Kupid aka Q Brings Hip-Hop/Pop Vibe with An Island Swag
Having semi-recently been crowned victor of the and Performing as a professional dancer ever since his mid-teens, emerging rap entertainer, Kupid, is definitely one to watch for. The recent winner of the prestigious Unsigned Only Music Competition, Kupid aka Q, is intent on bringing his Island swag to Hip-Hop/Pop music for a unique sound and flavor.
His latest single, “Who Shot Ya” continues to buzz as he sets to continue releasing breakout hits.
We caught up with Kupid for an interview to talk about his emergence in music, the new music and plans for the future. Plus he explains his moniker, Kupid and the alias, Q.
All Eyez On ‘Q!’
Kupid Dishes On His…
Humble Beginnings: Okay, that’s a long story… so pretty much I started dabbling into music about sixteen years old. I was in a dance group, like step – high school stuff- then we branched out and were in a dance group—we, as in my dance crew at that time. That ended up into taking it more seriously ’cause we were doing competitions and were getting requests to do pageants and stuff of that nature throughout high school and a little bit of college. Then, that kinda turned into four members of that dance group forming a boy band, a soca, reggae dancehall and R&B group, which was called Crossovah. The main goal about that was just bridging the gap from Caribbean music to mainstream music and making it all one. So, we were pretty much doing that from eighteen, nineteen to about maybe twenty-six (or) somewhere around that age. Then, the group decided to break up and then I started taking my solo career more seriously, and just venturing out and doing more mainstream music.
My mom is Guyanese and my dad is Antiguan, so when I was little I was raised in Antigua. Then, I came back over here at I think six or seven years old (or) however old you have to be to be in first grade. That’s when I came back over, and I’ve been here ever since. But, I visit back like every summer to Antigua.
Musical Influences: A really big one was, obviously, Bob Marley; everybody says Caribbean wise, but Bob Marley, Vybz Kartel, but when I got a little bit older – younger days – was more along the lines of Red Rat. I actually got a chance to meet him, and he actually mentored me for about two years back when I was with the group. Hip-Hop wise, my sisters they were all with that West Coast and East Coast rivalry, so one sister loved Tupac, the other sister loved Biggie. So, we had house wars and all that. So, I got best of both worlds because I didn’t know what was going on. I just knew there were two different types of rap that was going on in the house; they both liked it. And, of course, Nas. Nas was my favorite, so you had Biggie, you had Tupac, and you had Nas in the household. When it comes to like R&B’ish type music, ‘ol school R&B, gotta say like TLC, R. Kelly… was a really big Omarion fan. Like when he kinda ventured off from B2K, I liked the way he was going about it with the dancing and bringing that into the world, which made Chris Brown do what he was doing.
Career Choice: It wasn’t in the plan in the beginning, which is crazy. It started happening when we started getting booked for shows. Like when people were asking us, “Well, how much do you guys charge?” So, when you start looking at stuff like that, that means people think you’re worth it to even ask you how much. Even if it’s fifty dollars, somebody is looking at you and saying, “This is your profession, like I gotta pay you so you can pay your bills.” So at that point, I was like, “Man, we must be really that good to do that!” And then, venturing out learning from different things. I get people who ask me all the time how long (I) been doing music – going online – so I guess I wanna say around seventeen years old when people started recognizing us a little bit more as in value wise. That’s when it was like, “Okay, let me look a little bit more into this, and see exactly if I can make a living off of it.”
Group Disbanding: It was, I’m not gonna lie, it was hard. It was a life lesson. We all still communicate with each other. We may not chill with each other every single day like we used to back in the day, but we all still have each other’s numbers. We all still hit each other up if we have a question or whatever the case may be. But, it was hard for the simple fact that in the group I was more of the hook person, like the person that would come up with the—in Caribbean (we) call it chanting or deejaying – and it was more of a chant. I would come up with the hooky chant. And then, transitioning over to developing my own style of music, and my own mainstream music, as in doing Hip-Hop but still trying to keep my little bit of Caribbean influence in there, that was a hard transition because let’s just say you either gotta be Caribbean or you gotta be Hip-Hop. That’s how it used to be. Now, it’s getting kind of different because like with Drake when he released his album he had a lot of Caribbean influences. So, I think he kind of opened the gate for artists like me, or artists to realize (that) music is music regardless of if it’s Hip-Hop, Pop, Rock, Country, Reggae, whatever the case may be. It’s still music. And at the end of the day, music is one culture, so it should be presented that way. It shouldn’t be categorized in different types of boxes, so it was hard. I figured it out, but it was hard transitioning over.
Style Of Music: I would say it’s a feel good music. If you want to pick a category, it’s Hip-Hop/Pop with Island Swag. That’s the best way I can explain it. So, Hip-Hop/Pop, that’s not even a category, see, I can’t even do that! ‘Cause you got either Hip Hop or you got Pop. But, it’s Hip Hop-Pop like the music that you listen to; Flo Rida. Flo Rida, he raps on the song, but it’s considered Pop because it’s feel good music. So if it’s not grungy, dark and grimey, it’s not really considered Hip-Hop because it’s not that grungy atmosphere. So the best way is, Hip Hop-Pop with Island Swag.
Unique Moniker: That’s kinda funny…back in high school, I used to write poetry a lot. So, my cousin would always joke around, and my friends in high school would always joke around, like, “Oh hey, you try’na be Cupid? You try’na pull all the girls in?” I was just like, “No, I just write.” So eventually, my tag name became Cupid. I used to spell it with a ‘C’ back in the day, and I always had some type of girl or female that either was interested in me or I was with so they would just joke around like that. Then, when I started doing music and I needed like a nickname, because my government name ain’t really a name I could go around saying that’s like my stage name, so I just started to use Cupid. Then I was like, “I want something different!” So actually one of the members of my ex-group, he was like, “Why don’t you spell it with a ‘K’?” And then, some guys don’t like to call me Kupid, so they’d be like, “Q!” So that’s how the ‘Q’ came. So I’m probably gonna make it like an alter ego – like depending on the song – you could be talking to Kupid or you could be talking to ‘Q.’
Kupid Career Plans: I think just for the simple fact of how dedicated I am. I’ve been doing this since eighteen, like full music wise not just dancing. I’m very dedicated. I’m a hard worker. I work every hour on the hour, minus the sleep or whatever the case may be. But, my overall goal (is) I love helping people. My end game is obviously to be a mogul like a Jay-Z or a Diddy, how they own other stuff or their hands are into other stuff, and still incorporate their music brand into it. So, I want to own a label, I want to own a label, so I can help other indie artists come up and do what I do, or what I’ve done, and to help ’em out with a platform. And also, maybe dabble into some clothing or some type of brand of shoes or liquor. I haven’t decided yet ’cause I haven’t got there yet, but I know it’s going to be something that’s going to bring the culture of Hip-Hop/Pop with a little bit of Caribbean swagger into it. So, it’s really bridging the gap.
Opinion Of Today’s Hip-Hop: I actually love it! I know a lot of people are really, really bashing… what is it? ‘Mumble rap’ is what they call it?! This is how I look at it, everything evolves, everything! There’s nothing in life that doesn’t evolve. So, for us to say, “Well, that’s not REAL Hip-Hop,” that’s something that I can’t really say because maybe it’s evolving. The kids these days, who are the consumers, are the ones that’s accepting the ‘mumble rap,’ so, yeah, I might’ve grew up in the nineties and Nas wouldn’t fly with that. Mobb Deep wouldn’t be flying with that, Wu-Tang won’t be following that, that’s not going down. But for us to say, “well, that’s not really Hip-Hop!?,” I think it evolved. I’m happy that it’s evolving. Drake changed the whole game. Now, 90% of rap is melody. If you listen to anything out there, everybody’s singing; I call it Drake’ing! So like everybody is doing some type of Drake or some type of, “I rap, but also can hold a tune,” but back in the day they wasn’t doing that. But Drake does it, and he sings it, so he changed it. You got a Migos or a Young Thugga Thug, (and) when they do it it’s like it’s an issue. I just think it’s just evolving. So, I don’t have a problem with it. I can’t do it – I’m not doing it, that’s not me – but I don’t have a problem with other people doing it. That doesn’t bug me.
Defining Moment: That is a really tough question. I would have to say the acknowledgment basis. Like I got my music on Pandora, I got my music everywhere; iTunes, Spotify, TIDAL. And the single I have going on, “Who Shot Ya,” featuring Just Jay, is something that I see being a tune that can play every year depending on what season it is. It’s one of those lifetime songs.
Single “Who Shot Ya”: It’s pretty much, in my eyes, it’s a remix from a song I already had out, that I released, that I did by myself called “Hey Girl.” So I linked up with this producer, Troyton Rami and he actually is the producer that broke Sean Paul. He’s the one that gave you “Gimme the Light,” he’s the one that did that whole entire album [Dutty Rock], he’s the reason why you know who Sean Paul is. He produced that whole album, co-wrote that whole album, so I got with him and he became one of my mentors. We have at least six, seven songs together. I just don’t release ’em because we’re planning this out right. We went in the studio, we wrote the song together, and it’s one of those songs that makes you feel like Shaggy’s “It Wasn’t Me.” So, a little bit Caribbean, a little bit Hip-Hop, got a little bit of mainstream Pop in there as well. We just smushed it all together.
Watch The Video For Kupid “Who Shot Ya” featuring Jus J below:
The “Who Shot Ya (Remix)”: This is gonna change everything because the remix has the new type of wave that’s going around. It’s called Tropical House, which is what you see Justin Bieber doing, what you see Drake doing with “One Dance”… it’s like a type of EDM / Dance / Techno / a little bit of Reggae type of feel. You can hear that song playing in the club, but for the clubs, the deejays, for even party scenes in movies. This song’s perfect for everything.