Roddy Ricch - Rolling Loud LA

Release Radar: New Albums of the Week - December 13, 2019

Welcome to Release Radar––your weekly pass to the most exciting new releases from across the music spectrum. wants to put the hottest new albums on your radar so you’re always in the know and ready to catch the artists live when they come to town. From prominent pop stars and indie rockers to hip-hop’s up-and-comers, we’ve got you covered! 

Roddy Ricch – Please Excuse Me For Being Antisocial

Roddy Ricch - Please Excuse Me For Being Antisocial Album CoverBorn in Compton and raised in Atlanta, Roddy Rich has been immersed in hip-hop his whole life. It follows that he’s something of a prodigy. He wasn’t even legal to drink before he garnered praise from industry staples like Meek Mill and Nipsey Hussle. Please Excuse Me For Being Antisocial is impressive because the 21-year-old writes and spits with a deadly combination of street wisdom and pop instincts. There isn’t anything particularly flashy about Rod’s debut; rather, it’s his subtle details that build on each other to form a complete whole. Details like slowly refining a flow with autotune or moving down an octave, or the use of unimposing, yet precise keys or acoustic guitars and subtracting a note or a beat. The quality of Rod’s impeccable work is only further compounded by a first-rate roster of features: Gunna, Lil Durk, Meek Mill, Ty Dolla $ign and A Boogie Wit da Hoodie. The maturation of Roddy Ricch is not only impressive, but incredibly rewarding for fans of current hip-hop aesthetics and trends.

Grab tickets to Roddy Ricch's January 31 Show At Brooklyn Steel Here

Emily Yacina Remember the Silver              

Emily Yacina - Remember the Silver Album Cover
Often times, indie rock artists will paint themselves into a corner: Mac DeMarco is the off-kilter slacker, Angel Olsen is for having a good cry to, Real Estate’s music is defined by apathetic but gorgeous tones, etc. Emily Yacina seems to be actively working against this premise. Every track on Remember the Silver is an earnest effort to never be defined by any musical or metaphysical tropes. Tracks like “Stephanie” are ruminative and employ an endearing horn section, while “Arcades & Highways” is a stripped-down, confessional ballad in the same vein as Beat Happening or Young Marble Giants. However, what really separates Yacina from her peers is her unrelenting rejection of song and melody structure. Some songs will employ a single melody throughout, while other times a song will include seven or eight different tones and textures. Likewise, some songs follow basic pop standards or are comprised of four seemingly unrelated modes that brilliantly fall into place at the last moment. Much like Roddy Ricch, the youthful Yacina is wise beyond her musical years.

Anticipation Albums

Caribou – “You and I” 

Caribou - "You and I"It’s been almost half a decade since Dan Snaith’s Caribou project dropped its coveted LP “Our Love.” Now, the Canadian composer has dropped his second single for his upcoming 2020 record Suddenly. “You and I” picks up exactly where Snaith left Caribou off: infectious percussion, transformative synthesizers and gorgeous vocal inflections that will leave you shivering with excitement. However, unlike his previous releases, Snaith seems to have really embraced his multi-faceted approach to indie rock and electronica. Instead, the explorative composer and producer has decided to tinker and synchronize every musical sketch he has; from interpretive soul samples to titillating guitar waves.

Grab tickets to Caribou’s March 27 Show At Brooklyn Steel Here


Mk.gee - “Untitled”The intrepid, yet enigmatic neo-funk artist known as Mk.gee (pronounced Mcgee) has dropped a compelling and mesmerizing new single. “Untitled” has a sinister edge to it, but there’s gyration at the heart of this smoke-filled room. The repetition of the initial beat slowly builds like a Lego tower until the emotional and sonic weight of the track collapses on it. It seems like that’s exactly what Mk.gee is trying to communicate: that unrelenting pleasure will always come with an intense withdrawal.

featured photo:


Queen - Adam Lambert

Four Iconic Bands That Changed Lead Singers

It’s hard to imagine an iconic band changing the sound that brings us so many memories. With the change of a lead singer comes the fear that the history, sound and legacy might not translate so well. While some would say that the history of a band might get lost when the lead singer is replaced, there have been several instances throughout history where bands have proven that concept false.

Taking a look at top bands like Queen and Journey that made the frontman switch, there is proof that the maneuver can extend the life of the band. Here are some other bands still rocking the stage with a new lead:

Starting out in 1973 with Gregg Rolie as the lead singer, the band hired Steve Perry in 1977 who helped them soar to success. Now with Arnel Pineda, the group hasn’t stopped believing and is still touring and selling out shows.

Buy Tickets To See Journey In Concert Here

For bands like Foreigner, the music meant more to fans than the band’s replacement of the lead singer (and other band members). They too want to know what love is, and for many it means getting to still hear their favorite Foreigner songs sung by Kelly Hansen, Lou Gramm’s replacement.

There has always been friction in the vision of the band Styx. That’s why when it was announced that they split in 1983, very few fans were surprised. But now, 20 years after regrouping, the replacement of previous singers with Lawrence Gowan still allows them to tour like a renegade.

Buy Tickets To See Styx In Concert Here

featured photo: katatonia82 /


Three Hot Tickets This Weekend: December 13-15

No weekend plans? Check out our selection of what’s hot this weekend in music, sports and theater in and around New York City.

Harry Connick Jr. – A Celebration of Cole Porter

Nederlander Theatre, New York, NY
Saturday, December 14 and Sunday, December 15; Various times

What better way to celebrate the legacy of gifted Broadway composer, Cole Porter, than a tribute by beloved crooner Harry Connick Jr.? Backed by a 25-piece orchestra, the Emmy and Grammy award-winning artist will perform Porter’s most classic compositions in support of his new album “True Love: A Celebration of Cole Porter.

Get Tickets to See Harry Connick Jr. This Weekend Here!


Walter Kerr Theatre, New York, NY
Various dates and times

With eight Tony Awards under its belt, including Best Musical, Hadestown is the definition of a “can’t-miss show.” At once haunting and beautiful, the production transports the audience to a mythical underworld where love, lore and melody intertwine in an unforgettable tale.

Get Tickets to See Hadestown This Weekend Here!

Top Rank – Terence Crawford vs. Egidijus Kavaliauskas

Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
Saturday, December 14, 5:30 pm

In order to advance to bigger fights, welterweight Terence “Bud” Crawford has no choice but to take on the two-time Olympian Egidijus “Mean Machine” Kavaliauskas. While boxing buffs remark that Crawford will take home an easy victory, only time will tell.

Can’t get enough of the boxing buzz? Check out’s exclusive interview with up-and-coming star, Teofimo Lopez here.

Get Tickets To This Weekend's Fight Here!

featured photo: Lev Radin / Shutterstock


Skeery Jones 2019

Press Play: Z100's Skeery Jones

EXCLUSIVE: Albie Manzo talks to Skeery Jones about the history of Jingle Ball and what makes the holidays special in NYC

So many things come to mind when I think of Christmas in NYC: the tree, ice skating in Central Park, the Rockettes … but one event always stands out above the rest: iHeartRadio’s Jingle Ball. Growing up in the NYC area, Z100 has been the defining voice of hit music since before I learned how to turn the radio on. Every year, the anticipation of the lineup alone creates a buzz in this city like no other. That’s why I was so excited to speak with Skeery Jones of Z100’s “Elvis Duran and the Morning Show” about all things Jingle Ball and how far the event has come since its launch in the mid ‘90s.

Albie Manzo (AM): Tell us about your role in Jingle Ball.

Skeery Jones (SJ): I’ve been a part of every Jingle Ball since I started working at Z100. I talk about it on air on “Elvis Duran and the Morning Show” and we give away tickets to callers – I also do events with the radio station where I go out to certain locations to raffle off free tickets. During the show itself, I interact with the audience and upgrade some seats from the last row and bring them closer to the stage. Sometimes, I’ll help introduce an act with the rest of the Z100 team, and I’ll get involved with our social channels for some backstage coverage.

AM: What year was the first show?

SJ: I remember the first Z100 holiday show was our Acoustic Christmas in 1994, and Green Day performed, I was such a Stan. The first official Z100’s Jingle Ball was the following year. It’s a NYC tradition now, and it’s really one of the most sought-after shows of the entire year.

AM: The reason I’m asking is because my first concert ever was Z100 Jingle Ball in 1997, and I remember bugging out calling Z100 like crazy trying to get tickets. How has the show changed from when it first started to what it is now?

SJ: Well, this was the lineup for the first Jingle Ball in 1995: Alanis Morrisette, Blues Traveler, Bush, Collective Soul, Dave Matthews Band, Gavin Rossdale, Goo Goo Dolls, Hootie & The Blowfish, Natalie Merchant and Soul Asylum.

AM: I’d go to that now, Skeery.

SJ: I know, right! Jingle Ball 1996 was a legendary year for us too – we did an all-female lineup called Girls Rule The YULE, which was an amazing show.

"Acts you would never typically see on the same night all come together and put on such an amazing show. Just look at the lineup – there’s something for everyone."

- Skeery

AM: The show has always been a hot ticket, but has there been an evolution in how you guys produce the show itself? Has anything about the process or experience changed from the ‘90s to today?

SJ: The wait times in between the acts have decreased dramatically with the use of a rotating stage. While one act is playing, another artist can set up backstage, and then they just rotate the stage 180 degrees and the new act is ready to go. That made a major difference – we used to need full set changes, so we would have to wait 20-30 minutes between each act. Having this one addition really helped allow Jingle Ball to bring in as many acts as it does now. As of a few years ago, the show evolved into a multi-city tour across the U.S. known widely as iHeartRadio Jingle Ball. It is a next level large-scale event and it’s incredible to be a part of it.

AM: Is there an all-time favorite artist or performance that sticks out to you?

SJ: Thinking through the years, in 2008 Lady Gaga came out to perform “Just Dance” before the show even opened. She started the show cold – she was virtually unknown at the time, but you could just tell she was going to be a superstar and it’s so wild looking back at it. We’ve had these blockbuster lineups over the years and it’s a lot of fun to watch where their careers take them after they play the show. For instance, the Jonas Brothers’ first performance was in 2007 and now they’re bigger than ever. A lot of the artists that play Jingle Ball could easily sell out stadiums on their own.

AM: I’ve gone to several shows over the years, and what sticks out to me are the screaming fans. What fan base can you remember was the most crazed, and what artist got the biggest reaction?

SJ: There are really so many – every superstar has played this show. In 2012, for instance, Ed Sheeran came out with just his guitar and everyone was singing along loudly to every word, they were mesmerized. As far as which acts caused the most excitement, wow, it’s tough to count – but Justin Bieber, The Jonas Brothers and One Direction were particularly deafening. The screams for those guys, I have never heard anything like it.

AM: What makes doing the Z100 Jingle Ball in NYC so special?

SJ: Madison Square Garden is the world’s most famous arena, and not only is it New York, it’s the holidays in New York. There’s something about being in town when all of the other NYC traditions are happening, like the Radio City Rockettes and the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. Maybe I’m biased because I grew up in Brooklyn listening to Z100, but I think it’s super exciting. Plus, the show started in NYC, too – with all those factors combined, there’s just nothing like it.

AM: Who are you most excited to see this year?

SJ: Wow, that’s a tough one, it really is. The lineup is amazing: Taylor Swift, The Jonas Brothers, Camila Cabello, Halsey – I love Halsey, 5SOS, Niall Horan, Lizzo, Dan + Shay, Monsta X, Lewis Capaldi and Fletcher – it’s so hard to choose! But for me, I think it’s a toss up between Halsey and the Jonas Brothers.

AM: Nothing wrong with going with a few Jersey artists! Lastly, what does Jingle Ball represent to you?

SJ: To me, it represents the best of the best in music throughout the year on one stage. Acts you would never typically see on the same night all come together and put on such an amazing show. Just look at the lineup – there’s something for everyone. It’s not something I’ll ever get used to or take for granted. But yet, iHeartRadio manages to outdo itself every year.

While Jingle Ball is currently sold out, you can catch some of the artists performing at their upcoming NYC-area shows:

Niall Horan with Lewis Capaldi and Fletcher
April 29, 2020
Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY

Dan + Shay The (Arena) Tour 
March 12, 2020
Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA


Billy Joel Live In Concert

The Best Piano Bars In NYC 2020

Love Billy Joel? You’ll Also Love These NYC Piano Bars!

He’s come a long way from playing for bar regulars on a Saturday night; The piano man himself is returning to Madison Square Garden (where he has had more performances than any other artist at the venue) to add on to his already historic residency at “The World’s Most Famous Arena.” While dates may still be available, the tickets to see this legend up close and personal tend to go fast. And since Billy is a man who needs no introduction, it’s rare that anyone opens for him, so we made you a list of some classic New York piano spots to get you warmed up for the show!

Get Tickets To See Billy Joel At Madison Square Garden Here

Sid Gold’s Request Room
165 West 26th Street, New York, NY

This is a modern take on a piano bar that we find really interesting. Don’t expect to hear the same old piano slow jams –- ‘Sid’s’ loves to mix up their genres! Slide right up to the bar or hold down a booth with your friends and you’re in for a great time.

Brandy’s Piano Bar
235 East 84th Street, New York, NY

Brandy’s is small, but mighty. The staff gets in on the singing, and they are all amazingly talented. We can’t help but think they each have an amazing story to tell of their own adventures as they try to make it big in the music or theater world. Get there early if you want a seat, and be ready for a night of high energy and a lot of laughs. Plus, it’s a great place to go with friends!

Don’t Tell Mama
235 343 West 46th Street, New York, NY

Located smack in the middle of restaurant row, Don’t Tell Mama is big on showcasing its entire staff, as they make a point to hire those that have on- and off-Broadway experience. It’s a nonstop sing-along party that’s been a staple in the NYC scene for decades.

Bemelmans Bar
35 E 76th Street, New York, NY

One of our favorite bars in NYC, period. This place makes us feel like we’re living in a real life “Great Gatsby.” Seriously, they should be selling top hats at the door. An absolute throwback to old NYC, the service is great, the drinks are great and especially during the holidays, it has a magical feel that you can only find in New York. It’s a little pricey, but absolutely worth the trip.

Dino & Harry’s
163 14th Street, Hoboken, NJ

Ok, so maybe it’s not in New York – but it’s only 10 minutes from the Garden! ‘Dino’s’, as the residents know it, is a traditional steakhouse in every sense, cozy and warm in nature with someone playing piano nightly. The ambience is something straight out of a Billy Joel song.

featured photo: Debby Wong /


Tame Impala

Release Radar: Five New Albums of the Week

Welcome to Release Radar––your weekly pass to the most exciting new releases from across the music spectrum. wants to put the hottest new albums on your radar so you’re always in the know and ready to catch the artists live when they come to town. From prominent pop stars and indie rockers to hip-hop’s up-and-comers, we’ve got you covered! 

Roc Marciano – Marcielago

Roc Marciano - MarcielagoTenured rapper and producer Roc Marciano has released a follow-up to Behold a Dark Horse, his critically acclaimed 2018 LP. Marciano picks up exactly where he left off by delivering a flurry of methodically crafted tracks, each which serves a function in Marciano’s narratives. To boot, the sonic textures, which are almost entirely self-produced, are flawless. Serpentine string sections and haunting horn hollows serve as passageways into the urban decay of Marciano’s world building. Other times, it sounds as if the entire studio is immersed in a sludge-like stasis; rhythm and pacing shift from a trains pace to an astronaut walk. All throughout, Marciano hold the reins of this thuggish carriage tight.

Grab tickets to Roc Marciano's December 23 Show At Sony Hall Here

Medhane Own Pace              

Medhane - Own Pace
In a time where hip-hop demands that you set yourself apart with some sort of spontaneous act of performance or dress, Medhane sits on his stoop and meditates while the traffic passes him by. The fresh, yet avant-garde MC employs the same sort of swagger as his historical predecessors; specifically, Big L and Mos Def come to mind. Parallels aside, Own Pace is a methodical masterpiece of observation and plunderphonic production. Tracks like “Affirmation #1” perfect the art of performing a duet with a sample. “Remember all the times I couldn’t describe what was going on inside,” Medhane spits before giving way to a sped-up soul sample. Own Pace is an eccentric but cohesive piece of hip-hop from one of the underground’s most prominent wallflowers.

Ducks UnlimitedGet Bleak    

Ducks Unlimited - Get BleakPastel prints and quirky indie movies might be a bit dated, but the playful, tongue-and-cheek pop of British twee has a certain timelessness to it. That’s exactly the sort of mood that the Toronto quartet Ducks Unlimited are trying to tap into with their latest release: references to Victorian literature and summer romance meld together on this endearing extended play. While this record isn’t especially divergent from its influences, its beach-tinged guitars and wildflower textures are decent comfort for those of us buckling down for winter.

Anticipation Albums

Tame Impala – “Posthumous Forgiveness” 

Tame Impala - "Posthumous Forgiveness"Kevin Parker continues to push the envelope for contemporary psychedelic pop on the band’s most recent single. This is the group’s fourth and most transcendent release of the year: Parker orchestrates a profound mixture of old-school, R&B-styled production with tantalizing synths and guitar licks. The track is especially invigorating because while it clocks in at roughly six minutes long, it feels as if both 10 seconds and 10 minutes have passed when it’s over. Tame Impala’s new album Slow Rush is slated to be released in February of 2020.

Ally Brooke“No Good”

Ally Brooke - “No Good”The former Fifth Harmony member and current Dancing with the Stars contestant embarked on her solo career back in 2018. Her latest first single, “No Good,” is a preview of what will be her debut LP. “No Good” is a funk-oriented and EDM-inspired bop that showcases the 26-year-old’s powerful singing range.

Grab presale tickets to Ally Brooke's March 16 Show At Gramercy Theatre Here

featured photo: Abby Gillardi


Three Hot Tickets This Weekend

No weekend plans? Check out our selection of what’s hot this weekend in music, sports and theater in and around New York City.

Bad Bunny

Barclays Center, Brooklyn
Friday, December 6, 8:00 pm

Often described as Latin trap and reggaetón, Bad Bunny’s musical style is arguably even more dynamic, with elements of bachata and soul woven throughout. Don’t miss your chance to heat up the weekend. Grab your tickets and groove along to some of Bad Bunny’s hits like “La Canción” and “Callaíta” live in concert.

Get Tickets to See Bad Bunny This Weekend Here!

Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker

Kings Theatre, Brooklyn
Saturday, December 7, 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm

The first performance of The Nutcracker was in 1892 in St. Petersburg, Russia. Through the years, the Nutcracker has become a beloved holiday tradition. This weekend, the Moscow Ballet returns to New York to recreate the enchanting Christmas tale with stunning sets, intricate costumes and world-class dancers, all to the recognizably beautiful Tchaikovsky score.

Get Tickets to See Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker Here!

New York Jets vs. Miami Dolphins

MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
Sunday, December 8, 1:00 pm

With both teams looking to gain momentum after lackluster seasons so far, the Jets and the Dolphins have a lot to prove. Grab your tickets to see how the Dolphins fare against ex-coach Adam Gase at the helm of his new team.

Get Tickets To This Weekend's Game Here!

Release Radar: New Albums of the Week

Welcome to Release Radar––your weekly pass to the most exciting new releases from across the music spectrum. wants to put the hottest new albums on your radar so you’re always in the know and ready to catch the artists live when they come to town. From prominent pop stars and indie rockers to hip-hop’s up-and-comers, we’ve got you covered! 

Trippie Redd – A Love Letter to You 4

Trippie Redd - A Love Letter To You 4The mumble rap phenomena that started back in 2016 has since diluted the perception of those caught in this genre’s dragnet. With the untimely passing of artists like Lil Peep and XXXTentacion, the remaining associated acts of this niche cultural moment have sought to reestablish themselves within the rap zeitgeist. While Lil Uzi Vert appears to be the mumbler rapper with the most staying power, there’s stiff competition from Gen Z troubadour Trippie Redd. Redd framed himself as a competitor with the irresistible single “Topanga,” and his latest mixtape showcases his ability to croon melodies and rap with precise synchronicity. The 20-year-old rapper also perfects where Young Thug and Lil Nas X left off: the use of acoustic guitars to create rhythmic and stoic hip-hop beats. The album, which runs 22 tracks, is split between the aforementioned ballads and straightforward bangers with his contemporaries like Juice WRLD, YoungBoy Never Broke Again, and DaBaby. A Love Letter to You 4 is a strong case for Trippie Redd as one of the more improved rap artists of 2019.

Get tickets to Trippie Redd’s performance at Terminal 5 on February 23 Here

Beck – Hyperspace

Beck - HyperspacePop music’s most mercurial chameleon has returned with his 14th studio album. Hyperspace is the veteran writer and producer at his most modern: icy synths, well-curated autotune, and contemporary hip-hop drum orientations. However, unlike 2017’s Color, Beck is much less drawn to redressing the R&B and funk music he notoriously distorts. Instead he opts for a contemplative and scenic approach; there aren’t any particularly quirky lyrics or impromptu jam sessions. And while this record sometimes feels like it’s trying to reinvigorate Beck to a youth audience, it’s more often than not a lifelong musician entering a new stage of development in their artistic journey.

Anticipation Albums

Yo La Tengo – “Eight Candles”

Hanukkah+ Yo La TengoIndie rock staples Yo La Tengo have released the first single for their forthcoming Hanukkah album. It’s a fitting project for a band that has been throwing a yearly Hannukkah show for decades now. “Eight Candles” is in many ways a secular holiday jam: it’s mixed with just enough reverb and distortion to give one the feeling that they are immersed in the glowing lights of a winter evening. The organ that anchors the track feels spiritual in a nondenominational sense. The harmonized vocals are murmured and distant. It’ll be a great song to play when your holiday party is winding down and you’re sitting with a few close friends for a night cap.

Grab tickets to Yo La Tengo's Bowery Ballroom performance on December 22 Here

Burial – “Old Tape”

Burial - Old TapeThe critically acclaimed but incredibly secretive British dub producer Burial has released a new single. It’s apart of the collaboration with Burial’s label, Hyperdub, and the counterculture factory Adult Swim. “Old Tape” is a sprawling, eight- minute track with all the signature Burial trappings: haunted synthesizers, disassociated vocal samplings, and found sound percussion. A compilation of Burial’s EPs, Tunes 2011-2019, drops December 6th.

photo: The Come Up


Three Hot Tickets This Weekend

No weekend plans? Check out our selection of what’s hot this weekend in music, sports and theater in and around New York City.

Siriusxm Presents: A Pentatonix Christmas Tour

Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden
Saturday, Nov 30 & Sunday, Dec 1, 7:00 pm

There’s something about Christmas music that lends itself beautifully to a cappella performances. And who better to harmonize on seasonal favorites like “Winter Wonderland,” “Carol of the Bells” and their moving rendition of “Hallelujah” than the Grammy-winning quintet, Pentatonix.

Get Tickets to See Pentatonix This Weekend Here!

New Jersey Devils vs. New York Rangers

Prudential Center, Newark, NJ
Saturday, Nov 30, 1:00 pm

The NHL classic “Hudson River” rivalry clashes on the ice this Saturday at the Prudential Center. Get your tickets to see if the Devils can defend their home turf in one of the most competitive games of the season.

Get tickets to see the New Jersey Devils vs. New York Rangers this weekend here!

Radio City Music Hall Stage Door Tour

Radio City Music Hall, 1260 Sixth Avenue, New York, NY
Multiple Showtimes

Here’s your chance to go behind the scenes at the legendary Radio City Music Hall. This guided tour unveils all of the theater’s inner workings with exclusive views of the Great Stage and even the chance to meet a member of the Rockettes. And for those feeling inspired by the meet and greet, tickets to the Christmas Spectacular Starring The Radio City Rockettes are available, too.

Get Tickets to The Radio City Music Hall Stage Door Tour This Weekend Here!

photo: Marley White 


Spotlight: Omar Apollo

Omar Apollo is an anomaly in that he’s done something most people only dream of: He’s achieved the American Dream. The son of Mexican immigrants, Apollo, 22, established himself as one of pop music’s most intriguing up-and-comers even before landing a record deal with Kobalt Music Group. Back in 2017, the Indiana-born crooner grew an impressive fanbase by self-releasing a series of singles and EPs that eventually garnered millions of streams.

It’s only gotten better from there.

In 2019, he released his major studio LP, collaborated with notorious producer Kenny Beats and solidified his come up by performing an electric “Late Night” set that combined all the best parts of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Elvis, and Childish Gambino. You can tell he savors every moment during his televised jaunt; the small-town kid from the Midwest shakes his hips in front of millions of viewers like this was all he was meant for.

It feels like the “big break” every kid dreams about while playing air guitar in their bedroom.

"Not only does his diverse catalog speak to his particular identity, but it also realizes the multitude of influences on his sound. At his core, Apollo is a singer-songwriter."

But forget how this story has the trappings of some forced, cinematic narrative of rags to riches: Apollo is without a doubt one of the most intriguing young stars in popular music. Much like his fellow Gen Z contemporaries in Clairo, Cuco and Phoebe Bridgers, Apollo radiates a kind of quiet confidence that makes him feel tangible and approachable. He’s far from the overly curated, highly branded pop acts that have infested your Tumblr and Instagram feed.

Far from it, Apollo’s working-class, Latinx roots are strikingly apparent in his music. Look closer, beyond his jazz-inspired, funkadelic ballads: songs like “Frío” feel like a dreamy ode to the infectious sounds of reggaeton radio, while Apollo’s early single “Brake Lights” compares his heartbreak to owning a crappy used car.

Not only does his diverse catalog speak to his particular identity, but it also realizes the multitude of influences on his sound. At his core, Apollo is a singer-songwriter. The tracks that put him on the radar, “Ugotme” and “Erase,” are timeless references (with a modern twist, of course) to the mid-century blues and jazz singers of yore. “Times you take my breath away, I’m so in love with you, now just passing the time, waiting longer for you,” he yearns on “Ugotme.”

Apollo’s impressive combination of R&B, funk, jazz and pop is both refreshing and historical; a duality that is compounded by the way his vocal harmonies and pensive guitar licks ebb and flow with graceful balance. He’s an exciting act with a great story … a story that is only just hitting its first act.

Don’t miss Apollo coming to town next week performing live at Brooklyn Steel Thursday, December 12.

Get Tickets to See Omar Apollo Live at Brooklyn Steel Here