TheMineArchive810: Growth, Empowerment & the Seeking of Self Awareness
It was Orientation Week and all the Freshmen gathered into the auditorium to get to know each other. See, the university I attended is known for its musical talents, so it was no surprise when a few of the students took the stage and began to sing. One of those students, was Britni. I remember turning to Rachael and saying, "This girl can sing!" In the years since, Britni has taken her talent to the next level. Now going by the stage name Cozmeduse (pronounced co-zē med-ōōsa), I caught up with her to talk about her latest release: TheMineArchive810.
Jode-Leigh: Do you remember the first time you wrote a song? Tell me about that.
Cozmeduse: Like most artists, the singing began at a fairly young age for me. I was always very much drawn to music more than my siblings. I figured everyone was like me when it came to music and singing, to be honest. I remember being pretty young, I'd say around 8 when I wrote my first song and it was a song I sang my little sister asleep to. I don't know how she could have ever fallen asleep to this tune because it was basically about a cheating boyfriend *laughs* we all remember this song very thoroughly to this day, it's absolutely ridiculous! When my dad found out I wrote a song, he went nuts. He tried to record me and everything but I just wasn't having it. I was very shy. I didn't think I could sing, I just genuinely loved doing it.
J: I learned that you produced and wrote each song. I think that is so dope. Tell me about that creative process.
C: Yes, well between writing, producing, and singing, this EP TheMineArchive810 was definitely a learning process for me as well. I'd say I'm in the beginning stages of producing. I used to do it a bit in high school and then I stopped for a long period of time. Now I'm just warming up, getting comfortable again. My creative process is very fluid and very meditative. I spend a lot of time in silence because that's the easiest way to truly listen to what it is that I'm going to write. It usually comes as a surprise but one word after the other, I've got a song.
J: What was the inspiration behind the cover art for TheMineArchive810?
C: Auri, my baby girl, my niece. The cover is a picture of her. We were in the car and we were listening to music, waiting for her mother. She was leaned back singing to Anita Baker and it was such a precious moment that I tried to hurry and pull out my camera before she noticed. I literally took only two pictures before my phone died. When I turned my phone back on, I thought to myself, "Wow, this is the cover for my EP".
J: I love Martyrs. What is it about? What was the inspiration behind the title, the song?
C: I love Martyrs too! I wrote it back in 2013 with "Adams" and "Eves" in mind but came back to it in 2015. I was beginning to put into practice a lot of the things I had learned that year and it had really begun to open my eyes to who I really am and what I wanted from myself. The song was about an "Eve" stimulating an "Adam's" mind in hopes that he finds himself too. Sometimes that doesn't always happen. We fall victim to our environment or become content in who we think we are that we're even so stubbornly, willing to die for thought processes that were never ours. Either way, the martyr dies righteous because he/she believes it to be. That's just the way it goes. That's a Martyr.
J: I think it’s always a bonus when an artist has many layers to them. Not only can you sing, but you have an amazing style. How has your style evolved? Do you have any style icons? Who are they?
C: My style has evolved tremendously, I'd say. My sisters would think otherwise *laughs*. My style icons are definitely a mixture of talented individuals in no order like Lisa Bonnet & Lenny Kravitz in the early 80s, Jimmy Hendrix, Willow and Jaden, Solange, Sly Stone, TLC, 90s Mariah, Gwen Stefani, Debbie Harry. I even get inspired by styles from different movies I've watched growing up like the movie Clueless, Spice Girls mixed with Winona Ryder in Beetle Juice or Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction. It's all just fun to me, I don't take it too seriously because I know I can make many things look good. I'm all about designs and textures.
J: Musically, who inspires you?
C: Hmm, I would definitely say Nina Simone, Billy Holiday, Duke Ellington, Anita Baker, The Temptations, Minnie Ripperton, The Delfonics, The Lovelites...all the way to the more current like Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson, Toni Braxton, Brandy, D.Angelo, India Arie, Erykah Badu, J.Dilla, Kanye, Little Dragon, Fleet Foxes and many more.
J: You remind me of Solange a lot. Have you gotten that before?
C: I actually have gotten that a few times and I'm always very flattered. She is an amazing artist and I'm very thankful for her music, especially her last album.
J: Solange, in her recent interview with her sister Beyoncé, talked about having a distinctive, clear vision on how she wanted to present her body, voice and her perspective. How do you protect your creativity and ensure that the vision you have is brought out?
C: As far as I'm concerned my message protects itself. Anyone who tries to uproot this message of growth would be noticeably forcing it. I don't write or create with very many people. I like it this way. Because I have a very clear message and great intent, I think that anyone trying to go against that grain would easily weed themselves out. I am my own mother and I watch out after myself as such.
J: What do you hope listeners take away from this project?
C:Well, to start off, you know a lot of people in the western world make sounds/music irresponsibly and those sounds do have effects on our environment. Including the physical environment but also including the Flora and the Fauna in the physical environment. We know plants respond to sound, we know animals and certainly human beings do, but as far as I'm concerned, no one has yet tried to integrate that into our use of sounds. No one has tried to integrate healing tones and sounds into music in the western world. TheMineArchive810 is encouraging this exactly; to stimulate growth, encourage empowerment, and seek self-awareness through the use of sounds.
Take a listen to Cozmeduse's EP above!