Cupid: Blazing Arrows

Atlanta’s got you snappin’. Miami stays hustlin’, and Texas has you screwed up. Now, New Orleans artist Cupid takes the Southern movement a step further, chefing up a jambalaya of Cajun flavored music. Could this new recipe of Southern ingredients satisfy the hungry ears of the R&B gourmet as well as the microwave music lovers? […]

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Atlanta’s got you snappin’. Miami stays hustlin’, and Texas has you screwed up. Now, New Orleans artist Cupid takes the Southern movement a step further, chefing up a jambalaya of Cajun flavored music. Could this new recipe of Southern ingredients satisfy the hungry ears of the R&B gourmet as well as the microwave music lovers? If so, Cupid has it on the menu.  When compared to other male vocalists, he says “I don’t want to be the next Chris Brown; I’m not the next Omarion or the next Usher. I’m Cupid.”    Not only did Cupid explode onto the scene with a new sound, he’s got a new dance to go along with it. In fact, it was “The Cupid Shuffle” that caught the attention of major labels, ultimately sealing the deal with Atlantic Records. Cupid enjoys his music and projects that enthusiasm in his performance. “I’m the guy that comes on the stage and yells and screams and sings and performs and sweats. I’m the guy that brings the fun to kill the monotony of all the bad stuff that’s going on these days.” Alternatives: Being on a powerhouse label like Atlantic that’s home to several chart-topping artists, do you feel that your project is a priority? Cupid: Yes, definitely. I had the hottest song in the Southern region before I was signed, so it’s kind of a situation where the label is definitely not gonna miss the ball on such a big song. With them behind me, we definitely going to make it an even bigger song. I did have a couple of choices before I signed, and I know I picked the right one. AHHA: You also had albums out in the past. How has your movement changed since you went major?Cupid: It’s grown crazy. Once you get that sticker behind you, the community begins to embrace you. At one time I couldn’t get past Houston when I was independent. Now that I’m signed, even the older records are getting out there and gain more weight and now “The Cupid Shuffle.”AHHA: How long were you moving on your independent grind before getting a deal with Atlantic?Cupid: ‘97. ‘97 was when I really started making moves. AHHA: How did your single “The Cupid Shuffle” come about?Cupid: Well at the time when I was independent, I had a lot of radio friendly songs, and in the South we do a lot of dance – shuffle steps. Over the years things were corny, and I wanted to put something out that was more rhythmic and soulful. That’s how the song came about.AHHA: Do you feel like dance-centered records are typical to gain popularity in the game?Cupid: It’s just a fun record. When I released it, it wasn’t supposed to be a single. I was trying to spice myself up for the next single. When we dropped it, it just went crazy and it was really out [of] our hands. People were putting it on You Tube – but it’s just a fun record ‘cause that’s my personality – I’m just a real cordial, easygoing guy. Fortunately, that song tipped off my personality about just having a good time.AHHA: Did this song land you your deal?Cupid: It is the one that got me the attention. I dropped the song in October and got the deal in January. This was the one that got people wanting to check me out.AHHA: You have a Motown type of sound, not very consistent with the Omarions and Chris Browns. Are you planning any ballads?Cupid: Absolutely. The album consists of four ballads. One of the four is called “Don’t Love Her to Death” – something that guys don’t want to talk about. Basically, if you’re in a relationship and it doesn’t work out, don’t kill it. Just make it mutual, you know what I mean? They’re some serious topics. AHHA: It seems like in order for R&B singers to move units they have to crossover to mainstream Hip-Hop or pop. How do you feel about that?Cupid: I think it’s because how heavy the club scene is and the influence of the South and dance. As an R&B guy, if you want to get in, you kind of have to match up with a “Pop, Drop and Lock it” record or something like that. Now once you’re in the door and have captured everybody, you do what you got to do. I guess that’s kind of the formula [you] have to follow, unless you’re a real soulful guy like Musiq Soulchild that can get you on the first rip.AHHA: Well, even Musiq had to come out with a party record, so it’s obvious that times have changed from the ‘90s where you could have slow records on the top of the charts. Do you feel an up-tempo song is necessary to secure a position in the game?Cupid: Yes, well independently it’s hard to move without one. It’s hard to go to the club and approach a DJ with a slow ballad. You gotta find a way to pop off.AHHA: You received a scholarship from the University of Louisiana for track and field. Did you give that up to pursue your music career?Cupid: I ran two years and I just couldn’t do it. It was eating me up inside. I just wanted to sing.AHHA: Do you have any regrets?Cupid: I’m blessed to say that I have the money to go back anytime, but God has a way of working things. There’s tons of people that aren’t technically doing what they graduated to do. I think God led the way and gave me the talent to do this.AHHA: Who are you working with for your third release?Cupid: I’m working with the Stereotypes, Rich Skills, Fabo [D4L] and B.O.B. from Atlanta. I’ve got some real hot production on this album.AHHA: What’s the follow up single?Cupid: It’s called “3-6-9.” It’s another party record.AHHA: If you could only choose one producer to work with for an album, who would it be?Cupid: Wow. You know I gotta say Timbaland. Not even from the new stuff, but back in the day of Mista. He’s just a phenomenal dude; I just hope I can get a track from him one day.AHHA: Are there any rappers or singers that you would want to collaborate with at the moment?Cupid: Fantasia. I really want to do a song with Fantasia. A lot of the time the music production part is hot, but she can really sing and I want to go note for note with her.AHHA: Let’s say that you’re scheduled to perform, but due to a bungling promoter, the show starts late and the crowd is restless and frustrated. What do you do as an artist to change the mood in the audience?Cupid: Well, you know the performance thing is my strength. We have the choreography and the dancing, but I also want you to feel like you’re not just listening to the album. I want you to be able to reach out and connect with me. The concert becomes a party, and I grew up in the church so I can sang! There were times when the mic was out and you had to fill the whole church with your voice.AHHA: If you could create an All-Star tour, who would be some of the headliners besides yourself?Cupid: Chris Brown, Musiq, throw in Rich Boy and Jeezy- get grimey with it! [laughs]  And that’s hot!AHHA: What’s the most enjoyable part of your job?Cupid: My music is all good; I mean I don’t curse just because when I was a kid my mother would knock my head off. So the coolest part is when a parent comes up to me and says, “You know I love your music and my daughter does too.” That’s the best part is when I know I can bridge the gap between the older crowd and the younger crowd – Black, white, Chinese – that’s the best part when you can bridge the gap and touch people with the music.AHHA: Is there a specific message you’re sending to your fans?Cupid: My message is basically that there is some good. No matter what situation you’re in, there is good in it. My music is all fun and positive. We got enough music talking about the struggles of life, so I decided to be the guy when you’re down and out you can say, “let me pop in this Cupid,” or when I’m going to the club, “let me pop in this Cupid,” or a relationship situation they can say, “let me pop in this Cupid.” I’m just trying to spread the love and let people know there is some good out there; everything isn’t all bad.