Cosmo is a man born in Scotland of Scottish and Hungarian lineage but brought up in England. He's rumoured to be a descendent of William the Conqueror. He is a happy folky acoustic finger pickin' strummin' guitar man, occasionally with an accordion player but always with a harmonica always.
This guy's music is a bizarre hybrid of rock, rap, folk, hip hop and of course, his beatboxing skills; It sounds oxymoronic, but it works.
Cosmo once said that "There's only one race, and that's the human race", a statement that very much sums up the vibe that runs through his music. With an impressive back catalogue of five CDs, his lyrics span drug trips, Sunday afternoons, lost love and a strong socio-political bent.
From his side-splitting I So Wouldn't Like To Be Your Boyfriend to the more serious folk rock/electro George Bush RIP song he wrote with Johan Sebastian Flapsandwich of Sicknote, one adjective that could never be used to describe him is "retiring"; if there's something that needs to be said you can definitely count on him to say it.
One of the most loved figures in the music scene in Cardiff, Cosmo has shared stages all over the world with a wide range of musicians, most recently at Glastonbury, via protest camps and right now he's promoting his new single.
A serious musician leaning to folk and protest music, Cosmo's releasing his first single, a cover of the much-loved South Walian song Oi Mush that's due to be released via digital-download only from the 13th of September.
Cosmo: Great, thanks. A reviewer said I was the natural link between Woody Guthrie and Jay-Z, but I was nearly arrested twice for rapping in the streets whilst trying to promote my show. So I suppose you could say it was a game of two halves.... Lots of fun was had, though!
theSprout: For those of us not familiar with your work, what would you say is the best album of yours to start off with?
Cosmo: The latest one, Citizen Smith is probably the best place to start. Anyone who's been to see me in the last couple of years will be familiar with the songs. I don't tend to play anything off my first album Bedsit Blues because I tend to do the upbeat political numbers at gigs, and that's a very chilled album. You can listen to everything I do on my Soundclick site so you I guess can try before you buy!
theSprout: You've put out a few CDs in the past, why is it that Oi Mush is the first single that you've officially released?
Cosmo: Up until Citizen Smith I didn't really release CDs, I just copied them for mates or to sell at gigs. Then I decided to set up my own label, Perverse Pop, and release stuff properly, with digital distribution and so on. I thought I'd release a single as that's what record labels seem to do!
theSprout: Oi Mush, as far as songs go, is a really popular in South Wales and it's usually sung at football matches. What made you want to cover it?
Cosmo: South Wales is legend! I first learned the song from some mates in a band called The Don Bradmans. I started playing it at gigs, protests and demos and it took on a whole new meaning, it sort of got a political charge. Then I played it to a really close mate of mine. It was the last time I saw him - he died in an accident in France shortly afterwards. I played the song at his wake and it was the first thing everyone laughed at after all the grief we had felt. All of his family and friends ended up singing it and we recorded it on DVD! I realised it must be a special song to have that kind of reaction, so I got in touch with the writers, Paul Allen and Peter King, and asked them if they were cool with me doing a version of it. They said yes, so that was that.
theSprout: Are you playing any Cardiff dates to coincide with Oi Mush week?
Cosmo: The Globe, Tuesday 15th September.,8pm. Me and lots of special guests and a re-enactment of the legendary video is planned. Come on down!
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Oi Mush week is from the 13th to the 20th where it'll be available to purchase via online stores, for more information on visit Cosmo's website.
The launch gig for the single on Tuesday 15th September at the Globe on Albany Road will also feature a wide range of performers, special guests and DJ Tommy Tank as well as the re-enactment of the video. Entry is three pounds.
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