Interview with Cosmo Cocktail

Following the release of Aurora, his latest Space Synthwave masterpiece, we had the chance to ask a few questions to Cosmo Cocktail.

Headphones For Robots: Who is Cosmo Cocktail?

Cosmo Cocktail: Basically, Cosmo Cocktail is a too grew up child! A child that lives  in the contemporary era during the day, and live in a sort of dream full of nostalgia when he plays music. For the rest, Cosmo Cocktail is an Italian music producer, DJ and music enthusiast in all his form and genres.

 HFR: How did you start making music? Could you tell us a bit about your influences?

CC:  My biggest influences in music has been the 80s new wave and goth music, and classic heavy metal. I always listened to these genres of music. I started to make DJ sets only at 30 years old, and I bought my first synthesizer only in 2013 after I discovered on YouTube the great world of synthwave music. I never played an instrument in my life… but I bought it without any target, and I said to myself:”why not?”. For the first year, I played just for fun….then in 2014 I’ve decided to make something serious….and Cosmo Cocktail was born.

HFR: You have just released a new album, Aurora, on Werkstatt Recordings. What can you tell us about the story behind?

CC: “Aurora” has been created for giving a form to my fascination for the conquest of the space, for the love of sci-fi music, and as a tribute to all the Astronauts….. when I was a child my dream was to become an Astronauts! I wanted to create a soundtrack for a space Travel…. And this is “Aurora.”

HFR: What does attract you in space?  

CC: the space is very attractive to me. It is fascinating, Dangerous. Human beings risk their lives to Travel across it. And we know just a minimal part of what is happening out there. Space is infinite, and I think it is too vast for just us on planet Earth. We are not alone….

HFR: What was your approach on writing music for this album? Which are the steps you make when songwriting?

CC: I am very schematic in my workflow, and I always use the same scheme: I set the bpm, and I start from the bassline. The bassline is the most important line of a song of mine. Then I record a basic and not definitive drumline. After I have a structure of the song, I start to build up the track line after line. Sometimes I finish a track in a week working on it 5 hours a day…. Then I listen to it several weeks later, and I modify many things. A curious thing is the last things I add to a song: the drum fills and hi-hats.

HFR: How was it to work with Ideon on the track “Unfamiliar skies?

CC: it was a very quick collaboration! Unfamiliar Skies was ready (with another name and without vocals) since one month. One night I was chatting with Ideon, and listening to his songs. I asked him as a joke: “sing on my song!”. He replied:“send me something now please!”. After three hours the demo of the vocal line was ready. I just fixed some synth lines to create the right space for the voice, and two Days later the song was done. Ideon is very fast to create lyrics and to sing them on an instrumental song. The fun fact is despite the fact that we live both in Italy, we never met in person!

HFR: Could you tell us a bit about your “go to” equipment? What do you use when writing a song and which are your favorite instruments?

CC: I use only hardware instruments. Not a real choice….I am just too lazy to learn how to use a DAW and Vsts! I have a very old School approach to music production….and since synthwave is an 80s inspired music, I try to be 80s also in the production (at last more 80s I can!). I try not to use modern techniques like sidechain and others things…. And I don’t use a real DAW, just a simply Recording software. The reason why I am very slow to produce new music. My favourite synthesizer of my studio is the little Arturia Microbrute. It is a 100% pure analog synth, very aggressive in the sound, very simple to use. And the classic Korg Microkorg. But the most important piece of my studio is the Boss RC-505 loop station. I use it for all my songs.

HFR: Cosmo Cocktail in a near future? Will you do a special live set to showcase your album?

CC:  Yes, I have many things incoming. First of all my first live show. I’ve decided to give to my music the live dimension. It is a mandatory step for me as a musician. I think synthwave scene need and deserve more live concerts! I also have a surprise for Halloween….a very fun surprise. And I will continue with My DJ activity. I don’t know if I will make a new album or an ep in 2018…. I prefer to work day by day and see what happen. Surely I will compose new music and some remixes for other artists.

HFR: Last words?

CC:  I want to say just one thing: synthwave music is the best thing that happened in my life after having met my wife. It really changed many aspects of my life, opened many Doors, gave me the chance to meet new people, Travel, have new targets. Music connects people…. This is simply great. So I want to thanks all the people that I had the LUCKY to met in the scene, both in person or just online. All these guys and girls have a part in Cosmo Cocktail music.

Aurora can be purchased here:

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