COSMICOSMO: CUTE POPPY SOUND

Glad to be back in 2019 for a new interview! We are amazingly excited today with the release of the interview we had with the incredible Cosmicosmo! You need to know him, and to know his work! Come discover this gemstone.

Cosmicosmo for Rouge Vis
– artwork by @theuntitledarts

Discover CosmiCosmo’s music here


Happy new year 2019 everyone! Rouge Vis has been sleeping for about 1 month. It’s time to come back with a deep and detail interview. We are glad to welcome Cosmicosmo! This video-games lover transform any sample in a cute and awesome melody! We love his work and we hope you’ll love it too! Let’s start!

Who is Cosmicosmo? Where does this cute character come from?

I really like Sanrio characters like Hello Kitty and Tuxedo Sam. What I wanted to do was just create something that is instantly recognizable like that. I really love penguins so I tested a few designs with one of my close friends who’s a graphic designer and we came up with this character that we can minimize to just his face and you’d still be able to tell that it is a penguin. It’s a super simple shape that can be easily drawn by anybody, something that is very accessible. Honestly, my favorite thing is cute stuff like that!

When did you start making electronic music?

I have been making electronic music as a hobby since 2007, I started in Reason 3.0.  I actually focused a lot on chiptunes, with a modified game boy cartridge from the 8bitcollective.org forums – rest in peace to that website, they were my favorite. I started listening more to heavier electronic from that, I was really into Trance and I wanted to produce some for a very long time. As I continued playing around I realized the music I had the most fun making was that kind of weird, poppy, fast stuff with video game samples, so I just decided to go 100% in by creating a new project with a cute character where I won’t try to be something I’m not. I wanted to do the “full package” haha. I really like consistent branding, I like when the images match the sound and match the flavor!

How would you describe you as an artist by only using one sentence?

Let’s go with Internet Penguin Pop (hahah), not a proper sentence but three words at least!

Where does your love for video-games come from?

I grew up with Playstation which had a lot of Japanese games coming to the USA with great music in them. Games like Ape Escape, Bomber Man, and Mario Kart from N64 obviously. Growing up in America, and anywhere in the 90’s, you were introduced to a lot of Japanese pop culture. You had all these video games and tons of anime on TV. After school in America you had Toonami which was essentially a several hour block of anime from with shows like Yu Yu Hakusho, Gundam, and Sailor Moon which I was obsessed with when I was a kid. Japanese culture was just massive in America even if people didn’t really realize it at the time. A lot of these shows and games had really interesting sound effects and soundtracks. I’d say my music is really based in me being obsessed with all of that since I was a kid. I really got into Ape Escape which was a Japanese game with a crazy garage and drum and bass soundtrack. For a 90’s game about catching monkeys in a net it’s pretty insane to think about how well done that soundtrack was.

The most listened song of your SoundCloud account is called Animal Crossing released on Hyperpop label. How this track came out? And why is it that popular?

I am no longer part of running Hyperpop, that’s now completely in the care of Shady Monk. He’s doing a great job, I always like what he’s doing. I just unfortunately didn’t have the time anymore with my new job and with my new music opportunities I am currently working on. I am sure he is gonna continue doing really amazing things! When Hyperpop started it was a group of 7 of us (Water Spirit, Fraxiom, Shady Monk, Akeboshi, Toasty, Nova Drops and myself). We wanted to give a platform to a lot of unknown producers out there because nowadays there are tons more than you can listen to, it can be hard to discover. We wanted to find really interesting musicians and put them on a platform. That was the goal when we started and it’s still the goal now. It was a lot of fun, we were a group of friends who didn’t know what we were doing but we were all trying to do something positive. When we started we decided we were all going to release a song on Hyperpop and it’d be a cycle. All 7 members would release a track and then we would sign in other tracks until the next cycle of releases came out. This song came about when my deadline for my song on the first cycle was coming up and I had totally forgotten about it because I procrastinate on everything. I had four days to make this song and in about two days I wrote Animal Crossing, I didn’t think about it I just shot it out and got done with. It was a very fun song to make but honestly I didn’t think about it too much. I am very surprised that this track has become as popular as it has, because to me I just remember doing it very fast and writing lyrics that were kind of nonsensical around Animal Crossing, my favorite video game. It turned into a weird meme on YouTube with thousands of animations using the song! I have no idea how it ended up like that. It’s probably more shocking to me than anyone else I guess, it’s just very strange that this song took off!

So Hyperpop was more than a classical label experience for you. How do you reflect about this opportunity you had by working on this project?

Hyperpop on SoundCloud HERE

We were actually running it as a democracy. Any songs that came in, any ideas we had for the group, down to what we would like to post next was voted as a group. We needed at least 4 votes to move forward with something. It was a really cool experience and a really good experiment as well. It provided a lot of really cool opportunities for all of us as well. I am friends with all of the 7 originals members, I love those guys to death and I feel that we did something incredible! We’re still all supporting each other’s music.

Do you feel a difference between you when you started Cosmicosmo and you now?

It’s been almost 3 years now. To me, I feel like I’ve gotten a lot better at pulling the ideas out of my head, I’ve gotten a lot smoother with the whole process and the music has become more personal as a result. It’s easier to directly translate the ideas from my head to my instrument, guitar, drums etc. The process for me now feels a lot more honest to myself, but a lot of people say it’s all still recognizable. Inherently it’s still pretty similar, I have my drums, I have all my samples from which ever game I am obsessed with at the moment. To me it all sounds different but I totally understand when people say it sounds similar. I just hope it’s different enough that they continue wanting to listen and they can hear that I’m evolving as an artist. I think the trick as an artist is balancing your perception of your music with reality’s perception. Every artist I know struggles a lot with wondering if their song will be good enough or if it makes sense for them to release it. The fact is I really like when people try new things and I also really like when people stick to a formula they have designed and honed. I think an artist’s own interpretation of their music is always gonna be a lot harsher and may be even crueler than the rest of the world.

Can you talk a bit about the collaborations you have done so far as Cosmicosmo?

Honestly, I think every single song that I have ever made – I think a lot of people would agree with this too – is in some sense a collaboration. Throughout every song I have ever written, I’ve asked for advice, I’ve asked for critique, I’ve asked for people to listen to it and just tell me what they think before it’s complete. A lot of their reactions, a lot of their advice, a lot of their criticism, anything really, gets taken into account when I’m writing a song. In a sense, every song is a community effort. However, for direct collaboration I work with people that I really want to creatively get to know or people that I really trust, for instance Slow Shudder.  In that sense I know, regardless of what we do, we’re gonna make something that we love. I am just looking to make things that are interesting, make things with people that I look up to, and make things that are overall a lot of fun.

We talked about your experience with Hyperpop but how were your experiences with other labels?

Actually this past year has been a lot of behind the scenes work with labels that I never really thought I’d be working with. I can’t say who right now but there are some really interesting opportunities that are coming up this year! I am extremely excited for these songs to come out. They’ll come out in 2019 and they’re the kind of things I never thought I’d get. So far it has been a fantastic experience.

I really love working with DESKPOP. I think that Braz_OS is doing an amazing job there, they are cultivating a great following and a great community. Anytime I’ve worked with them they’ve put me in touch with amazing artists. I started to work this year with Attack the Music, they have been phenomenal, they have been super transparent with the entire process. Every single person there has been so sweet and super supportive. All of these labels have different kinds of fan bases but some crossover as well. With DESKPOP I was able to reach a lot of interesting internet musicians based in the UK and based in America. Then with Attack The Music I was kind of pushed into a larger Japanese audience which actually started a few collaborations with some Japanese artists I love. Every label that I work with has presented amazing opportunities and I’m excited to see what all these new ones for this year are gonna bring!

Do you have any live performance set for 2019? 
What about your future projects?

NOTE: COSMICOSMO has been playing at MAGFEST 2019 very recently

I have been recently kind of backing down of a lot of live performances because I have been working really hard on a 5 song EP I am hoping to put out quarter 1 of 2019. I have a lot more collaborations in the pipe with tons of other artists. Right now I am sitting on more music than I’ve ever had written at once. I am super excited! I have six songs ready to go and I am just finding homes for all of them right now.

Do you live off your work as an artist?

I have been recently kind of backing down of a lot of live performances because I have been working really hard on a 5 song EP I am hoping to put out quarter 1 of 2019. I have a lot more collaborations in the pipe with tons of other artists. Right now I am sitting on more music than I’ve ever had written at once. I am super excited! I have six songs ready to go and I am just finding homes for all of them right now.

If you want to listen more about Cosmicosmo’s work follow the links below! It was a pleasure to have this discussion with him, he is an extremely inspiring artist and we hope the best for him in 2019!

Maksance ©RougeVis

Rouge Vis is back for 2019, stronger than ever