With layers of bubble funk and synthetic jazz, James Qupid’s tunes are summer-made and aesthetically sound. With a touch of his personality and spirituality, he gives all he can to his music. As such, his latest release ‘Holy Water’ provides the flare and fashion of a laidback Florida man like him who grew up immersed in the sound of choir and gospel tunes.
“I remember waking up on Sundays and being excited to see what the choir would sing. That was my favorite thing about church,” Qupid said in a short recount of his early love for music. “I didn’t know I would become a musician at that point.”
To Qupid, music is like breathing — you don’t even think about it, you just take it all in. A fan first and a student second, he enjoys all that music offers, regardless of the hardships and struggles within the chance-driven industry. Cool and casual, he keeps close the blessings in front of him rather than worrying about a make-it-or-break-it career.
“Focus on creating great content and quality music, and you’ll be fine.”James Qupid
Qupid’s music is spontaneous and adaptive. His main subject matter is love and romance; exploring the different layers in relationships. “I remember watching Soul Train re-runs with my grandmother, and she told me that it’s okay to create love songs because everyone needs love in their life,” he said. “I like to stay authentic with my music, so I also speak about the good and the bad because life, love, and relationships aren’t always good. There are bad times too.”
Continuously churning out various singles and tracks, Qupid took quarantine as a chance to work on his craft and wrote and recorded ‘Holy Water’ all within the confines of his home. This is just as well; Qupid’s ingenuity with music is the mark of his sound and individuality—making music on the go is his specialty. “I always took pride in being able to make music on the fly,” he said. “I been creating music at home since I was a teenager, so there’s no real difference whether I’m in a million-dollar recording studio or not.”
‘Holy Water’ is a timeless summer track. A blend of hip-hop and R&B, it carries well Qupid’s fun and vibrant aim to uplift downtrodden and broken spirits. The production vibrates with water drops and silky delivery, and Qupid’s voice flows smoothly with the beat. He worked on the beat and recorded the vocals at the same time. Prior to that, the melody had been stuck in his head before he let it all fall seamlessly onto the keyboard. Qupid worked with music producer Bless on the track, a happy yet much needed coincidence during this difficult time.
Despite the ongoing pandemic and the continued struggles associated with the Black Lives Matter movement, Qupid sees no decline in his inspiration levels or work ethic. He continues to work hard in hopes to share love and encourage positivity through his music: “I’ve been motivated to forward the culture [Black Lives Matter]. I think it’s long overdue… People are using their voices and platforms to express the truth like never before.”
Qupid’s parting words echo the soft message behind his work, of love: “Be loved and find love.”
Interview conducted by Mae Trumata
Photo by @lenscooper