i-D's music class of 2017: cosima
Meet the writers, thinkers, players and performers who are creating, crafting and composing the future of music right here, right now. Joining our list of Girls Who Get Ready to take over the world with her life-affirming real talk, meet the heavenly...
Cosima wears jacket Caitlin Price. Dungarees Carhartt WIP.
Cosima is inspired by long conversations with her mum and singers with really expressive voices. At just 19, she ran away to Germany to live in her Grandma's tiny village, juggling long nights making cakes at the bakery on top of the hill, with longer days writing music. Now back in town and slinking her way elegantly into the music world, we've fallen head over heels in love with her impressive debut South of Heaven EP. Starring a cast of her friends and family and shot at home in Peckham, Cosima's self-directed video for lead single Girls Who Get Ready is lovely. The song was written when half way through straightening her hair one day, she realised just how destructive her then-boyfriend's opinions on what made a woman desirable had become. Fuck him. Fuck that. This woman has talent, beauty and words of wisdom coursing through her. Listen and learn.
Cosima, 23, Peckham
What's the best thing about where you're from?
When I was younger, everyone on the block would play their music really loud in summer so I had all these different musical influences. It was Peckham but it felt like Brazil, you know?
Ultimate combo. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I just wanted to make people cry. I think it's because I wanted to be Judy Garland and she made me cry, so I've always wanted to make other people feel things.
And how did you end up in the music world?
I remember on my 19th birthday coming to the realisation that I wanted to make music, but knowing that my voice wasn't doing what I needed it to. I booked a one way ticket to Germany and spent a year with my grandma and took classical singing lessons in her tiny village. Then I came back, met my manager and have spent the past two years writing. All of this was interspersed with lots of big conversations with my mum in the car. There's a weird freedom to it talking while driving, especially at night.
Is your mum full of good advice?
She really is. I once went out and left my friend at home getting advice from her.
What's the best advice she's ever given you?
She once told me that life was too short for one man. That freed up my mind. Go mum!
What's the worst job you've ever done?
When I was in Germany I had a lot of different jobs - no one ever kept me for that long because I was quite scatty. In my grandma's village there was this bakery on top of a hill and they had night shifts baking and making cakes and I was useless at it but figured if I worked all night, I could make music all day... without considering the fact that I'd need to sleep at some point. It made me realise just how important music was to me though. And now that I don't have to do anything else, I appreciate that freedom so much more.
Now you're keeping busy directing your own music videos too?
Yes! Girls Who Get Ready was so fun. All the stress and planning came beforehand and then we shot it across two days with the most amazing team. I told them I wanted a pig and a goat and they didn't question me, they just helped me make it happen. They were really supportive. Hanging out with my friends and family on set was amazing too.
Which creative would you most like to work with, from any discipline?
I would love to have Wong Kar-Wai direct one of my music videos. That would make me a very happy girl. I'd love to do something with Bruce Weber too. Did you ever see his Chet Baker film or the film about a boxer? I'd love to do something like that with him.
What film do you think your music would best soundtrack?
Probably Days of Being Wild by Wong Kar-Wai. His late 80s stuff is amazing and his cinematographer is so good... I think his name is Christopher Doyle? I'd love for him to be the cinematographer on one of my videos one day.
We heard you're a big Solange fan?
I love her. And what I really love about A Seat at the Table is that she's touching on a really sensitive issue and it empowers who it needs to empower, but it doesn't alienate, it educates. I think that's something really important because that's the sort of art that starts calmer conversations.
Where do you feel you fit into the UK music scene?
That's a really interesting question, and it's funny because I actually spent a lot of time trying to make sure that I didn't fit. I suppose overall it's quite a classic songwriting thing, but there are times when I definitely want to sound my age. It's an interesting scene at the moment because there's such a lot of different stuff happening. Everyone's bringing their own worlds together.
You've got your first show ever tonight. How're you feeling?
I'm terrified. Hopefully it'll be like the end of 8 Mile, versus the rap battle in 8 Mile, because then I'll be fucked.
What do you want to say with your music?
Everything that I don't find very easy to say in real life. When I was in my early teens I was trying to understand what it meant to be a girl; what should a girl look like and act like? I remember listening to this one song, At Seventeen, that Janis Ian wrote to her 17-year-old self and I found it very reassuring. I want to do that for other people. I want to make people feel okay about feeling things.
Your first single, Girls Who Get Ready, is killer. What's your ultimate getting ready song?
Right now I'm really into Venus by Frankie Avalon, but nothing beats Gwen Stefani's Luxurious.
Who are you tipping for 2017?
I'm actually really obsessed with Klein. When I saw she was on the call sheet too, I was so excited.
What're your plans for 2017?
To keep on putting out music, and learn more about directing so I can carry on making my own music videos.
Text Frankie Dunn
Photography Hanna Moon
Styling Max Clark
Hair Maarit Niemala at Bryant Artists using Moroccan Oil.
Make-up Athena Paginton at Bryant Artists using Kryolan.
Set design Mariska Lowri.
Photography assistance Alessandro Tranchini, Ilenia Arosio.
Styling assistance Bojana Kozarevic.
Hair assistance Benjamin David, Mikaela Knopps.
Make-up assistance Billie McKenzie.