Cuco Is Making A Different Kind Of Latin Pop


Photo: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images


Cuco Is Making A Different Kind Of Latin Pop

Meet the 20-year-old artist making dream pop straight out of Southern California.

GRAMMYs/Oct 16, 2018 - 05:25 am

"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)."

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."


Rotimi On Performing At ESSENCE Fest, Growing Up African-American & More



Rotimi On Performing At ESSENCE Fest, Growing Up African-American & More

The Nigerian-American singer and actor sat down with the Recording Academy to talk about what inspired his latest album, 'Walk With Me'

GRAMMYs/Jul 8, 2019 - 10:04 pm

In 2015, Rotimi stepped into the New Orleans Superdome for the first time to experience the magic of ESSENCE Fest. Four years later, in 2019, the "Love Riddim" singer returned to the celebration as a performer, something he said was spoken into existence.

"Last year me and my manager had a conversation and I said, 'Listen, I'm going to be on the [ESSENCE] mainstage this year. 365 days later, we did it," Rotimi told the Recording Academy at the 25th annual ESSENCE Fest.

Rotimi, also an actor on Starz' "Power," has evolved since his last album, 2017's Jeep Music, Vol.1. The singer said he really hit home with its follow-up, the recently released Walk With Me, a project he worked hard for, putting in hours in the studio after filming on set.

"Walk With Me is the first time I actually felt like I was giving myself as an artist, and personally I feel like with everything else I have going on I wanted to show people that this is really what I do," he said. "I wanted people to understand who Rotimi is, who Rotimi was before, who I want to be and just understand my growth and the journey and my passion for what I do."

Part of why the album felt like such a representation of him is because it embodies beats of his African roots, something he said was very present growing up Nigerian-American. 

"I grew up with a lot of Fela Kuti and I grew up with Bob Marley," he said of his musical roots. "But I also grew up with Carl Thomas and Genuine and Usher, so there was a genuine mixture of who I am and what I've grown up to listen to. The actual Walk With Me project was a mixture of influences of Akon and Craig David."

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Allen Hughes' "The Defiant Ones" Wins Best Music Film | 2018 GRAMMY


Allen Hughes' "The Defiant Ones" Wins Best Music Film | 2018 GRAMMY

Director Allen Hughes' four-part documentary takes home Best Music Film honors for its portrayal of the unlikely partnership that changed the music business

GRAMMYs/Jan 29, 2018 - 02:09 am

The team behind The Defiant Ones celebrated a big win for Best Music Film at the 60th GRAMMY Awards. The crew awarded include director Allen Hughes and producers Sarah Anthony, Fritzi Horstman, Broderick Johnson, Gene Kirkwood, Andrew Kosove, Laura Lancaster, Michael Lombardo, Jerry Longarzo, Doug Pray & Steven Williams.

In a year rife with quality music documentaries and series, the bar has been set high for this dynamic category. The Defiant Ones is a four-part HBO documentary telling the story of an unlikely duo taking the music business by storm seems better suited for fantastical pages of a comic book, but for engineer-turned-mogul Jimmy Iovine and super-producer Dr. Dre, it's all truth.The Defiant Ones recounts their histories, their tribulations and their wild success. These include first-hand accounts from those who were there in Iovine's early days, such as Bruce Springsteen and U2's Bono, as well as those on board when Dre and Iovine joined forces, such as Snoop Dogg and Eminem.

The competition was stiff as the category was filled with compelling films such as One More Time With Feeling, Two Trains Runnin', Soundbreaking, and Long Strange Trip. 

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Pearl Jam Named Record Store Day 2019 Ambassadors

Pearl Jam

Photo: Kevin Mazur/


Pearl Jam Named Record Store Day 2019 Ambassadors

Pearl Jam's Mike McCready says "if you love music," record stores are the place to find it

GRAMMYs/Feb 13, 2019 - 04:05 am

Record Store Day 2019 will arrive on April 13 and this year's RSD Ambassadors are Pearl Jam. Past ambassadors include Dave Grohl, Metallica, Run The Jewels (Killer Mike and El-P), and 61st GRAMMY Awards winner for Best Rock Song St. Vincent.

McCready was also the 2018 recipient of MusiCares' Stevie Ray Vaughan Award

The band was formed in 1990 by McCready, Jeff Ament, Stone Gossard, and Eddie Vedder, and they have played with drummer Matt Cameron since 2002. They have had five albums reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and four albums reach No. 2.

"Pearl Jam is honored to be Record Store Day's Ambassador for 2019. Independent record stores are hugely important to me," Pearl Jam's Mike McCready said in a statement publicizing the peak-vinyl event. "Support every independent record store that you can. They're really a good part of society. Know if you love music, this is the place to find it."

With a dozen GRAMMY nominations to date, Pearl Jam's sole win so far was at the 38th GRAMMY Awards for "Spin The Black Circle" for Best Hard Rock Performance.

Pearl Jam will be performing on March 3 in Tempe, Ariz. at the Innings festival, on June 15 in Florence, Italy at the Firenze Rocks Festival and at another festival in Barolo, Italy on June 17. On July 6 Pearl Jam will headline London's Wembley Stadium.

Seattle's Museum Of Pop Culture To Host Pearl Jam Exhibit

Portugal. The Man To Aida Cuevas: Backstage At The 2018 GRAMMYs



Portugal. The Man To Aida Cuevas: Backstage At The 2018 GRAMMYs

Also see James Fauntleroy, Reba McIntire, Latroit, and more after they stepped off the GRAMMY stage

GRAMMYs/Jan 29, 2018 - 05:39 am

What do artists do the moment they walk off the GRAMMY stage from presenting, accepting an award or performing? Now, you can find out.

Take a peak at Album Of The Year GRAMMY winner Bruno Mars, 60th GRAMMY Awards Host James Cordon, Cardi B minutes before her electrifying performance of "Finesse," and more!

Also see Best Pop Duo/Group Performance GRAMMY winners Portugal. The Man posing with their first career GRAMMY Award, Best Roots Gospel Album GRAMMY winner Reba McIntire right after she walked offstage, Best R&B Song GRAMMY winner James Fauntleroy, Best Remixed Recording GRAMMY winner Latroit, and many more, with these photos from backstage during the 60th GRAMMY Awards.

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