed relationship. It is a standout in comparison to the rest of the EP for its production quality. The track uses many electronic elements like synthesizers and electric guitars, which crescendo in the middle of the track. His voice works well with them, almost melting into the instrumentation. The song also combines R&B and hip-hop, as Apollo uses staccato rap on top of a soft piano melody at its bridge.
Omar Apollo does a great job of conveying his emotions through his music allowing the listener to feel the same way. Live for Me truly feels like a journey through his conscience during a key part of his life. The piece is a strong representation of Apollo’s ability to express complex themes and change his sound to reflect a certain feeling.