Raw talent from Peckham, and creator of the sublime ‘South Of Heaven’ mixtape
Enough wallowing, enough bottling. Cosima is finally letting it all out – the domineering boyfriends, the pent-up ennui, the pressures of modern womanhood.
“Throughout history there have always been crazy expectations about what a woman’s body is supposed to look like and how a woman should behave,” Peckham’s neo-Sade says of her song ‘Girls Who Get Ready’, an incisive attack on capitalism’s ‘bodymorphic’ plot. “For a decade of my life I’ve been trying to change – so have all of my friends – and that’s f**ked up. You have generations of women who hate themselves and literally do everything to distance themselves from the person they are. But if you have empowered women who love themselves, how are you going to get kids to buy the thing that you tell them ‘this is what makes you love yourself and this is what makes boys love you’?”
Cosima jabbers with the relief of an artist unleashed. She’s been creating in private since she was 10, writing poetry while singing Ella Fitzgerald tunes, then combining the two in her own music. For years she perfected her material and took singing lessons before sneaking one track called ‘Don’t Touch Me’ onto SoundCloud and being snapped up by Island Records. During 2016 she dripped her innermost emotions onto the web in the form of lustrous space-age soul confessionals that explored her struggles with self-image (debut single ‘Had To Feel Something’ addressed her depression and “acknowledging that you’re a person that gets sad and that’s OK”) and her constant internal battle between self-respecting woman and doting doormat.
“You have a primal thing,” she says of the sexual subjugation at the root of ‘Hymns For Him’. “It should be a fun thing, but loads of girls have anxiety about it. There’s this side of me that’s like, ‘Please love me, what can I do to make you love me?’, but that song is me trying to understand at which point I find the other side of me that says, ‘This is enough, this is not how I want to be treated.’ The relationship you have with a guy says so much about the relationship that you have with yourself. It’s always been about working out, ‘Why do I hate myself so much that I let you treat me like s**t?’”
Sharing is the key. Finally, Cosima played her first gig in October, and it all made sense. “I was just desperate to stand in front of people and sing to them. It felt really freeing. You just exhale and think, ‘I’m happy.’” About time too.
From: Peckham, London
Buy: Single ‘To Build A House’ is out now
Live: Bussey Building, London (May 3)