Curtis Roach Talks Celine Collection, New Music and Saving Mother Earth
The multihyphenate creator debuts Celine’s “The Dancing Kid Collection”.
If you opened TikTok at all throughout the early days of quarantine, chances were you’d hear the familiar, looping audio at least once on your For You Page: “I’m bored in the house and I’m in the house bored,” accompanied by rhythmic handmade beats and snapping.
The genius behind the audio that made us all feel a little less isolated in our—well, isolation—is Curtis Roach, a hip-hop rapper from Detroit.
The viral star who has graced our tiny iPhone screens repeatedly since Spring is stepping out of TikTok and into the world of high fashion, where he’s recently been in the Celine Homme Dancing Kid collection, defining and re-envisioning adolescence, forming “the portrait of the teen idol.”
Roach’s creative flair knows no bounds, from fashion to creating viral content to planting trees to save the planet. Below, he talks about his rise to viral stardom, aims and ambitions for the future, and working with Hedi Slimane for Celine Homme.
VMAN: With “Bored in the House” going viral, it seems like you have a gift of producing catchy tunes/TikToks people can relate to. Has this changed the way you approach music?
CURTIS ROACH: A little before “Bored in the House” caught on, I felt like I was constricting myself musically. I was trying to find that catchy hook for every song and still be true to me. I feel like I have a better idea to what gets people to pay attention and that’s keeping it simple, loosening up a bit and most importantly, making sure I’m having fun in the process.
VM: How has TikTok helped you throughout this COVID-phase?
CR: Well for one, I think Tiktok has been so good to me on the viral tip. I have been going hard with music for so long and trying to gain that recognition. TikTok really took me there during this COVID phase and I’m so thankful. Making TikToks and watching other TikToks has kept me busy and entertained. Now I’m at a point where making TikToks is part of my business so that’s also a plus.
VM: Tell us about your initial thoughts on TikTok, how did you view it then, and how has your view of the platform evolved over time?
CR: Before I started making TikToks, I really didn’t understand the potential. But when I started posting in September of 2019, I felt so free with my content. Other social platforms feel a bit more rigid, but on TikTok, I could post more than one time a day without it feeling like I’m over saturating my page. I can use hashtags to open up to new audiences, and the potential of going viral just makes a creator like myself more encouraged to do more video content.
VM: What does your creative process look like for creating content these days?
CR: For me, it’s always been on the spot. An idea just comes to me and I go from there. Whatever I think is dope or funny I’ll follow that and hopefully, people mess with it.
VM: If you could Duet with anyone, who would it be?
CR: On a TikTokker tip—Quen Blackwell, because I think she’s hilarious. DashieXP because that was my favorite YouTuber growing up. And Childish Gambino if he ever made a TikTok.
VM: Last month you released your single “Bamboo Lounge (Poppin),” can listeners expect more music to follow, perhaps an album on the way?
CR: Yes indeed! More music is on the way. My goal is to help plant trees with my next project while still creating more lit and uplifting vibes. I wanna represent not only for Detroit but for hip-hop as well. I’m aiming to get Grammys one day. Best believe I’m serious with this music, since I was a kid I’ve always wanted this.
VM: Can you talk about any influences from Detroit that you find filter into your creativity both sonically and TikTok related?
CR: The city inspires me in general. I feel like anyone from Detroit is a natural-born hustler. From music to fashion and beyond—it’s just an influential city. J. Dilla cannot go without mentioning as well, R.I.P. I graduated from the same high school as Big Sean and even met him a few times. I have nothing but respect for Big Sean because I see how hard work has been instilled in him and many others who came out of this city.
VM: How would you describe your music?
CR: I would say my music is like a warm cup of tea with lemon and honey in it. I got a little something for almost every mood. Happy, sad, hype, mellow etc.
VM: Who are some of your hometown heroes?
CR: J Dilla, Anita Baker, Big Sean, Randi Rossario, Eminem, Demetrius Harmon, Berry Gordy, Aaliyah, Michael Eric Dyson, Anita Baker, and my mom.
VM: What are some goals you have for the next few years, anything specific you’ve got on your list?
CR: I want to win a Grammy by the age of 25. Or at least be nominated. I definitely want to act in a major motion picture and get on a Netflix show. I want to get in my fashion bag more. And I really want to help save Mother Earth.
VM: Tell us about your perception of fashion; can you describe your style?
CR: I love fashion, I don’t know the technical side like fabrics and such. But I know what looks dope on someone and I feel like I got a nice taste for that. Right now I’d say my style is a swagged out Hippy that smells like essential oils and good ass incense.
VM: Can you tell us why you’ve partnered up with Celine for this collection? What about Celine/Hedi Slimane do you like?
CR: I would be a fool to turn down an opportunity like this! To be able to partner with a brand like Celine is a dream. I admire Hedi and Celine for creating such a vibe with this collection. The clothes are not overwhelming at all. It’s a perfect blend of streetwear and high fashion. This was an amazing experience – it allowed me to get my feet wet on the fashion side of things. I can’t wait to do more!
VM: What are some fashion pieces from The Dancing Kid Collection that resonate with you? Why?
CR: The flannels are to die for!!! The brown cardigan and funky brown pants took my swag to a whole other level and I appreciate the white low top shoes. All those are up my alley for real. Super comfy and smooth for me.