"Positivity and a celebration of life - that’s basically it man.”
Waltzing in from the streets, Cosmo Pyke carries the crisp air with him. At only 18 years old, he is one of the promising faces arising from the South London music scene. You may recognise him from his time spent on tour with indie-band ‘Jaws’, or from a string of pubs across the country. Gleaming with his trademark grin, we discover his humble beginnings that influence his music. Being born in the same house he lives in today, he hasn’t really left Peckham, except for the odd trip to France; "it’s just community always, no matter what time of the day, you’ll walk down Rye Lane and learn something new from someone”. This honesty soon rubs off, and darts around the studio for photographer Cleo Glover to capture.
With a name like his, of course he has cool parents. His mum played in a comedy trio-feminist band in the Eighties, so even in the womb he was never far from a guitar. As we wander into that realm behind his open gaze, he speaks softly against the currents of misogyny and racism in trap music; his style is a dreamy mix of laid-back beats and words that ring like poetry. There is a quality of the imperfect that threads through his work, as home style recordings and beats made in his bedroom add another layer of authenticity. With his latest EP ‘Social Sites’ being produced by the legendary Fraser T Smith, he rubs shoulders with awe-inspiring names such as King Krule and Rejjie Snow. They’re just a bunch of artists from his area, but even when bumping into them in the local pub he has an innate curiosity to look and listen from the sidelines.
This drive to absorb knowledge from all sources has always been a facet of his being; from his summers spent at music camp as a child, to his cameo in Frank Ocean’s ‘Nikes’ video. Morals of love and respect for diversity have left him a modern day hippie, with an edge of a strong work ethic. Performing is his therapy, as his connection to his guitar acts as a blurring of spirits; the cuts on his fingers an emblem of his refusal to use a guitar pick; “it’s adrenaline when you’re on stage, but when you’re off stage it’s euphoria”. Stylist Rickardo Mattocks-Maxwell fuses his new age pacifism with nostalgic streetwear and modernised workwear.
Cosmo's best advice for upcoming musicians? Get in the way of everyone you want to be with; “Like how Basquiat was talking about Andy Warhol - he was like 'I wanna box with that guy one day'. That sums it up for me, aim to box with your biggest inspiration, treat them as your competitor.” We’ll see you in the ring. You can listen to Cosmo’s latest EP, ‘Social Sites’ here.