Curtis J’s effortless ability to merge the Afro-swing style with UK culture, while simultaneously emphasising his Nigerian heritage, have firmly placed him on the UK Afrobeats map and caught the attention of key tastemakers across the scene.
Following the success of sleeper hit single ‘Check Your Balance’ & his last release ‘The Man’, Curtis J has cooked up a wholesome new single ‘Sweeter Love,’ accompanied with picturesque visuals. Curtis exhibits his versatility & prowess, gliding with silky vocals over the OluwaJBeats produced track. The video, directed by MRMTMMG, takes us back in time to witness the blossoming of a long-term romantic relationship.
Curtis J also does not shy away from paying homage to his Nigerian heritage; we see him and his love interest donning traditional Nigerian wedding wear in the form of agbada and iro & buba, as well as an enviable white gown and suit ensemble as they celebrate with their nearest and dearest.
“I was sleeping when the producer was making the track – I had a dream about getting married and when I woke up, I just said I had to make a song around it, and the track just made sense. The reason for going with the new sound. Well, who doesn’t like love?”Curtis J speaking on the inspiration behind ‘Sweeter Love’ and its visuals
Sweeter Love’ continues a string of singles that cement Curtis J as a promising young Afrobeats star, and one to watch closely. With recent studio sightings with King Promise & Buju, and previous collaborations with Darkoo under his belt, we’re excited to see where his trajectory leads for Curtis J. We caught up with him to discuss his musical journey, artistic processes, and his latest single ‘Sweeter Love.’
When did you first know you wanted to pursue a career in music?
It was when I was pretty young, maybe 12 or 13 years old. I used to listen to music growing up – all types – then I found myself in the studio doing a bit of production, then laying vocals, and then it became clear that music was the only thing for me. It just made sense to me, and that’s why I’m here today.
What are some of your favourite genres to explore whenever you get into the studio?
I do a lot of Afrobeats, so the topics are open, but I have also explored Reggae, Dancehall, and I’ve got quite a few tracks that are even RnB. I love testing out different types of sound for my music.
Do you see yourself trying out different styles as your career goes on?
To show that you are a talented artist it would make sense to try and explore different types of music. Me, myself, as an artist I have lots of different sounds in my music, and I really can’t wait for you to hear it! But variety in my sound is definitely something I’m interested in doing.
What moved you to use a wedding concept for your “Sweeter Love” video?
This was an amazing collab with OluwaJBeats – big shout out to him for the track! I’ve wanted to make a love song, and this was a perfect fit. I chose a wedding for the visuals ’cause there’s no ‘Sweeter Love’ than two people finding each other.
Can you tell us a bit about how your single “The Man” came together?
I was in the studio with RELYT, shoutout to him, and he dropped a beat and it clicked! He played it, I went in the booth to drop a couple of verses freestyle, and I just didn’t stop – I kept going. Immediately after, I knew this song was going to be a hit!
How do you intend to navigate the burgeoning Afrobeats space as a unique artist?
The way I like to see things, I don’t have competition because every Afrobeats artist is doing their thing, and if people support me, then they will rock with me either way. I’m here to set my own lane and show people why they should listen to my music.
Why do you think listeners gravitated a lot to your 2021 single “Check Your Balance”?
I would say social media played a big part in how “Check Your Balance” took off the way it took off, and because the sample behind it was a very big Ghanaian song that a lot of people know. So, when people heard the verse it had them guessing and wanting to know the song, but also because they heard something that they liked.
Who are some of your biggest influences?
I have a lot of influences but some of the main ones are Davido, Wizkid, Burna Boy – they are the pioneers of Afrobeats music, and it’s inspiring to see where the music has led them. Hopefully, I will be able to create the same effect soon.
What can we expect from Curtis J in the near future?
In the near future? Maybe an EP? Maybe more singles, you will have to stick around to find out!