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Kosmo Kint’s Musical Odyssey, From NYC To Berlin 

Written by on June 28, 2023

International R&B and soul artist Kosmo Kint showcases his mesmerizing and melodic sound on his debut LP Groove Religion.

Hailing from New York City, Kosmo Kint now calls Berlin his home. Kosmo is part of a new generation of R&B artists; his music is a heartfelt expression of the soul. Although he released his debut LP, Groove Religion, in May, his artistic journey spans decades. He began his musical training at 9 years old while attending Boston’s New England Conservatory of Music, immersing himself in the world of opera singing until he was 21. Notably, he was also part of Elton John’s choir during the early 2000s for several performances at Radio City Music Hall in New York.

Kosmo Kint, courtesy of the artist.

Kosmo’s decision to move to Berlin was driven by the belief he would truly flourish in the city’s artistic haven. Berlin’s appreciation and protection of all forms of art, coupled with its affordability for artists, convinced Kosmo to transform what was initially a short-term break from the bustling streets of New York into his permanent dwelling.

“I heard from so many people on my travels saying that I belonged in Berlin,” he revealed. “But it wasn’t ‘til I met a lover from Berlin that I then tested it out. Everyone was right, it’s my town.”

One of his particularly captivating songs off Groove Religion, “Good Thangs,” featuring Sam Ruffilo, was featured on Vocalo’s June “In Rotation” playlist. The track, alongside the entire project, beautifully exemplifies why his soulful blend of electronic and R&B seamlessly integrates into Berlin’s vibrant music scene. Kosmo credits his life experiences and spirituality as a significant source of inspiration for his music.

During a virtual conversation with Vocalo, Kosmo Kint shared insights into his opera training, the creative process behind Groove Religion and his fruitful collaborations with producers. He passionately discussed Berlin’s thriving music scene, and outlined his plans for future performances.

What inspired you to move from NYC to Berlin? 

To be honest, it was just by chance. I was initially just taking a four to six month pause from NYC’s music scene, then I heard from so many people on my travels saying that I belonged in Berlin. But it wasn’t ‘til I met a lover from Berlin that I then tested it out. Everyone was right, it’s my town.

How do the music scenes in NYC and Berlin compare? Do you feel like you prefer one to the other?

We are looking at a cultural explosion via NYC, vs. just the standard cultural mixes that happen in Berlin. Then it’s the mixture of African culture in Europe vs. African American culture in the USA. It’s a bit more diverse and evolved, only because of the length of time that culture’s evolved in the USA.

Favorite thing that they have in Berlin that we don’t have in the States, and vice versa? 

I would say that the music subjects — AKA what the songs are about – are more forgiving in Europe vs. America. Things don’t really need to be about hustling and sex to get play in Europe, but also you don’t make nearly the same as you do as a songwriter in America. So everything has its pluses and minuses.

What’s your favorite place that you’ve traveled to, or a couple favorites if you can’t narrow it down? 

Hoi An in Vietnam is a town full of magic. Also Berlin, for its freedom of expression and cost of artist living. I was just in Egypt, which is also super magical. I was meditating in the pyramids – that also has a special, recharging feeling. 

Would you say the places you’ve traveled to have had an influence on you and your sound, or are they very separate things?

Well my family’s country is Trinidad and Tobago. My dad’s father helped influence the advancement and evolution of the steel pan, and he’s considered a pioneer. Also being brought up in Harlem, I would say, gave me my soulful touch.

Where do you typically draw influence from when making music? 

Myself, God, what’s happening in my life. 

Kosmo Kint, courtesy of the artist.

We saw you studied opera singing. What inspired you to study opera? Do you integrate it into your own music in any way, or use any of those lessons learned in your music-making process now? 

So opera just came as a natural evolution of being at the Professional Performing Arts School in NYC. They want all their kids to have a solid foundation in the art they’re studying. However, I just had a natural grasp of it, and it kinda took off. However, besides birthday parties, and for a small party trick, I don’t really dabble too much in opera anymore.

Tell us a little bit about the making of Groove Religion. Where did the idea for this LP come from? What was the most difficult part of the process? The easiest? 

In reverse, the easiest was that I had the freedom due to corona to slowly think of lyrics and a journey for the album. The difficult part was having to email it back and forth between the collaborative artists vs not being able to be in the studio sauce, all together. The idea comes from just my journey of a breakup to me redefining my values and focus, to shaking off my problems by joining the groove religion. This is a vibe I feel that everyone can sorta understand or have been through. I’m just trying to be a reminder for the things we already know.

You covered such a large range of sounds on your album and merged them all together so seamlessly. Is there anything you do specifically to make everything work together so cohesively? 

I trust in myself, and believe what I’m channeling to be medicine for some. Then it just flows. 

What’s your favorite song on the album? Favorite to perform? 

To be honest, my favorite is “Groove Religion,” or “Invincible,” or, lol, maybe “Only Get Better,” because they all are quite upbeat. Plus, I get back into the mode of why I wrote the songs.

Can you tell us what your creative process looks like when making songs like “Good Thangs”? 

I remember listening to it, and I was like, “THIS IS A CHURCH SONG. How can I give people the inspiration that gospel gives, but not being too preachy? Because I don’t want people who aren’t religious to not be able to connect.” So I found a common thought and let creation happen. “Good Thangs” was born that way.  

How has working with the toy tonics been for you? 

You know, labels are tricky. Of course, it’s amazing being part of a young label that’s really growing fast with hype. I also think that it’s a challenge being on a label that’s not really solely for live singers, but more a vinyl DJ-friendly label. So it’s a constant pattern of attempting and readjusting but also doing a lot alone. Regardless, I am blessed for being on the label, and [for] what it’s taught me thus far.

What’s next for you – any live shows on the horizon? Already working on anything new yet? Let listeners know! 

So I just performed at Melt, alongside Bicep, Solomun and a few other electronic giants. However, my mom died two months ago, and I haven’t had time to rest and really be calm, heal and move on, so I am gonna take some time off. Just a month, travel with my dad, focus on my web project Lostclubtoys.com and then hop back into the sauce. 

First, I need to do whatever it takes to find a booker that believes in my sound, then I am thinking of hopping over to LA and doing a few months there, build a team that can really give my music a chance to be heard, while performing and starting to create album number two. I am blessed, and thank you all for your support. Blessings to you all.

Keep up with Kosmo Kint on Instagram and stream his music on Spotify below.

Interview and written introduction by Omi Salisbury

Answers edited for length and clarity by Morgan Ciocca

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