It was nothing less than love at first sight when we first saw musician, skater and model COSMO PYKE play alongside Matt Maltese at London’s Servant Jazz Quarters. Born and raised in South East London, Cosmo’s own amalgamation of hip-hop, jazz and romantic pop catapults him from the boys, to the men, confirming his staggering presence and contribution in and to the industry.
Introduce yourself …
A different breed
What do you feel the advantages were of growing up in South East London?
There weren’t any until quite recently, if you used to live in Peckham you wouldn’t be able to take a cab there, the taxi driver would be way too shook. But I guess an advantage would be the cultures I grew up around and my family’s influence in music and art.
When and why did you start playing music?
In like 2006. Because I wanted to be a rockstar I guess.
Which musicians do you most admire?
Bob Dylan, Amy Winehouse, John Coltrane, Dean Blunt, John Lennon, Archie Marschall, Mac Demarco, Bob Marley and more recently, Pete Doherty. Countless others too.
Tell us what it was like appearing in Frank Ocean’s “Nikes” video …
I dunno, it’s pretty cool. I had never listened to the dude before I was cast. It led to so many great opportunities and contacts, so I’m thankful.
What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned so far in this industry?
DON’T LET MEN BUY YOU DRINKS. Or lunch, cos a year later they might want something in return like writing credits. That’s the music industry. The fashion industry is always on time.
Why is music so important to you?
Because it’s the only thing I’m good at?
Tell us a story from your tour with Rat Boy and SKATERS …
One day we played Newcastle and it was literally the craziest gig. Skaters and I nearly broke the floor with the amount of dancing teenagers. Ratboy (the band) were used to the floor being a trampoline, but I thought it was pretty crazy. Big shout out to the Geordie massive!
As a musician, skateboarder and model, you have numerous outlets for your creativity. Do you feel that they individually compliment and inspire each other?
Nah I think music and maths would be better but I still haven’t passed GCSE’S.
Your music style is brilliantly eclectic; does this reflect your own musical taste?
Yes, I listen to lots of Homeshake and old reggae, so I just steal Gregory Isaacs flows and mix them with some of Haitus Kayotes grooves, and then mix that with some of my own mind and try to better it creatively. Or take the insanity of Dylan Thomas’ “Under milk wood” and revamp it into something sane. So yeah, it reflects all my tastes, not just music but poetry, graffiti and great literature too.
As a new musician breaking into the industry, what advice do you have for those about to begin their journey?
My advice would be gather as many contacts as humanly possible, and just watch them and make sure they watch you. Alongside that, just working on what you love and playing shitty little gigs for free.
Where to next?
For me….THE UNIVERSE.
Listen to Cosmo Pyke here
First and forth image by Reuben Bastienne-Lewis @reuben_bl