*Cupid, who’s single/dance of the party song “Cupid Shuffle” broke the Guinness Record for the world’s largest line dance at the Ebony Black Family Reunion Tour, has yet to take a back seat in the music industry.
In his refusal to be a one-hit wonder, Cupid’s sophomore album, Feel Good Music, has recently hit the stores, featuring his hit single “Do My Ladies Run This Party.”
His viral success hasn’t stopped either, with his new Internet single “Teach Me How To Wobble,” named after the new line dance sweeping the nation’s wedding receptions “The Wobble Line Dance.” He is also on tour with McDonald’s as the new face for the McCafe, having each city do the “McCafe Shuffle.”
Cupid spoke with our Starletta Watson to discuss his success with McDonald’s, his beginnings as a DJ in Louisiana and, of course, the Wobble line dance.
Describe your sound. What makes Cupid Cupid? I’m an R&B singer with a lot of energy and Southern soul. Somebody who brings a lot of life to the party and brings everybody to the dance floor. I don’t curse much, and I try to keep my music clean. I just try to make everybody have a good time.
How does it feel to know that after four years, “Cupid Shuffle” is still the highlight of the party or a family reunion, or really any get-together let alone a Black get-together? It’s an amazing foundation for my career because sometimes you see artists who drop five singles and go away in a year. It solidifies me as an artist and put me in my own category because not that many R&B artists have the sound that I have or the sound that stands the test of time, so that lets me know I’ll be here for a while. It puts me in a position where I have to continue to make party music and dance music, well, not necessarily that, but music that makes everyone feel good. And it makes me feel good! However you stake your claim, you stake your claim.
Tell us about making it into the Guiness Book of World Records. I know that sits up there as your most memorable moment performing? Definitely. In Chastain Park in Atlanta, the previous record was 12,000 and we got in 17,000 people doing it all at once for like 8 minutes. You go from just a few people doing your dance in Louisiana to that many people in Atlanta and make the Guiness Book of World Records is crazy. Steve Harvey was there and was very important in making that happen. And what was funny was that while I was on stage I broke out in a little praise! I was like “down, down, do your dance, thank you Jesus!” and you can hear it on the tapes and I was embarrassed but it was an overwhelming moment for me.
So was it ever your intention to make something that holds as much weight as the Electric Slide or the Cha Cha Slide? Like did you one day decide “I’m gonna make up a new dance?” Not really. I was real large independently in Louisiana and Texas as a DJ for years. When I first did “Cupid Shuffle” I was DJing in my hometown, and I wanted to create a line dance because there weren’t many of those kind of dance songs, which was before “Crank Dat” and all that other stuff. And every DJ I knew was saying “this song is horrible” and “I would never play this garbage,” but when the people spoke, the people spoke. I never really intended on doing that, but our destiny isn’t predestined. We don’t know where we’re gonna head or how you gonna make it big or how you gonna be successful.
How long were you a DJ? Back in the days, a lot of local music wasn’t getting played on the radio. I decided to DJ and promote my own club by being my own DJ and playing the music I wanted to.
What parts of Louisiana were you DJing in? It was in Lafayette, Louisiana, my hometown out of a club I called The Brass Room, and there were a lot of political wars with local artists here in our city, so rather than fight the program directors I decided to DJ and start my own club. Music was getting treated like a business, and sometimes the business doesn’t allow local artists to get airplay and exposure. Things have truly improved now. There’s been a change where radios and clubs play more local artists.
Do you DJ now or are you just sticking to being a musician? Every now and then I get down on the Serato. You know, DJs around here used to laugh at the Serato (DJ/mixing gear) back in the day because all the DJs then had the CDJs and the vinyls, so I was one of the first dudes in my area to come out with a Serato.
Recently, you became the new face of McCafe. How did you come about getting together with McDonald’s and coming out with the McCafe Shuffle? I worked with Taylormade Marketing in Atlanta, Georgia who collaborates with McDonald’s, and they were putting together the McCafe Tour. On that tour was myself, Eric Robeson and Musiq Soulchild to name a few artists, and I started off as the opener. I think as we watched how the crowd responded to me on stage, even when I didn’t do the Cupid Shuffle, Taylormade made it a point to make it a jingle with McDonald’s, so I was ready to see where it goes. That idea turned into an actual visual when we did the video, and then the rest was history.
Tell us about your new music. You have a new album out, and it kind of snuck up on everyone. What should we expect to hear as opposed to your debut album? There are two goals: number 1 is to break the new single out “Do My Ladies Run This Party” and number 2 is to show everyone that I can really sing. And I know I’ll get the response of “I don’t wanna hear that, where the new dance song?” So I give that options, and more, and let people pick the next record. My new mixtape is available on DatPiff.com and it’s titled “21 and Up” , and it’s free!
On the new album, what content should expect to hear? Content-wise, there are songs that people should listen to about my story and what I been through when I was in the streets and in a gang. One thing I do cherish and I do prioritize is the uplifting and empowerment in my music, so there’s a couple of songs that let women know how strong they are because there are women out there who feel down because men, we be acting up and don’t do right all the time. So I try to bring hope and bring people together with my music, not necessarily on the dance floor all the time, but relationship-wise too. That’s where the cupid comes from forreal, aiming at your heart.
Are there any guest appearances on this album? I got as couple secret features here and there, but you have to get the album to get the surprises.
So Tell me about “Teach Me How to Wobble.” Is that an official new single, or is it just something to go along with the actual Wobble Line Dance? “Teach Me How to Wobble” is on YouTube and it’s catching fire! There’s footage of different celebrities doing it, like Beyonce. It’s a line dance that very popular in the South, and so many people ask me how to do the Wobble, so I decided to make a song called “Teach Me How to Wobble.” It’s kind of like Southern hip-hop mixed with a little Go-Go, so I think it’s gonna stick around for a while. So were you the one to start the dance or where did it come from? Well, it started off with a small line dance team somewhere in the South they just made up a random line dance. They do it to several different songs, like E.U. “Da Butt,” and another song by V.I.C and a couple other Go-Go songs. And by me being the guy who made the Cupid Shuffle, everywhere I go people say “hey, since you did the Cupid Shuffle, can you perform the Wobble?” And, of course I know how to do it because I can get down on the floor, so me and my boys was thinking I should make a song about how to Wobble, sort of like the “Teach Me How to Dougie” song. We’ve been searching for the originators of the dance, but of course you can never find who started a Black dance. Somebody will start staking claims, but I know it’s been around a couple of years, it’s just been done to different songs. It never really had an official record or video, so with everyone considering me the Line Dance Guy I felt it was time for me to expose another line dance.
Watch Cupid’s “Café Shuffle”:
Watch Cupid’s “Do my Ladies Run This Party?”:
Watch Cupid’s “Teach Me How to Wobble”: