25-year-old Dublin-born singer Cosha has spent the past few years waving goodbye to her former self, putting the final nail in the coffin with – aptly titled– mixtape “RIP Bonzai” in 2018. Filled with spontaneity and woozy electro-pop, the singer made it obvious that she didn’t want to be stuck in one category. Rumbling baselines, snappy handclaps, and dreamy breathy vocals all fight for your attention throughout the project, and while it may sound like a calamity of messy sounds, the result is a warming and textured final goodbye to Cosha’s former self.
Reflecting on her career now, Cosha gives me an insight into how she gained her IDGAF attitude in recent years during our late afternoon phone call. From leaving her small hometown in Dublin at just 17-years-old to start a course at Tech Music School in London, the singer threw herself into the music scene with the help of her manager whose wife taught at the school. Cosha lasted only a year there before she was signed by Columbia Records, but she can’t help but look back and feel naive about the experience. “I was very young and at that age,” Cosha says honestly. “You’re learning a lot about the world and about yourself. On top of that, I was also trying to learn about the music industry, which is not the most wholesome place.”
Following on from her signing, the singer teamed up with good friend Alex of Mura Masa and ended up writing four songs for him on his self-titled project. Cosha quickly had to think of what to name herself. “I typed my full name into an anagram thing online, and one of the things that came up was Bonzai,” Cosha laughs as she recalls the memory. “I really didn’t think about it a lot. That’s one of the things that happens when you get pressured into something, so I’m trying not to allow that to happen anymore. If people try to pressure me, I’m just going to be like, ‘You know what? This shit will happen when it happens because I need to be happy.’”
With the mounting pressure she had put on herself over the years to live up to other people’s expectations, the singer ultimately hit a breaking point after the release of her last EP, as she slowly came to terms with what she wanted out of music. “I just didn’t enjoy it, and that was really sad because it had always been the thing that brought me the most joy. I just wanted to dip out and find the joy in it again.” Taking it slow, the singer knew she had to rediscover not only herself, but her sound as well, and Cosha assured me there was no better place to find it than in Brazil. From the heart-pounding carnival vibes to the culture-rich environment, Cosha soaked up everything the country had to offer. Landing back in the UK after a month of relaxation and wild adventures, Cosha was ready to start creating her long-awaited debut album.
Launching her transitional period from Bonzai to Cosha with the sunset-ready single “No Kink In the Wind”, Cosha makes a departure from her former metallic-sounding pop, which she first stepped out with. Instead, the singer injects us with soothing R&B-flecked melodies that subtly brush against each other like shoulders in an early morning rave. Playing off her strengths, the singer easily scoops genres together for her follow-up single “Berlin Air,” as the multi-hyphenate combines the textures of afrobeat rhythms with fever dream bedroom pop on the single – restlessly serving up a quiet ecstasy. Continuing to tease us with the seductive “Lapdance from Asia” featuring Shygirl, and intimate single “Tighter” with newcomer Coby Sey, Cosha has slowly been giving us a small peek into her new world known as Mt. Pleasant. Named after her home in Dublin, the singer’s debut album wraps you in a blanket of slow grounding beats and steamy underground productions.
Cosha cites this project as her most authentic project yet, as it marks out the progress she’s been making toward executing her ever-growing vision. “I achieved what I wanted to achieve with the album, I really truly love it. I did a shoot recently and one of my songs was on someone’s playlist and when it came on everyone was like, ‘Oh sorry,’ and I was like no it’s fine it’s a banger!”
Successful in dissecting feelings of lust, love, and desire all the way down to their essence, the album scratches at the surface of what Cosha has lined up for us. And as I question what’s next on the agenda, the singer cheekily smiles and happily replies: “Making more music of course!”