Frank Apollo’s new EP I Wish You Felt What I Felt will have you hitting repeat

I’ve often used the word “escape” when listening to music. You put your headphones on, you turn the volume up and you tune the world out. But every so often you come across those tracks that leave you exactly where you are, aware, as they melt seamlessly into your current state of mind.

That’s what Frank Apollo manages to get right with his latest EP, I Wish You Felt What I Felt.

Apollo is, in his own words, a listener first. When I ask him what this means for his music, he mentions straightaway that he’ll listen to his own songs at least ten times to make sure they hold water. His only litmus test is, “Does it make me want to listen again?”

For me, it means that this specific offering feels like a short story. A detailed photograph encapsulating the moments of life, big, small and anywhere in-between.

It’s not surprising at all. Apollo is a father, a husband and an artist. A few moments on the phone with him is all I need to realise just how much hard work went into the project.

“For the previous EP, 428 Thutong, I found that I had compromised quite a bit on my voice to try and meet certain industry standards,” he says. “I spent quite a bit of time figuring out that I needed to dig deeper for the next body of work in order to reconcile all the facets of my life into one picture.”

In fact, “Call Me When You Get Home” is an old-school love letter to his wife. “Sons of Umsondo (Good Days)” (the song which actually sparked the project) is a nod to the day-one friends that continue to thrive alongside him, while “A Stroll in our Nike Sneakers” is inspired by the walks he takes with his daughter.

“At its core, this EP is about giving space to the small moments almost as much as the bigger ones, because they’re normally the important ones we might take for granted,” explains Apollo. “There was a lot of work that needed to be done to reach that awareness.”

Apollo will now look to bring his sound on to a more global stage. A collaboration with German record Label Hip Dozer and some shows planned for France in the latter half of 2024 mean the growth won’t just be internal for this genuine talent.