We want to kick your Thursday into high gear, and rapper Cochise is here to help us with this. Dropping his highly-anticipated album Benbow Crescent, the artist is serving up a slice of summer with his new sonic project, packed full of punchy samples, his distinctive, high-pitched tone and soul-piercing production boasting disruptive bass’ sure to shake the room when played on full blast. With slick bars also showcasing the rapper’s ability to manipulate the English language, it becomes clear that he is a maverick operating within a deeply competitive genre, a task he carries out with ease.
When discussing the unique and deeply personal title of his new project, the talent explains, “That’s the street my mom grew up on in Jamacia and I didn’t know what to call it so I was like, ‘let me do something deep’. My favourites have gotta be ‘Sanji’ or ‘Double’. My brother Lousho brings out the freak in the beat.”
Upon the release of his electric new album, the rap sensation took some time to chat to Wonderland about staying true to himself as an artist, the influence that his upbringing has had on his sound and his favourite tracks on Benbow Crescent. Head below to enjoy our interview with Cochise…
Congrats on your debut project Benbow Crescent! Tell us about where its name comes from and your favourites out of the 18 tracks?
That’s the street my mum grew up on in Jamacia and I didn’t know what to call it, so I was like, ‘let me do something deep’. My favourites have gotta be “Sanji” or “Double”. My brother Lousho brings out the freak in the beat.
We love “Double” and “Hunnid Smackeronies”, they give off island vibes! Did you get inspiration from your Jamaican roots with these songs? What do you want listeners to feel from these?
Of course! That’s where I always draw my inspiration from. Sometimes I want people to feel what they want, if they like it, they like it. If not – ok!
The cover art for Benbow Crescent comes from a photo of Junjo Lawes – an amazing Jamaican producer shot by Canadian photographer Beth Lesser. What made you choose this art and how did it influence you growing up?
I did some deep searching on the Jamaican culture and found that Beth and her husband were taking the sauciest pics when they were out there. And I mean I’m an island child; I was forced to listen to this kind of music whether I wanted to or not.
During the pandemic you were making your new music, how did this experience impact you? What did you learn about yourself during this time?
I was always recording at home, honestly! Really and truly I learned that God puts you through many things, but he always has you. Don’t ever doubt yourself because God is with you no matter what.
In what ways, other than making music, do you heal yourself and stay grounded?
I play video games. Maybe some anime, but for the most part its the game.
During the difficult times we have all faced over the last few years, how have you overcome these tough times and what did you learn that surprised you?
I just thank God every day because without him, I wouldn’t be here. So I know he has things planned for me. Nothing surprised me much, it’s more my trust and faith in God.
Who do you call when you need advice? What is the best advice someone has given you and what is the best advice you can offer?
I pray and ask God for guidance at all times. For musical advice I just go with what I always will personally like. I make music for myself, and it’s fun for me. Be yourself every time.
You grew up in Florida! How did that impact your art?
I mean, it impacted it a lot ,from the fast music to the dancing. If you haven’t had to jook to fast music, you’re missing out.
Which artists inspired you most growing up? What about today?
Michael Jackson, Busta Rhymes and Bob Marley were all huge names for me growing up. Today, it is more Vybz Kartel, Tommy Lee Sparta and Kanye.
Who would you most like to collaborate with?
Maybe Pharrell, but my friends are the best.
What future projects are you most excited about right now?
I did some work with Hypland for their Yu Yu Hakusho! collaboration recently. That was a fun experience, so I might start a brand. Of course, an album is coming – you guys can’t know too much.
Who are you listening to most lately? On what platform?
Outside of listening to myself, it varies. Some days I might be listening to Young Thug, the next day Tommy Lee, then some reggae roots. It could then change into a lot of 80s J Pop. Most of the platforms I use are SoundCloud and Apple Music.
Are there new emerging artists we should know about that you really love?
Bignumbanine and Sall1k are definitely some talented dudes.
Tell us about what the future looks like for you beyond music?
Wherever God takes me, I just want to do at least one voice over and a movie. I’ll even be an extra, let me walk down the streets when Spider-Man passes me something. PLEASE.
We always love to ask about fashion! Which brands do you like most?
Doc Martens and Puma go hard. Puma even sends me things once in a while. Cobolt Wings is a lowkey up and coming brand that I’ve been attached to, as well. I love Japanese vintage pieces, I sit on Grailed shopping on a daily for those.
What is your hope for other artists right now?
Just be yourself. I hope they do what they want and what keeps them happy.