Omar Apollo is most likely the first Grammy nominee who’s a self-taught artist and has learned to play by watching YouTube videos. The singer-songwriter received a nomination for Best New Artist at the 65th Annual Grammy Awards after receiving stellar reviews for his Warner Record debut album Ivory last year.

The special honor has previously gone to Olivia Rodrigo, Megan Thee Stallion, Billie Eilish, and Dua Lipa. Omar is one of ten musicians up for it this year. He is undoubtedly one of the strongest candidates to win this year’s Best New Artist award.

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Who is Omar Apollo?

Oman Apollo was born on May 20, 1997, in the Indiana town of Hobart. He had three older siblings and hi Omar’s parents moved to the United States from Guadalajara, Mexico. Moreover, he is also a proud and openly gay man.

Ivory, Omar’s first studio album, was released on April 8, 2022. Prior to the album’s release, he launched five singles to promote it. Omar’s debut entry on the Billboard 200, Ivory, peaked at 128.

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Initially, Apollo watched and imitated YouTube cover videos after purchasing an acoustic guitar at a pawn shop to learn how to play. After that, he took on side jobs to make money for a laptop and later a microphone. He first chose to make music in his parent’s garage, which he then released on the independent streaming service SoundCloud. Later, in 2017, he posted his song “Ugotme” to Spotify. The song quickly made it to at FreshFinds on the platform, where it attracted attention and garnered 20,000 streams. A year later, Apollo’s song had surpassed 15 million streams.

When he learned about his nomination, he hastily rushed his friends out of his hotel room and broke the news to his parents first. He explains how everything he did on the day he found out about his nomination seemed like it was for a Grammy. “I got my nails done. I was like, ‘Oh, these are Grammy-nominated nails right here,'” he says.