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2018 is promising year for Peckham artist Cosmo Pyke

William Carrington, Staff Writer

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Cosmo Pyke is a 19-year-old producer and singer who makes music he describes as “spacey, beautiful, and lazy.” Raised in Peckham, a south-east district of London, he learned how to play the guitar from his punk-rock mother, fostering an early love for music. He went to the BRIT School for Performing Arts, and since then he’s found widespread success after only one EP.

Pyke’s debut EP, 2017’s “Just Cosmo,” sold out a headlining tour and landed him a spot on 2017’s Dazed 100 list. His music shows influence from everywhere, most noticeably jazz, indie rock, and soul. His lyrics are slow and matched by the lazy, blues-inspired pace of the first half of most of the EP. After a while there’s a beat switch and the songs kick into his signature jazzy sound, making them seem like they’re speeding up and never slowing down until they stop.

He’s been playing music for upwards of 10 years, but his success upon releasing his 1st single, “Social Sites,” was unbelievable. After his debut EP, 2017’s “Chronic Sunshine” was released with just five songs, he’s racked up over 22,000 Soundcloud followers and he’s getting offers that he couldn’t have possibly hoped for, among them English superstars like rapper and producer Craig David.

In his 2017 interview with the Guardian, it became clear that if anything, Cosmo Pyke is determined to do things his way. He hated his time in music school, but he now admits he learned a lot. He’s very anti-industry. He thinks that the spotlight is confusingly pointed at him because he’s half black.

“They don’t actually really care at all, ‘He’s half black, he’s a bit black. Let’s give him this pedestal.’ If I was white they wouldn’t want to know about it. But at the moment there’s a lot of racial tensions in these big industries…,” Pyke said in an interview with the Guardian.

Pyke’s fear of the industry isn’t unreasonable. His songwriting is deeply personal. It’s inspired by his daily interactions, letting the listener hear how he sees the world. His hesitation is only natural, and he doesn’t interact musically with anyone outside of the local musicians like Rex Orange County, another Peckham artist making a name for himself.

His fears make their way into his music with songs like “After School Club” and “Social Sites” from Chronic Sunshine. Pyke’s honest and modern songwriting makes an interesting pair with the jazzy instrumentals, exposing his teenage audience to sounds they typically wouldn’t hear otherwise.

Pyke comes off as a normal guy. His music is a little strange, sure, but with open lyrics about heartbreak and the emotions he experienced growing up, his music is easy for any teenager to approach.

Pyke’s music is only going to get better in the coming years, but he’s keeping his goals modest. He’ll be happy as long as he’s making money doing art or playing music. If Chronic Sunshine was any indicator of how far he can take himself, 2018 will be a huge year for Cosmo Pyke.

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2018 is promising year for Peckham artist Cosmo Pyke