New Noise: Couros

Meet electronic artist Couros, master of minimal production and a raw soul sound.

London’s new master of electronic soul is musician Couros, who’s soulful, electronic sound is as uplifting as it is relaxing. Having previously worked with Rihanna and Nicki Minaj’s producer Parker Ighile, the London-based producer masters the idea of electronic chill, blending mid-tempo waves of bass with a melodic, soulful voice that is full of attitude and unbalanced mixing that makes for raw, emotional sounds.

Never searching for perfection, Couros’s raw, unedited voice and minimal production makes his debut EP “Jupiter” one of a kind. Packed full of funk-tinged basslines and dreamy electronics, with euphoric highs and dramatic drops, the EP is a ride from start to finish. Featuring break out tracks “Breathe Again” and “Never Break”, Couros’s debut is full of electronic R&B grooves; it’s hard to believe Couros is only just getting started.

Sum up your sound in three words?

Loud, electronic, soul.

What’s your earliest music memory?

The first vivid memory I can recall would be of watching Phil Collins on TV while I was at my auntie’s house, I would have been 5 or 6 years old. I’m pretty sure there’s a video somewhere of me just silent with my face almost right up against the screen taking it all in. “Against All Odds” man, what a tune.

How did you get started making music? 

For years I was a session musician mostly playing live on stage for other artists. One day I was invited into the studio to record some parts on the guitar and I just never wanted to leave. I worked with a bunch of different producers playing guitar over their beats that was fun for a while until I met this guy Parker Ighile (Rihanna, Nicki Minaj). We became good friends and I got invited to a lot of insane studios to work with some truly great people. Large up Parker. After a few years I was confident enough to start working on my own music and now to be signed and releasing it all is huge.

What are your favourite, and least favourite, things about making music? 

My favourite thing would be when I’ve got the song basically done. I’ll leave the song running and flip over to YouTube and find a video I love and play it, then pretend for a second its the music video. There’s something so pleasing about instantly hearing what the song may feel like with some visual context. I think with “Breathe Again” I tried Frank Ocean’s Vid for Pyramids, the part with the motorbike blows my mind. My least favourite thing is getting the music to a finished state. Inevitably at some point you have to hand your music over for someone else to mix or at least master it. The problem is they don’t have the same musical taste as you so there can be some huge differences of opinion. What makes things harder is I don’t want perfection, I hate it. No tuning on vocals, no adjustments of timing. In addition to that I want an unbalanced mix, I’m not a fan of clinical sounding music at all. Those clinical guys don’t use their ears I swear they just look at graphs all day long, it’s boring.

“One day I was invited into the studio to record some parts on the guitar and I just never wanted to leave.”

How did you get signed to PMR Records and how have they helped your career? 

Good question. I think sometime last year my manager and I were talking about potential remix’s and I was big fan of Jamie Woon’s album that he released a few months before. We sent his label (PMR) a few beats (one that ended up being “Never Break” off the EP) for Jamie to hear and hopefully approve for a remix. What I didn’t expect, and what ended up happening was that they liked the beats I sent so much that they wanted to release them. I met them shortly after and of course they’re all mega. I’m pretty sure all we did in our first meeting was chat about music we loved. They’ve been so great in helping me finish the music. Really backed up whatever direction I had and were so accommodating to other ideas. I’m excited to continue working with them.

What’s your writing process like? 

Pretty weird, I make sure there aren’t many constants or habits, for example I don’t use pre-made drum kits or presets. It makes the first few hours pretty slow and I genuinely feel sorry for all the singers and artists I’ve put through listening to me build a synth sound or go through kick samples. Having said that its quite nice getting from there to a finished song when you’ve had other people in the room from the start. Usually while I’m in the middle of building a sound we’d get some sort of idea about lyrics and concepts, which always informs the beat in a great way. I think it’s infinitely better than showing up with some pre made backing tracks.

Tell us about your new EP? What’s the sound like and what themes do you explore?

I really wanted a big aggressive sound to combat a lot of polite music that we are (unfortunately) getting used to. I don’t like to explain lyrics too deeply but ill say the main lyrical concept behind the EP is around an imperfect relationship and the good things that can surround that can surround that if you weather the storm.

Do you prefer performing live or being in the studio?

I can’t say for sure as I haven’t started performing live, so I’d have to say studio. There’s something super addictive about creating ideas and experimenting with sounds for its that and me never gets old. I’m always learning.

What’s next?

Besides annoying my managers on a daily basis with missed deadlines I’ll be releasing a lot more music. I’m going through ideas for live shows at the moment too which is beyond exciting. Maybe I’ll start a clothing brand… Joking! Large up Kanye.

New Noise: Couros

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