Bryson Bernard, better known as R&B singer Cupid, had a hit single with 2007’s “Cupid Shuffle,” which gained recognition as a popular dance tune. Now on tour, he continues to bring his feel-good energy to every performance, priding himself on his fun, upbeat music.
Blast: You first started singing in your church choir. How did the songs you sung in that context influence the music you make today?
My parents were against me doing music at first but what I promised them was that I would keep it clean and respectful. Even though it’s 20 years later I still uphold that integrity. That’s why my music is so party-oriented, fun and clean.
Blast: What other influences did you have that impacted your identity as a musician?
Being from Louisiana we have a very unique culture. So I blend all the styles. The blues, brass bands, zydeco, bounce, and R&B all in one mix. It’s like a gumbo. All those ingredients mix in an undeniable sound that makes you move.
Blast: When did you start to realize that singing was something you wanted to do professionally?
Funny story. The movie Sister Act 2 was a huge influence when Whoopi told Lauren Hill, if every morning you wake up you thinking about singing then you are supposed to be a singer. That’s was the point where I was like: no matter how big I get or don’t get music, will be my occupation.
Blast: Do you write your own music?
I write a lot of it but I have been blessed to have had songs by stars like T-Pain and Phillip Lawrence. I love to hear what other brains have to say so collaboration is always amazing.
Blast: What’s your process of writing songs?
It just has to feel right. It has to enter the ears and go straight to the legs, arms and shoulders. Of I get those going then I got something.
Blast: How would you describe your own music?
Feel good music. The only people I can compare my current sound to is Frankie Beverly, S.O.S. band and groups like that. It’s the kind of music that travels from person to person and a must at gatherings.
Blast: Which do you prefer, performing live or working in the studio?
Live. I have made a large amount of money and a living from my live shows. I have never, ever performed in a city one time. They always bring me back because of the live show. I was raised by blues icons like Mel Waiters and Marvin cease so I learned that if you gave an amazing live show a hit record is just a bonus. You will always work.
Cupid Shuffle is your most famous song, but is it your favorite? What is your favorite song that you’ve recorded?
I really don’t have a favorite. That’s more of a question to ask my fans. My true fans know my catalog and honestly it just depends who you ask. Crowd favorites are “Cupid Shuffle,” “Old School,” “Do it With Your Boots On,” “Wham Dance,” “Moon & Back”… You gotta see the show to really get it .
Blast: When you create new music, do you have your past success in mind? Are you trying to obtain the same level of popularity as “Cupid Shuffle?”
No song can be duplicated… I just make music to keep my fans going and keep the energy going. When I made “Cupid Shuffle” I had no idea it would be so big. So going in the studio with those expectation is a recipe for failure. I just makes what feels good. As long as my fans dig it that’s all that matters to me.
Blast: What sort of sound were you going for with this latest album, and what do you think makes this effort unique?
When I made this CD I tested out the singles to my audience first. To make sure when they buy the project that they know it has great music on it. Then I made sure that the songs on here were songs I could deliver live. That’s the way that I spread new music when radio isn’t responding. If the fans demand a song enough then it is deserving to play on the air. But if it for some reason doesn’t break the political walls of the corporate radio world it can still be delivered to the fans through live performances. Im still operating like the 90s independent way.
Blast: What are your plans for after your current tour?
I do concerts every weekend of the year… So it’s like I’m on tour all the time. I’ll be at huge events performing -Essence Fest, The Neighborhood Awards- and pushing this new project until the fans ask for another one!!
Be sure to check out Cupid’s website at http://newcupidonline.com