Romeo Dance Cheetah grew up in small-town Missouri where his ambitions of becoming an entertainer were first conceived as he spent most of his time lip-syncing to Freddy Mercury and Michael Jackson and stared in homemade music videos. After graduating from the University of Iowa with a degree in film production, Romeo kick-started his unique career as a filmmaker, using his filmmaking skills to create music videos and sketch comedy for his bands that have earned millions of views on YouTube.
Since the launch of his full-time career as Romeo Dance Cheetah, he has been featured on America’s Got Talent and has been awarded the title of United States Air Guitar Champion. To further his career, he decided to drop a holy hand grenade on the music community, and it’s called Magnificent Man. Romeo’s debut launched October 27 and with track titles like “35 Year Olds Dancin’,” and “Party Poopin’” his nutty verses will have you in a downright uproar.
Ghettoblaster recently caught up with Romeo to discuss the album, shredding the air guitar, and to talk about butts and wieners.
When did you first begin writing the material for Magnificent Man?
Unofficially I began writing this material as a young boy discovering potty humor. I started singing songs about my wiener and my butt and all the funny sounds it makes at a very young age. As it turns out, I still think poop jokes are incredibly hilarious and a lot of them ended up on the album in the form a songs like “Party Poopin’.”.
Of course, I branch out on the album and get into deeper topics like “air guitar” and also explore important life questions like “What if a bald eagle fell in love with a porcupine”…but on this album, I try to stay true to my toots.
Officially, I sat down to write the songs that ended up on Magnificent Man almost a year before recording and finished writing some of it seconds before recording which is a decent stretch of time. Some might say “Wow a whole year, that’s a lot of work, it must be a masterpiece!” and I might say back to them “yes thank you, it probably is.” But mostly, I never wrote a whole album before and as it turns out…it’s really, really hard you guys!
Tell us about the record? What inspired the transition from air guitar to writing and performing original songs?
Lately, there’s been a lot of crummy stuff going on in the world and on our Facebook pages, everybody just seems to be arguing, fighting and taking shit super duper pooper seriously. I think people could use a laugh, need to act a fool, find a way to release the tension and get silly. Masturbation works sometimes, but there are more effective ways.
I’ve been a “professional” air guitarist for almost a decade which some might say is a very silly way to promote world peace. In fact, I’ve competed in the World Air Guitar Competition representing these United States and the whole idea behind it is that “if you’re holding an air guitar, you can’t hold a gun.” I love rocking air guitar, but I felt like I could do even more. So I decided to dedicate a wholly original album on the subject of silliness…which I hope will make people smile and laugh instead of argue and fight.
We’re really digging “The Air Guitar Song.” Do you play the guitar? Or just the air guitar? If it’s not you, who’s your ax man?
Ah shucks, thanks for saying so! I do play the guitar. In fact “The Air Guitar Song” tells the story about the time my “there guitar,” a there guitar is a real guitar, got jealous of my “air guitar” when we left her behind to tour the world and become ridiculously famous. Don’t worry though, there’s a happy ending! For the album, I brought in musicians from Chicago, Austin and St. Louis. That particular ax man is known as Liam Kelley and he will be famous one day.
The video for “The Air Guitar Song” is amazing. How did you get all of those competitors to do it? Is there a lot of camaraderie in the air guitar industry?
Flattery will get you everywhere. Air guitar has an amazing global community full of the coolest and weirdest people in the world. I remember when I first competed years back I was welcomed with arms wide open (sung in the style of Scott Stapp) by every air guitarist in the biz from Hot Lixx Hulahan to Bjorn Turoque to Nordic Thunder to William Ocean and more. We’re kind of like those friends you only see once a year, but we’ll totally get naked and drunk and do weird stuff together.
So everyone I asked to be in the music video from around the world, U.S., France, Japan, Russia, Taiwan…etc., was more than delighted to join in the fun and help out. Coolest moment for me was editing a bunch of videos of my air guitar heroes rocking out to a song I wrote. Gave me goose pimples!
What new artists are you listening to these days? Any Chicago bands about to blow up?
There are so many Chicago artists I love and most of them have been making art their whole lives. I love The Gold Web when I’m feeling psychedelic glam jam, Celine Neon when I want booty rock dance diddys and if I just want to take all my clothes off, smile and feel sexier than I’ve ever felt in my entire life…The Flavor Savers. Just a disclaimer, I’m a member of that last band and often do take my clothes off when we perform. It just improves aerodynamics when I dance. It’s science.
What’s next for Romeo Dance Cheetah? Touring plans?
[We recently] put the finishing touches on a midwest tour ending with an album release show in Chicago this October. Secondly, we just shot an epic music video for the next single “35 Year Olds Dancin” using all kinds of camera toys like drones and apparently the same camera they use to shoot Game of Thrones on…and I hear that show is about to blow up so that’s cool! After that, who knows…maybe space. I hear it’s the final frontier?