By Mikkel Hyldebrandt
Todrick Hall is coming to Atlanta’s Center Stage with his Velvet Rage Tour on October 11. David got a chance to catch up with the singer, dancer, choreographer, and Broadway actor from Plainview, TX, to talk creative process, collabs, the show, and how to stay levelheaded even through rough times.
You’re a multi-talented performer, composer, actor, director, choreographer, social media personality, but above all a creative spirit and force – where do you think your creative drive stems from?
My creative drive stems from growing up in a small town in Plainview, TX. I understand what it is like to come from nothing, and I have always wanted to make a name for yourself. I also just love performing, and it never feels like a job to me. I feel like that is what I was put on earth to do and I never feel more like myself when I am creating.
What is your favorite part of the creative process?
My favorite part is having an idea and watching it go from inception to, not just seeing it go into fruition, but seeing people who know the work that I created. An example is watching the Magic Happens Parade at Disneyland, or watching people dance to my music on a major network television show. Those are the times that feel insane and like an out of body experience that motivate me to continue to create art.
Your new EP “Roach Killaz” is a collection of really catchy, high-energy tracks – what was the inspiration behind it (and the title, too)?
I was going through a rap phase, and I knew that there were so many people in my life who inspired me with rap music. Sometimes I feel like that all of the dance music being four on the floor and dancey and energetic that sometimes my rap music that is more urban and grounded gets lost in the shuffle when songs like that are on the records. I wanted to make a record where every song felt like it was a little bit theatrical and a little but hood.
The track “Y.A.S.” features the infamous the infamous Tiffany Pollard – how did that collaboration come about?
I have always been a humongous fan of Tiffany Pollard, and I think that she is hilarious, and I think that the things she says are iconic. I did a collaboration with Tiffany Haddish for my song Dripeesha. I love doing collaborations with people who are really talented in a field that other people have not seen them in. I think Tiffany Pollard is a great rapper and TikTok definitely died when they saw her doing the rap. It is a song that is about being petty and getting over your ex and it has helped a lot of people get over their ex. When I was thinking about a queen that could pull off petty anthem, Tiffany Pollard was one of the first people that came to mind, and I was beyond flatter that the joined me.
You’ll be coming to Atlanta on October 11 with Velvet Rage, the tour for “Roach Killaz” – for those who haven’t seen you live yet; what can you expect from a Todrick Hall show?
You can expect a lot of dancing, and a lot of high energy. My elementary school teacher once told me that if you can make people have a good time, laugh, and cry then you are the ultimate entertainer and I believe that we often times achieve all three of those things at a performance of Velvet Rage.
What other of your hit songs will be included in the show?
I was very inspired by my girl, Taylor Swift Eras Tour! This show is kind of like a Todrick Hall Eras Tour. There are songs from before I started making albums. I sing my first ever single that I ever recorded, there is music from my two visual albums, “Straight Out of Oz” and “Forbidden” music from “Haus Party 1, 2, and 3,” “Femuline” so there is music from basically ever single chapter of my musical journey, and I love to be able to look out into the audience and see the fans who resonate with certain chapters of mt life.
What are you most looking forward to when visiting Atlanta?
I love the clubs, I love the culture, and I think that Atlanta is such a hype city. I love the fact that it always has that grounded, urban, contemporary flair but there is also so much artistic culture there like the Fox theater which I performed at several times. Atlanta also has so much Broadway, and they just know how to party so Atlanta is one of my favorite cities!
You have an extraordinary ability to navigate the world of celebrity, even when it has given you some negative repercussions – like when you voiced your opinion about ratings of “The Real Friends of WeHo” or even the aftermath of Celebrity Big Brother. How do you stay on top of it all and stay levelheaded?
I think your real friends show up for you when you’re going though rough times, and I think all of these chapters in my life, even though they were very, very difficult to get through, have helped me navigate what it really means to be loyal, to be a great friend, and to be a supporter. I love my friends who hold me accountable but are also there for me every step of the way. I just try to surround myself with good people, learn from the mistakes, and keep it pushing. I make sure I don’t allow other people’s narratives or the internet to define who I am.
Speaking of “The Real Friends of WeHo” – any news on a second season?
I have no idea if MTV is planning on doing a second season or if I would even be interested in doing it. If the interest was there and the check was right, sure I would be there. Right now, I don’t feel that the LGBTQ+ community desires a show like this. I would rather not spend my time creating a show that is so divisive when I could be using my creative energy elsewhere.
You’re touring right now, but where can we see you next? Any projects you can disclose about?
They just announced that I have been working on the new musical adaptation of the 2010 film, Burlesque. I have written original songs to accompany Diane Warren and Christina Aguilera music from the film. I am really excited because it has always been a dream of mine to compose music for a musical. I am also working on my own projects that I am hoping will reach Broadway someday soon.
Experience Todrick Hall’s Velvet rage Tour on October 11, 8 pm at Center Stage Theater. Tickets via Ticketmaster.