Blisspop recently exchanged e-mails with Cosmo of the Australian production duo, Cosmo’s Midnight, ahead of their North American “Can U Dig It” tour. We discussed a myriad of musical topics such as: production gear, their creative inspirations, approaches to sampling, and becoming a breakout electronic artist in the United States. For tickets and more information about their upcoming tour, check out their website for more details.
If you were stranded on a desert island with one piece of music gear what would it be?
Honestly we’d just take a laptop, so we can listen to our fav tunes and work on music. One instrument never feels like enough. But I could put all that time into getting way better at guitar so there’s that too.
With the “Can U Dig It” North American tour is coming up in June, you announced on Instagram that you’re debuting your live show at select festivals. How’s your process of translating your studio productions to a live set? For example, are you triggering beats and performing live instruments on top or do you have a drummer?
So basically we play parts from the songs that we feel are most enjoyable for us to perform and for people to watch. To make this all work live, I play bass and lead guitar as well as keys. Pat also plays keys but mainly drums (spd – roto toms, gogo bells, woodblocks) all the stuff you need to zazz it up on the fly.
Can you each share music that is inspirational to you and why?
We’re enjoying the production of badbadnotgood and The Free Nationals recently. Especially on the records of Kali Uchis, Daniel Caesar and Genesis Owusu.
Since you were able to successfully clear a N.E.R.D. sample on your latest record (way to go!), I’d love your thoughts on the role of sampling in your music. How does it impact your songwriting process? Any tips for how to avoid sample clearance issues?
Well I love sample culture but credit where credits due. I feel if you didn’t obscure the sample enough or introduce enough new elements for it to really take a life of its own then you can’t really expect to not pay for someone else’s work. Regardless of sampling, I’d say everyone has artists or eras of music they draw from. For us clearing the N.E.R.D. sample was easier because we re-recorded it and changed all the instrumentation. It also helped that Pharrell was feeling good about it haha.
I’ve noticed a lot of influential Australian artists, such as yourselves, are crossing over to America, gaining fans and gaining attention on a global scale. When did you realize you were gaining traction in America, and how did that happen for you?
It’s easier than ever now to know how you’re doing overseas with stuff like Apple and Spotify showing you where your plays are coming from, but it was really reaffirming when we started selling out shows over in the US. We were like, “Hey people seem to like us here now.”
While you’re on the road are you cooking up beats? Any new music planning to drop soon? In addition to your upcoming tour, is there anything that we should be on the lookout for?
We’re always writing, we’ve got demos, edits and remixes in our live show but we’re really excited to drop some of the tunes we’ve been working on since C.U.D.I.