Omar Apollo’s ‘Frío’ is Hot

Omar Apollo frio
Art for Omar Apollo's "Frío."

On Oct. 29, Omar Apollo tweeted “new song tomorrow,” preparing fans for a new single from the artist just days after his late-night television debut on Late Night with Seth Meyers. On Oct. 30, Apollo dropped a surprise track titled “Frío.” While exceedingly distinct from his prior projects and singles, “Frío” toe-dips into a new sound without sacrificing Apollo’s tangible familiarity.

The sound of reggaeton is so inescapable in mainstream music that Omar Apollo could not resist manifesting his own interpretation of the popular genre through this song. Produced by Kenny Beats, who is known for collaborating with artists including Rico Nasty and Vince Staples, the single features the iconic “dembow” percussive backbone found in most reggaeton music. The song starts with a cool, atmospheric synth accompanied by a set of lo-fi, heartbeat-like thuds. The sounds evoke the sensation of being trapped underneath a glacier with the wind howling in the background. The barren, frosty feeling of such a setting outlines how Apollo’s relationship has left him bitter and alone.

As is the case with much of his discography, the lyrics themselves speak of an unhealthy relationship he finds himself stuck in. Apollo expresses how, despite his wishes to abandon the toxic relationship, his significant other refuses to make it easy for him to do so. Omar’s chant of “Y no puedo amarte / De vuelta” is bound to resonate with the lovesick fan base that will flock to his upcoming national tour. His lyrics strike a precarious, but effective, balance between sincerity and commercial appeal.

Catchy break-up songs are a dime-a-dozen, but what makes this track significant is that Apollo chooses to recite the entirety of the song in Spanish — a departure from his previous, bilingual tracks. Given that this is Apollo’s first exclusively Spanish song, it could be speculated that he is choosing to tap more into his Mexican-American heritage as a source of musical inspiration. While it may be difficult for fans to part with Apollo’s style to date, his foray into reggaeton on “Frío” is a welcome indication of his commitment to artistic evolution.