Summer is waning into a stodgy, cloudy, damp sock-ridden splash now, but back in May (when it rained a lot, too) we were warmed by the sunshine of that optimism brings. Something that, if you were lucky enough to be in Brighton for The Great Escape festival, was aided by how fucking excellent the festival was.
So many artists, some you know but unless your reading list looks like that of an obscure festival, there’s many you don’t – that’s the joy of it. But, a lot of people know Cosmo Pyke – and not just because his face has been in things from Topman lookbooks to Frank Ocean videos.
With him having true talent for his true love, music, it’s quite likely that we’re all gonna see a lot more of the don’s face – and with a real name like Cosmo Pyke, there seems no conceivable way that he can’t be famous. But it won’t be his name or his face that takes him to wherever he’s going, it’ll be music.
After seeing his Saturday night show at The Great Escape, playing in the Brighton-iconic Prince Albert pub, we grabbed a word with him post-gig and pre-spliff around the corner, near some bins, whilst the 19-year-old waited for his vinyl-selling mother to drive him back to South London. It was the second time he’d made the journey to the south coast in recent months after filling Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar back in March, but it was this brief visit to Brighton that he enjoyed the most.
“Brighton’s cool, it’s a sick city… it’s the sea air, innit? Brighton’s good for my lungs. I’ve played here three times now, once at Concorde 2 which was great, Sticky Mike’s recently, too, but this was the best yet.”
“I went and watched Yellow Days earlier, we supported him in Guildford recently so it was great to see him and show some support. And seeing him on the pier, too, was beautiful.“
Still fairly new to touring around and playing live shows, Mr Pyke, whose track Chronic Sunshine has hit over 2 million views on Youtube, humbly told us that he was just “happy to see the show sold out,” but that was evident due to the smile on this well over six-foot man’s babyface. Whilst ‘Mumzy’ moved a people carrier around the back of the pub, Cosmo told us about his musical inspirations; “Chet Baker, Wes Montgomery, essentially loads of old jazz musicians,” all of whom have helped to develop his sound.
It’s foolish to throw big names into comparisons with a 19-year-old musician who admits that he and the band “still have plenty of practising to do,” – they were off back to London to practice straight after the packed-out show. On his debut EP, Just Cosmo, the musician and model acknowledges that he’s ‘still developing‘ on the track Great Dane. Whether you want to take that to be about his forming as an adult as he exits adolescence, or about the fine tuning of his sound, his is a style that many eagerly want to compare to King Krule.
These comparisons shouldn’t question his originality, but rather underline his talent. His sound at just 19 is more like King Krule when the sun is out. Jamie T if you swapped the crying and beers for bicycling, weed and a jazzier musical upbringing. Listen to Just Cosmo, and that jazz influence is clear from the off, – particularly in the freedom of his singing as he explores the full depths of his own bluesy chords. As such, it’s no surprise that appearing at the Montreux Jazz Festival was the highlight of the busy summer he had ahead of him when we spoke;
“I can’t wait for that. It’s like, one of our first fucking festivals and it’s Montreux Jazz Festival – that’s legendary,” he told us with genuine excitement, in between helping a couple of The Great Escape festival-goers find the missing gubbins for their rollies. “Ask him (Cosmo’s bassist), he should have a lighter… but yeah, I can’t wait to go to Switzerland for that, man…”
It’s a big deal for him, clearly, and one that was likely to win him many more admirers – one of which is apparently none other than Joesph ‘Skepta’ Adenuga. He’d been spotted by some of us behind Off Licence Magazine in the Instagram Stories of many rappers in our social media sphere, with the tattooed squaddy of Milkavelli and Skepta being amongst them. With British hip-hop being integral to what we do, we had to ask Cosmo about it – either he was being coy or we’d gassed ourselves off the very same media platforms that Pyke sings of on Social Sites.
“I haven’t ever really spoken to him (Skepta)…” he said, “or… sat with him.”
“I’ve like, chilled ‘near’ him. But apparently, he’s heard a few of my tracks though, which is sick. According to my friend, anyway…“
At risk of wanting to churn rumours into the sacred walls of corner shops everywhere, such chat was left there and we wished he and his band a happy summer, ahead. Before the clique departed, Cosmo’s mum offered us a vinyl of his new EP for a tenner – an extremely fair price.
Sadly, with one act to see and a tote bag filled with cameras, Maoams and hidden beers, there was no space for the man’s EP at the time. I promised I’ll purchase online and as such, expect a review of Cosmo’s debut release very soon. In the meantime, you can hear it for yourself on Spotify and the guy’s Soundcloud has plenty of music, too.