Release Date: Jul 26, 2019
Record label: Interscope
"I'm only interested in a label if they come through with whatever terms I send them," Cuco told Rolling Stone last year. Interscope must have come through. According to Billboard, the 21-year-old bedroom-pop songwriter signed a seven-figure deal with the label, which promised him freedom and flexibility. That's as much a testament to Omar Banos' devoted fanbase as it is an admission by the suits that they no longer care to dictate the conversation.
Cuco really doesn't have any interest in the drama. As his album title readily shouts out: good vibes only, please. Even following personal trauma in the form of a serious car accident requiring a lengthy healing process, a period in which much of his debut was recorded, he remained defiantly, well, chill. When he does feel down, weed, acid, and shrooms are the answer, obviously.
Waves of dreamy synths, vintage drum machines, and friendly vocal harmonies shifting between Spanish and English made up a series of self-produced mixtapes and singles from California's bedroom pop polymath Omar Banos, professionally known as Cuco. His warm, blurry style combined warbly Mac DeMarco-reminiscent guitar tones, muted beats, and strains of bossa nova, synth pop, lovestruck singer/songwriter fare, and even moments of pop-rap. The charming and infectious sound of these homespun productions was enough to stir up a massive buzz and a good old-fashioned bidding war over who would sign the young talent.
Being dubbed the "King of Gen Z R&B" at just 21 years old is no small feat, and LA-based Cuco certainly has a lot of accomplishments already under his belt. He's a solo indie pop producer - starting out playing in his bedroom - singer-songwriter and musician, gifted in creating atmosphere and vibe. Take 'Feelings', for example, a seemingly '70s inspired track constructing a decidedly trippy mood, the woozy 'Hydrocodone' - written about feelings of isolation after a car accident - and the uplifting Latin-influenced beats in 'Bossa No Sé'.