Lustrous electro-pop from the “reborn” Dublin-native formerly known as Bonzai.

Dublin-born singer Cosha has one of those distinctive faces that you just can’t shake. But another reason you might feel like you’ve clapped eyes on her before is because this is definitely not her first rodeo.

Formerly known as Bonzai, the artist shook off her old pseudonym earlier this year, in favour of something a little closer to home: Cosha (similar in pronunciation to her real name, Cassia O’Reilly).

Insta-groove “Do You Want To Dance” immediately became a summer anthem, taken off her aptly named mixtape, “R.I.P Bonzai.” One door closes and another opens.

And the door is wide open for Cosha right now, with her particularly catchy brand of lustrous electro-pop – marked with distinctly cool R&B undercurrents, surging with pulsating beats and Cosha’s sultry, minimal vocals.

We chatted to the London-based artist on life, death, and rebirth…

What happened to Bonzai?
Her time was up, we had fun though. 

You’re now Cosha, phonetically pronounced like your actual name Cassia – do you think your new sound is closer to who you are as a person? 
I love dancing, loving and sexing and I’m a bit mad – they’re the parts of my personality that I want to show in the music right now, and I think it comes through. I hope it comes through.

How did you start making music? 
I’d lie in bed and write lots of questionable songs. One of my best friends plays guitar and he’d lie there with me while I sang. I actually saw him in Ireland recently and we did exactly that, except we were lying beside the sea under a phenomenal starry sky. 

You were born in Indiana and raised in Dublin – tell me how that shaped you and your music?
The scenery where I grew up in Wicklow is incredible. It’s all trees on lakes on mountains on waterfalls. Whenever I go home I always go back there to take in the fresh air and get a little inspired.

Who did you listen to growing up?
Many fabulous artists. At first it was R&B – lots of Ashanti, Destiny’s Child etc. Then I got introduced to some soul and hip hop – Biggie and Erykah sat closest to home. Then it was more experimental, indie types like Björk and Vampire weekend – two of my main loves.

In your tracks you’ve used samples from nights-out in Dublin – what was the inspiration behind adding stuff that makes your music come alive?
At the time I was feeling quite homesick, all those clips were of my friends or people they’d met on nights out and I wanted to include some from home so people could hear all the different accents and the humour and maybe get a sense of the Irish people. We’re a special bunch. 

How do you want your music to make people feel?
I spend a lot of time travelling alone or I find myself alone in countries I’ve never been to or where I don’t know many people and I can sometimes start to feel a little anxious. But if I play Sade or Nao (or other similar singers with voices full of heart) I feel like there’s someone with me, I relax, start to enjoy the situation and I think that is just so special. I’d love to make people feel like that, like they have company wherever they go if they need it. 

Love your style! Who are your style icons/inspirations?
I love 90s Björk, the almighty RiRi, and online sites like Sita Abellan are also good for inspiration. But I can’t afford or find most the stuff I see on them, so I just pick up little things that I like as I go along.

Are you gearing up to do any collaborations soon? Who are your dream collabs?
There’s one coming potentially soon, not sure when, but I love it. As for dream collabs, I do believe in the “don’t meet your heroes” idea, but all that aside I’d say It would be fun to work with Tirzah, Azealia , Rihanna and Kanye. 

What’s next for you this year?
Make music to move to, practice my Shaku Shaku [a Nigerian dance], and hopefully perform “R.I.P Bonzai” live on the 29th of November in Hoxton Hall.

Maybelle Morgan

Related → Related → Related → Related → Related → Related → Related → Related → Related → Related → Related → Related → Related → Related → Related → Related → Related → Related → Related → Related →