Todrick Hall is getting candid.
Hot on the promotional trail for his upcoming ‘Algorhythm’ album, the multi-talented superstar sat down with That Grape Juice to talk about the project, working with Brandy, his ‘Femuline’ tour and more.
Join us below for his words on these topics and so much more…
That Grape Juice: Your new album ‘Algorhythm’ comes out on June 1 and it explores some new territory sonically for you, can you tell me who some of your inspirations were for this project?
Todrick Hall: I think that I’m a very insecure person when it comes to singing. I’ve always been critical of myself and my music and so I think that I fell into this lane that I created for myself where a lot of my music involved just kind of talk rapping over really fun dancing beats. But when I was on ‘The Masked Singer,’ I found this newfound competence with singing and decided to start exploring that more.
So, this music is super inspired by the 80s. I was listening to the soundtracks of ‘Stranger Things’ and a lot of music that I love. I love Whitney Houston, and so I just decided this was the time to really tap into that nostalgia. But be able to like really show off my vocal prowess, but still have it be on brand for what it is that I do and have the sassy lyricism and, paint pictures with the lyrics. And that’s why I decided to write this piece of work.
That Grape Juice: Many are saying this is your most mainstream project to date, would you agree?
Todrick Hall: I definitely agree. I think a lot of the music that I have written has been a love letter, specifically to the LGBTQ+ community. And this music feels more universal. But it wasn’t something that I intended to do. I think organically, I just started writing songs that could appeal to more people. And I think oftentimes, as artists, we try to reinvent ourselves to show someone a new side of us. Oftentimes, it feels like a complete departure and a complete separation and almost unrecognizable when the person that their fans fell in love with. And I hope and I’m crossing my fingers if that’s not the case with this album.
That Grape Juice: The lead single for this project is ‘Dance Forever,’ why is this the perfect single to introduce the new era?
Todrick Hall: This was the first song that I wrote for this project. I didn’t sit down and consciously make a decision to make an 80s inspired album. This song just came to me and I was like, let’s try this. And let’s try to produce it this way. And it ended up just being the anthem that made me feel like I could bring everyone together. And I wanted to have a song that dance studios could dance to, and that would inspire them to dance.
That Grape Juice: You worked with Betty Who, can you tell me what that experience was like and who else would you like to work with in the future?
Todrick Hall: I love Betty Who. I think that she’s just gorgeous.
I was in Utah once. And I just stumbled upon her music. And I just fell in love with her music and how much of an ally she is and how she performs with LGBTQ+ communities so much. I love her lyricism, and I never record songs that I didn’t write but she presented this song to me and said, this is a song that I wrote that was really sassy. And I felt like it wasn’t right for my album, but I think it’d be perfect for yours and so I wrote a bridge and a rap and we collaborated and our recording session felt more like a therapy session or a first date that went great.
And as far as people that I would love to collaborate with. I mean, I love Mariah Carey. I would love to do something with Paula Abdul someday, because I’m super inspired by her. I love Cardi B. She’s someone I would also love to work with someday. Those are just like three people at the top of my list. And I’ve worked with Brandy so many times, but I just think that Brandy’s gift is unmatched. So, I would take another opportunity to work with Brandy any day.
That Grape Juice: I heard some of the album, and I must say that my favorite track is ‘Breath,’ do you have a favorite one or is it like picking your favorite child?
Todrick Hall: I think that is my favorite song as well on the album. When I fall in love with people, I fall hard. And it almost seems like the more dysfunctional of the relationship, the more I fall for those people. And I remember being in a place where I was kind of just like, even the people that I’m meeting that I think are probably better for me, don’t make me feel the butterflies that I have when I’m with this person, even though I know the relationship is toxic. And I think that if I’m feeling that way, I know there must be a lot of people that feel that way.
And so that song is one of those songs that gave me chills when I was writing it and it made me see that person. I felt like I was back in that situation. And it was a very different experience writing that song than the other songs. So, that’s my favorite song.
That Grape Juice: You have many famous friends, including those in the music industry such as Taylor Swift. Have you played them your new material, if so, what did they think?
Todrick Hall: I’ve kept this album close to heart because I had a very clear vision. I have a big peanut gallery and I send the songs to 20 of my friends, who some of them are just, yes, people that are going to tell me they love everything. And some of them are overanalyzing things and are projecting what they artistically would want for themselves on me. And I think for this album, I am kind of in a place where I have a legacy that I want to leave. And I have to start trying to create that. I think that I have to just know within myself what are the songs that I want to put out and what I want to say at any given moment, and trust in that and trust my gut, and hope that people love it.
That Grape Juice: Your fans have been lapping up the new music on tour, what does it mean to you to have this kind of response?
Todrick Hall: It’s very surreal. Breath has been one of the highlights of the show. And that means a lot to me, because it’s very vulnerable. You would think after writing so many songs, that I would be less nervous to sing songs for people. But I’m never less nervous, especially a song that’s so close to my heart and that was so personal to write. But the response has just given me a lot of confidence that this project is going to be received in a very different way.
That Grape Juice: Speaking of your tour, what can fans expect when they see you on your Femuline tour?
Todrick Hall: This is honestly my favorite show that I’ve ever done. I spent so much time carefully crafting all the mixes to this show and they are my favorite that I’ve ever done. And they can expect a lot of costumes. We start on time, always on time. And once the show starts, it’s nonstop from beginning until the end. It’s entertaining. You will laugh, you will turn up. But there’s also very emotional moments where people cry and come away saying that that was something that they really needed.
That Grape Juice: What is the best part of touring for you?
Todrick Hall: After the pandemic, not being able to sing and dance is something that I think a lot of artists took for granted. And now it feels so good to get on stage, get up on a mic and just sing to people to hear their stories. And after the past eight weeks that I’ve had just to be able to see people who have been touched and moved by the music and who have been following me through thick and thin and my ups and downs. But these fans have been just so ride or die.
So, it reminds me of why I do this. And it’s definitely the recharge that I need to go, put my head down and create whatever I’m going to do in the next chapter after Algorhythm seeing these fans live, because I don’t know when I’ll tour again. It’s hard on my body, on my mental health and on my voice.
That Grape Juice: For sure. Yeah, I’ve heard a lot of people say that too. That’s just as taxing thing, but you do it because you love the fans, you love the music, you just want to share your passion with other people too?
Todrick Hall: There’s nothing like as a self-made artist writing these songs and spending down the time to carefully craft these lyrics. And then seeing people sing a song from memory that you wrote in your shower. It’s a feeling that you would think by now that I would have gotten used to, but I’ll never get used to it. I’m like just so beyond flattered and grateful that people have committed the time to learn these songs and learn the lyrics and spend their hard-earned money to come and support a gay black man because there’s not a lot of us who are making music. So, I just I love it.
That Grape Juice: Now you’ve already done like so much with your career already. You’ve continued to achieve so much. So, what’s the ultimate goal for Todrick Hall?
Todrick Hall: If you would ask me what my ultimate goal was, like six months ago, it probably would have been a different answer. I think now I’m just learning that the tides have changed, the expectations of an audience are very different. Socially, people are expecting different things from artists. And it’s not enough to just be an artist and write music and songs and then go out and perform them. You have to be doing advocacy work, you have to be a role model.
So, I have decided to just like really stop, think about my legacy. And think about what it is I really want to accomplish. I would love to write a Broadway musical; I would love to create a television show. That’s a scripted show with music. I would love to write a book. I also have always loved things that are like, family entertainment, even though my brand has veered from that.
But I am a creator. I don’t do this for money. I don’t do this for followers, or for success. I do this because when I wake up in the morning, all I can think about is singing and dancing and creating and writing. And I think that’s what I was put on this Earth to do and it’s the thing that makes me the happiest when I’m in that zone. I don’t know what it is that I’m supposed to create. But I feel like there’s something great and I’m at the precipice of getting to that point. It’s so close it’s at the tip of my tongue. And I’m excited to find out what that is, what this next chapter looks like.
Tickets for the remainder of the ‘Femuline’ tour can be found here. To pre-save ‘Algorhythm,’ click here. For exclusive content, follow Todrick on Peeq.
Dance forever is a bop💅🏾 Diva approved this 👠
Lying stunt queen! How’s that EVICTION process going for the home you “owned”????? Your landlord says otherwise! Pay that man his $60k gurllll
hopefully he paid his producers and collaborators.
Coonery is Alive and well. Next….
Boring questions! Did not bother to read. But where is the “how come you did not pay your rent and lied intentionally about owning the house?”
He is my future baby daddy, he gets me so wet.
I love Todrick and his art, and this interview.
But how come almost all these comments besides mine are so hateful, negative, accusing, petty, and primitive? These people are very disturbed and definitely miserable losers. Yet, they take the time to find and read this, plus add a comment. So ridiculous! It’s just a wait of time since no comments like this matter to any fans nor Todrick! 😆
Okay but why does it look like Betty Who is not credited on “impressed”? Her vocals are throughout most of the song, and the song SOUNDS like a Betty who song! I can’t stand Todrick