RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW NEW YORK ARTIST COUVO
What made you decide to become an artist?
Being wildly unhinged, coupled with delusions of grandeur. Any sane human would’ve stopped doing this a long time ago.
That said, I wouldn’t change anything.
Introduce us to your musical history.
I started teaching myself how to play piano when I was 11 or so after I heard Something Corporate for the first time. Been off to the races ever since.
What’s the best piece of advice you have received in the music industry?
To be honest, people don’t really give me much advice when it comes to music. But there’s one thing that my old guitarist, Jackson Bell, once told me that’s always stuck with me: if you’re playing music, you’re in the soul-winning business. All that matters is you go out there and you put on a show that makes the crowd feel something all the way down into their souls.
Did you buy anything you don’t need in the pandemic? If so, what?
I bought a pizza oven. However, I think pizza ovens are a necessity,and it’s something everyone should have. If I ever run for office, I’d run on one promise: pizza ovens for the people!
Do you subscribe to any conspiracy theories?
I am convinced the mob and the CIA were at least partly responsible for the JFK assassination. This may or may not be related to the fact that Libra by Don DeLillo is one of my favorite novels. Maybe it’s time to re-read that one.
What support is out there for new artists in Brooklyn?
In no particular order: Pet Rescue, Hart Bar, and Sam Sumpter from Bandsbobk.
What are your views on the UK music scene and its history?
You guys did punk before even knew what the fuck was good. There’s a way that British music is able to deal with issues of class and inequality that has always been very inspiring to me, whether we’re talking about The Clash or Elvis Costello or The Arctic Monkeys–it’s always there, permeating the songs. And that’s something I’ve always wanted to do in my own music as well.
Who is inspiring you at the minute on the New York unsigned scene?
Raavi, Warehouser, almost sex, The Thing, The Plebs–the list goes on
If you had to describe your music to an alien how would you describe them?
Imaginary architecture made up of squiggly moving air that’s designed to one thing, and one thing only: to remind you that you’re still alive, that one tiny fact that can be so easy to forget.
What advice would you give someone going into the music industry?
It’s a marathon and it’s a goddamn war of attrition. Just focus on what you’re good at and keep doing that.
What’s your biggest achievement as an artist?
This album I’m in the process of releasing this. It’s called The Drinks Are Always Free in Purgatory, and it’s the clearest distillation I’ve ever made of who I am, and what I’ve always wanted to communicate to the world.
What’s your favourite song to play live and why?
Visiting Hours. The second half of that song goes really hard. I think a lot of people who know my music expect it to be this soft singer/songwriter set when they see me live. Which is sometimes true. But sometimes, me and the band go absolutely nuts. Thai song gives me a chance to capture both of those vibes in one piece of music.
What can you tell us about your new single?
This song is a retelling of all the thoughts I had running through my head one morning when I woke up in someone’s bed on Devoe Street. It was during a summer when I was broke and unemployed and I remember just lying there, wondering what I was doing with my life and where I was going. But it’s also my attempt to find meaning out of my life and the aimlessness I felt. It’s a discovery of the beauty that’s entwined in our day-to-day suffering, and our collective ability to imagine a better world, despite the constant onslaught of pain that should make any sane person feel hopeless. There’s salvation in our ability to continue to dream of something better.
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the single/album?
Learning how to sing in the studio was very, very difficult for me. Such a different vibe than when you’re singing live.
Would you change anything now that it’s finished?
If I were to let myself look too closely, I’m sure I’d want to change everything. But an album, to me, is all about capturing a snapshot of a time and place–the imperfections are part of that.
What are your plans for the year ahead?
I’m releasing new songs every month until the album comes out in September!
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
I’ve got a lot of music coming out this year that means a lot to me, and I hope it might mean something to all of you as well. Make sure to follow me on social to stay up to date on when the next song is coming out. Because you really, really, are not going to want to miss it–it’s one of my favorites.