Joseph Cosmo is Seint, a musician who creates expansive, atmospheric electronic soundscapes with contemporary pop flourishes. More recently, he has dipped his toe into the Icelandic rap scene with the textured, collaborative new album ‘IV.’ Here are some of the influences that helped Joseph become the musician he is today.
My family and friends
I grew up in a poor household in 111 Reykjavík. My parents divorced early, but my dad was around most of the time. My mother was probably the first woman—if not one of the first people in Reykjavík—to have a home studio. So everything I learned about a DIY lifestyle, I learned from her. My father, being a legend in the music world, made a hit record in Abbey Road studios with his punk band, The Adverts. I was brought up knowing that anything is possible. Having a younger sister and older brother made me learn duality early in my life, and having so many amazing friends who have travelled with me into music—never caring about money—often made me feel that I was lacking nothing.
I know this has never really been a cool factor in the artist community—or pop and music culture in general—but my mother brought me up following Jesus and his teachings. And I have never turned my back on those beliefs. This love directly affects my artistry and always has. Jesus is still the biggest rock star in the world; no one will ever top that. I mean come on, it’s 2019 years later and he’s still relevant. No joke—I really doubt Cobain or Tupac will still be as important in 2000 years. Just saying.
Watching ‘The Terminator’ for the first time as a child really scared the shit out of me—but it also opened up the door to a dark, obscure artistic place. Before that, there was only Disney. For a kid, that contrast is intense.
In 2007, when Kanye’s ‘Graduation’ came out, it re-opened the door for me into the world of hip hop. I grew up in the ‘90s on the old school hip hop, now known as boom bap, listening to artists like Nas, Wu-Tang, Tupac, Cypress Hill, etc. I dropped out when nu metal came to be. So in 2001, I crossed over into the rock world. Funny how trends are cyclical.
Where do I start? The original Star Wars trilogy is just a part of my character. I still go to sleep so many nights with those films playing on the screen. I was eight years old when I saw Star Wars for the first time and I love the movies to this day—maybe even more. You know that you’re a true nerd when you’ve watched the “making of” documentaries more than twice.
Hardcore and metal
I was a part of a very productive scene growing up. Radical ideas were an everyday discussion and mosh-pits and singalongs went on at every show. I feel so blessed and lucky to have been a part of that, and to have been in two very prolific bands from that scene—I Adapt and Celestine. So many good memories.
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