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1 Year Later, 'Bored in The House' Creator Curtis Roach Reflects on His Success

Curtis Roach is pictured behind the scenes during a shoot for an upcoming music video. The artist is releasing an album after a TikTok video he posted became an early pandemic anthem.
Chris Thompson
Curtis Roach is pictured behind the scenes during a shoot for an upcoming music video. The artist is releasing an album after a TikTok video he posted became an early pandemic anthem.

One year ago, rapper and content creator Curtis Roach posted a 15-second video and unknowingly created the quarantine anthem for millions across the world.

His song, "Bored in The House," took off and he became an immediate sensation. Since it was uploaded last year, it has received over 47 million views on TikTok and launched his music career. Over four million TikTok users have made videos using his sound while they danced in their kitchens, played with their kids and even gave each other quarantine haircuts.

"It was like out of this world like after that," he said in an interview with All Things Considered. "I never saw numbers go that fast."

At the time, Roach had just paid his monthly rent in Detroit and only had $12 to last the rest of the month. With the city preparing for lockdown, he sat on the floor to rap about how he was feeling: bored and in his house.

The success of the song was a complete surprise to him, and now he is immensely grateful for it. He said he's just happy he was able to help bring people together and laugh during the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I just feel really thankful that people decided to enjoy themselves and feel free to express themselves with a dance or, you know, whatever they were doing in their kitchen or their living rooms," he said.

Just two weeks after Roach's was posted, his video caught the attention of rapper Tyga, who offered to produce the tune into a full song with him. The two quickly came out with a full version of the song and it surpassed 40 million streams on Spotify throughout the year.

At first, the rise to fame was stressful. But then, he got to work.

Since the initial success of his single, he has been featured in the NBA 2K20 video game, performed for the Detroit Pistons and made an appearance on the HGTV show Rehab Addict Rescue. The episode highlighted how Roach was able to purchase and renovate his late grandmother's home due to the success of his hit song.

He plans to turn part of it into a community space where he can bring people in his area together to make music and create art. Roach said he hopes to foster creativity and give back to the city that gave him his start.

"Besides music, it's really about just spreading this love," he said.

As for what's next, he's looking to dip his toes in everything. He recently released a new single, "Stressed Out," and plans to drop an album this spring. Roach is currently writing an original show and hopes to dive into everything from fashion to movies in the future.

For now, he wants his audience to use his story as a reminder to follow their passions and focus on becoming the best version of themselves, even at their lowest — or bored-est.

"When it comes down to just creating in general that nobody can be me," he said. "And the same thing goes for everybody else, nobody can be you. You gotta be you,"

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Ariana Aspuru