It is another Konnect Africa Interview.
Let me ask you – Do you know the African country called Cape Verde or Cabo Verde? When you check on Google, this is what you will find –
Cape Verde, or Cabo Verde, is a nation on a volcanic archipelago off the northwest coast of Africa. It’s known for its Creole Portuguese-African culture and morna music. Its many beaches are jumping-off points for windsports and diving among shipwrecks. Its largest island, Santiago, is home to the current capital, Praia, and the old capital, Cidade Velha, with its clifftop fortress.
Today, we bring to you our Interview with a top musician in that country who is making waves over there. His name – Ell Cosme. He shared with us how he got started, what drives him and gave us his perspective on a number of issues. You can’t but be inspired by his story.
Relax. Enjoy. Be Inspired.
Hello ELL Cosme. It is great to have you with us. Tell us about yourself – your family, ethnicity, education, hobbies etc…
I come from a very small village on a very small island. As you know, Cabo Verde is divided by 10 islands, and my island’s name is São Nicolau and most of the people are poor. My family did have food every day, but we had our needs too.
My family was large; my mother had six children; I have five brothers and one sister. My father died when I was three–so growing up wasn’t easy, I had to sacrifice a lot; I had to do a lot; and had to grow up fast. But I never gave up on my dream to be a singer. My first hobby is singing; I don’t see it as work because i love it. I love the exercise–swim, yoga, meditation.
In a short time, you have become a celebrated musician in Cabo Verde, How did your musical journey begin?
I was always into music since I was a little boy. I used to sing along to songs, but I never thought I could do it professionally until I was around 15-16 when I met some guys who liked music too and they wanted to make music.
So we started doing hip hop. But doing music in Cabo Verde isn’t easy and some of the guys had to stop to take care of life’s responsibilities. I even stopped for a while, but I never left music. I got a job at a radio station as a deejay, and I got to study beats and music. So when when I was about 19-20, I started going to professional recording studios to record my music.
What would you say is your style of music and how many songs have you released?
I don’t have a style. I sing whatever I feel; but the style I love the most to sing is Kizomba and R&B. I love music in general; I like to listen to American classics–old school, American R&B, and Cabo Verdean traditional music.
I have released five songs. They are: –
“Koza Sab” (https://www.youtube.com/
“Amor Na Club” (https://www.youtube.com/
“Verão (Curtição)” (https://www.youtube.com/
“I Love You More” (https://www.youtube.com/
“Love Me Like You Do” (https://www.youtube.com/
What would you say is the secret of the success you have enjoyed so far?
It’s Love. When you do something with love, it always comes out good. And if you have a dream, set a goal, and fight for it. You have to fight because it doesn’t come easy.
What is your biggest achievement since you started out in Music?
Well, my biggest achievement is that I performed in one of the biggest festival on my Island. This was special because it was my home Island. I also got to sing for around 10,000 people in a festival on Santiago Island; and having so many people sing along to your songs and enjoy your performance is a feeling like none other.
But for me that was just a compliment; the biggest achievement is when I see children singing my songs, people recognizing my music, it being played on the radio, and my friends giving me to the encouragement to keep going — I think this is the best achievement.
What are two (2) of the major challenges you have encountered in your Music career thus far and how did you overcome them?
There are so many challenges that I cannot count them, but the first challenge in producing. It’s so hard to produce here in Cabo Verde. It’s a small place, and so few choices. I overcome it by building my own studio, Koza Sab Music.
Another challenge is getting paying shows; everyone wants shows but no one wants to pay.
You also have a few promoters/managers who control the big festivals and they tend to only put the artists they manager. And if you are not signed to them, you don’t get the big shows–and if you are signed to them, you have a bad contract. It’s a shame because with music, you should not have such a stain on music industry especially in a little country like Cabo Verde.
This is the part I hate the most about the business of music — when people try to block your music even when it is good music.
Music is now big business on the African continent. How can a musician maximize the business opportunities in the Industry?
When you talk about Africa, you talk about some big countries. But Cabo Verde is a very small country which makes it more difficult, so you have to perform outside of Cabo Verde.
What do you enjoy most about being a Musician?
That I get to express myself, and that people can relate to and enjoy my music.
For African Youths who are interested in venturing into Music, what candid advice would you give them?
Do it for love, don’t forget it is art and it might not be accepted by everyone. Do it for love, do it from the heart.
How do you receive inspiration?
My inspiration comes from everything — life, a moment, from another person, from love–especially love.
Where do you see the brand ELL Cosme in 5 years?
That’s not difficult question. I see myself as the biggest artist in Cabo Verde; and maybe in 10 years, (biggest artist) in the world.
Can you give us a peep into what your typical day looks like?
I woke up about 6.oo am, when I don’t record too late. I walk my dog for an hour, come home and then about 8 or 9, I go to the beach to exercise until like midday or 1pm’
I do yoga, swim, meditate. When I come home, I take care of the house, maybe cook–I like to cook my own food because I am into healthy stuff.
I rest and then I start music, and I do it until whenever. I get inside the studio and I lock the door and throw the key out.
Not really, in Cabo Verde we don’t really have mentors. In Cabo Verde you have to stand for yourself .
For you, Life is….
Africa will rise when…..
We start befriending each other.
What is that one thing you would like every African youth to know? Inspire a young African in a sentence
That Africa is big, but it is only big when we make it big — Don’t think less about Africa. Africa is a true power.
Is there anything I didn’t ask that you’d like the readers to know?
I have new projects coming for this summer–a mix tape mostly R&B and I am working on it now.
Also, you can follow me on twitter @Ell_Cosme,
Listen to me on soundcloud https://soundcloud.com/eder-
Connect with me on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ellcosmemusic/?fref=ts, and
See my videos on Youtube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCA094jmCRLEujOhug5iHO-w
Many thanks for sharing with us, Ell Cosme
You are welcome. Thanks for having me on KonnectAfrica.Net
Thins is awe-inspiring. what a lovely interview.
Much love, George