Photo: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images
Cuco Is Making A Different Kind Of Latin Pop
"I'm like stupid emotional," Cuco says in a Genius video wearing his signature large glasses and shaggy hair. "I think art is what keeps an artist able to express their emotions and not go crazy." Cuco's music is dream pop straight out of Southern California and "stupid emotional" is exactly how you'll feel listening to his atmospheric, mellow synth, oldies-inspired beats, topped with emotional lyrics. On "Lo Que Siento" he sings "And nobody's touch and nobody's lips can make me feel like yours do/Our hands in a lock, nuestros labios se conocen (Our lips meet)."
SUPP BABYYYYY CHECK IT OUT https://t.co/IZ6Gb0qfU6
— CUCO (@Icryduringsex) May 4, 2018
The Hawthorne, Calif. native is a self-produced multi-instrumentalist who grew up listening to Chicano rappers like Lil' Rob and MC Magic, both smooth rappers that jump from English to Spanish throughout their verses. MC Magic's music stands out for his use of synthesizers. You hear bits and pieces of the genre's influence in Cuco's music, who himself is Mexican-American. Other influences include Tame Impala. He launched into the spotlight with a cover of Santo & Johnny's "Sleepwalk" and has since garnered a following of thousands on social media.
"I will never underestimate the strength of a fan-girl ever again. They're wild," his manager Doris Munoz told the L.A. Times about the rise of his following. The 20-year-old artist's sentimental vibe connects mostly with young Latinas and thus has been dubbed a "heart-throb."
Rolling Stone captured Cuco's role in the music industry well: "In a music industry that’s been cashing in on more urban genres like reggaeton and Latin trap, acts like Cuco represent an alternative dimension of Latin pop that’s picking up steam in United States."
But, Cuco doesn't want to be pigeon-holed. "It's cool, like I'm super open to doing things for like my people, my own culture, but ultimately I make music for everybody," he told the Fader.
Cuco is currently recovering from an accident that happened in early October and has canceled the rest of his 2018 tour.
Learn more about Cuco's sound:
"Lover Is A Day"
"Lover Is A Day" is the song Cuco is most proud of. The song "did so well like I never even though it would do so well, it kind of got me out there," he told Teal magazine.
"Lo Que Siento"
"Lo Que Siento" or "What I Feel" was inspired by Chicano rappers Lil' Rob and MC Magic. I just heard the chord progression for “Lo Que Siento” in kind of a way where it’s mixed with a lot of Chicano rap. But then there’s also that indie side of it with guitars and all that other bullshit. It was just in the moment," he told Genius.
"Amor De Siempre"
This all Spanish-language song has Cuco singing about waking up next to his lover and looking into her eyes. "When I look at those eyes, that's where I want to live/ If you kiss me, that's where I want to die."