Making it big means never going back to your day job — unless, of course, you’re Latin Grammy Award-nominated artist Omar Apollo. In 2019, a photo of Omar working the drive-thru window at McDonald’s went viral. Only years after he left his job as a fast food employee, Omar’s story comes full circle.
This summer, the LGBTQ+ entertainer is teaming up with McDonald's, yet again, and we have all the details. In an exclusive interview with Distractify, Omar talked life before his debut album and dished on his dating life. Read on for more.
LGBTQ+ Latin Grammy Award-nominated artist Omar Apollo worked at McDonalds before the release of his debut solo album ‘Ivory.’
Along with artists like blackbear, Kid Cudi, and BIBI, Omar is onboard for the 2022 Camp McDonald’s campaign, where McNugget and McDouble lovers alike can cash in on a long list of daily deals. To usher in the new menu, Omar will perform a live set that will premiere exclusively on the McDonald's app on July 17.
In his interview with Distractify, the 25-year-old thought back to a time when life was simple and the ice cream machine always worked. “I started working at McDonald's at like 16 or something. Seeing the photo is honestly hilarious to me. I think it's really funny,” he said with a laugh.
According to Omar, he applied for the job to save up for a laptop and a guitar. And with his first paycheck, a star was born. Omar shared, “I started making my music from then.”
It wasn’t long before Omar’s ambitions outgrew his hometown. Following the release of his debut EP — Stereo — Omar quickly gained popularity online. Soon after, questions about his sexuality surfaced.
Omar Apollo dishes on the details his of dating life: “I’m pretty gay.”
Omar and his three siblings were born and raised in Hobart, Ind. — which the Camp McDonald's ambassador describes as a “very conservative town.” This only made Omar’s experience as a queer youth more difficult. He shared, “I've dealt with like a lot of people, you know, a lot of hatred."
The price of fame can be pretty expensive, and this was especially true for Omar. Along with the perils of stardom came the pressure to disclose the details of his sexuality. “People want you to identify yourself so quickly,” Omar shared. And I think at the time, I didn't even really know what to label myself.” Adding, “I think that that was the hardest part.”
In interviews, Omar was pressed to answer questions that he didn’t have the answers to. “That's why I felt like queer was like, a good way to identify,” he told us. Since then, he’s learned to cope with intolerance and tone-deaf interviewers. Today, he proudly identifies as “pretty gay.”
“I think those are things I struggled with the most," he continued. "It's way easier to talk about now."
Omar’s Camp McDonald’s “In the Booth” performance happens Sunday, July 17. Tickets for the virtual performance are complimentary with a minimum purchase of $1.