Emerging musician Curtis J continues to rise and is ready to make his mark on the UK Afrobeats scene. The South London native signed a major label deal with Polydor Records earlier this year and has kept the ball rolling with single releases.
Fans will most familiar with his banger “Check Your Balance,” a collaboration with Tomie Boy. The vibrant tune is on its way to hitting 1 million views on YouTube and is bound to be the first of many to reach that milestone. While his streaming numbers and monthly listeners continue to grow, Curtis has dropped another infectious, feel-good bop, “The Man.”
Pentagon spoke to Curtis about the new single, what fans can expect from him in the upcoming months, who he would love to work with next, and more.
What inspired you to write your latest single “The Man?”
When I found out I had got signed to Polydor, it had me feeling like I was “The Man.” It had inspired me to go and bring out that type of vibe in the studio, which was my main inspiration.
How long ago was this song created? Is it quite fresh?
I got signed in February this year so I would say around that time was when the song was created.
Tell us about how the concept of the music video came about.
Like I mentioned before, getting signed to Polydor played a huge part in the inspiration of the song. For the creative direction, I wanted to create a party-like atmosphere so I could feel like “The Man” rather than just saying it.
For those that don’t know, how did you get started in the industry?
Funnily enough, I have a few friends in the industry already so coming into the industry myself didn’t feel like anything new. However, to be able to experience it on my own behalf, it felt very good. I just started making music and I never looked back.
Your previous single, “Check Your Balance,” so far remains your most successful. How important are steaming numbers for you at this point in your career?
I’m very grateful for the numbers I’m receiving on my own platforms. I’ve never experienced this so streaming statistics have played a big part in building my confidence. I just let the music speak for itself really.
What have you got planned next? Is an EP or an album already in the works?
Something like that could potentially be on the way, keep your eyes open for it though!
What and who is currently influencing your material?
I have a lot of African heritage, so a lot of my influence comes from there from listening to the likes of Bella Shmurda, Burna Boy, Davido, and more African giants.
What is something you would like to achieve by the end of the year?
I would like to see “Check Your Balance” hit one million views. We aren’t too far from that milestone but I would also like to get myself up for some awards. That means putting in the hours and getting the best result possible.
Can fans expect any more collaborations soon?
Collaborations? I’ll have to let you see for yourself on that one there but there will be a few coming!
Do you have a dream artist you would love to work with?
That is a tricky question! I’m a huge fan of Bella Shmurda, that would be a great collaboration. I would love to work with Naira Marley also, that would be lit.
If you had to describe your sound in three words, what would they be?
In three words? Energetic, powerful, and vibrant.