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Omar Apollo performs at his concert on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022 at the Ritz. Apollo performed songs such as "Endlessly" and "Evergreen."

On Sunday, Nov. 20, Omar Apollo won every heart in the sold-out venue of the Ritz in Raleigh. The 25-year-old R&B singer from Indiana is fairly new to the music scene, though you wouldn’t know it from the electric crowd of 1,400 people singing along to every word. This may be his first tour, but Apollo knows what he’s doing on stage.

The Ritz itself seems very boring and quiet from the outside, but once you step through the doors, you're greeted by the buzz of excited young people and friendly staff. The dark interior and crowded floorspace gets everyone in the mood to dance (and so do the bars stationed in the back of the room). 

Opening for Apollo was Ravyn Lenae, who just released her first album "Hypnos,"which, after about four years of relative silence from the artist, did not disappoint. Although her voice was soft and high, it was strong and had an incredible range; it had a fierceness about it that was mimicked in her bright red costume. 

Lenae had a calm presence and was clearly at home on the stage. With every song she performed, you could tell that her soul was in it. She performed some of her more upbeat songs like “M.I.A.” and “Xtasy,” which got the crowd fired up. Her R&B-mixed-with-soul sound was an awesome warmup for the crowd. 

Apollo himself was warmly welcomed by the noisy crowd of fans and spent the rest of the concert in a sort of witty discourse with the audience. He was incredibly interactive with the crowd, and the crowd was interactive with him. He fed off of their boisterous energy and had everyone singing along and dancing. He stuck to songs from his latest album “Ivory,” such as “Talk” and “Killing Me.” 

His songs incorporated aspects of both his American and Spanish backgrounds, as seen in his songs “En El Olvido” and “Tamagotchi.” Others like “Evergreen,” which you’ve probably heard on TikTok at some point, were more soulful, heartfelt songs every one of us can relate to. Evergreen’s famous lines: “You know you really made me hate myself, had to stop before I’d break myself, should have broken off to date myself, you didn’t deserve me at all,” emphasize Apollo’s heartache.  

There really is something for everyone in his music. Whether you like more of an upbeat and fast-paced song to dance to or you like to get in your feels in the corner of the library while you're doing your homework, Omar’s got you covered. There's no doubt about it that this kid is going places. He has loads of raw talent and creative ideas, as well as backgrounds in both American and Latin cultures. 

Not only is there a lot of raw talent, but he’s a very down-to-earth person on stage. During some lyrical breaks in his songs when he would be dancing around stage, you could tell that it was less for show and more that he was just having fun. Sometime during the first song, he dropped his mic and didn’t hesitate to joke about it. About halfway through the set, he looked out at the audience and said, “I gotta pee, be right back.” I describe it as humble showmanship, and it’s this layer of relatability that I believe will launch him even farther in his budding career.