It’s been more than a year since Too Cozy re-introduced himself with the introductory debut single ‘Federer’, a nod to Swiss tennis legend Roger Federer, and since then fires up one trap song to the next. Together with his production partners Eyyoeight and BeatsByA, Cozy keeps following a rhythmic streak in dark and dusky trap tones (like in follow-up singles ‘Mud’ and ‘Aua’) which finds its original base in ‘Federer’ – the first ‘proper’ start – like a Grand Slam championship that he compares to the rap game, and a debut that lyrically defines pieces of himself, being a solid introduction to the world.
Originally from the town of Worms, Germany (40 miles from Frankfurt), the German rapper whose artist name describes his cozy attitude, has been involved with music since basically ever, coming from a musical family with a father playing saz, a singing sister and a brother on drums and various other instruments. With a love for rap music, it didn’t take him long to imitate the big ones out there, like his inspirations Bone Thugs-n-Harmony and The Notorious B.I.G., starting first steps to do some raps between 13 to 15 years old, evolving into writing lyrics with his peers later on. From freestyling to a surprise opportunity to perform as opening act for Frankfurt rap group Ćelo & Abdï (not even having music out yet), Cozy and his team eventually changed their ‘rather fun than serious’ rapping attitude to bold moves by building up their own studio.
The encouragement, led by a friend who provided tools so that he could finally ‘do something of his talent’, made new pathways that motivated his surroundings to take part, bringing his brother and cousin along making the beats. This base eventually led everything to each other including the shift of mindset from hobby to professionalism, and gaining positive feedback throughout the transition: “It was always a dream of mine, but when you’re a child and you say you want to be a rapper, it’s always straight downplayed. I think that affected me very strongly, thinking that it probably is only meant for fun. Then in 2019 a friend of mine was ready to build something up, having some money on the side for tools and getting through this. And this was my point I could hold on to, somehow making something serious out of this. It’s easy for people to say they believe in you, but there was no one to lead me by hand, and thanks to my guys and friends that I know since being kids it worked wonders. We are like a family, friends since being kids, freestyling since kids, messing around as kids. That’s how it developed.”
Below, Too Cozy speaks with The Urban Twist about his single ‘Federer’, the lyrical content, music video, climate in music, and his support for other independent artists.
What’s the inspiration behind ‘Federer’?
I was inspired by the discipline of Roger Federer. That’s why I made this song, because to me he’s the king of tennis and I see myself as the king of rap, haha 😉 – at least in my discipline.
I go in there, very banal, “Shorty rock den Mini-Rock, Serena Williams”, because I also enjoyed watching games of Serena and try to catch the listener with the first rhymes and flows, then docking some content about myself and why I am the way I am. I try to catch the listener with the flows, getting them where I want them to be – and giving one or two info about myself without going too deep. I also don’t want to tell too much about myself at once, keeping it a bit mysterious, too. The song is basically about things that happened to me in the past and explaining to people why I am who I am. Cut short, not too detailed, what makes me act and think the way I do and do today. And that’s actually the whole purpose behind it. I take a lot of references from tennis that I’m winning the championship, but it’s actually adapted to the rap game.
Are you a tennis fan?
Yes, not a huge one, but I feel that watching tennis calms you down. The stadium is so full but everyone is focused on the tennis players, and I kind of see myself like these players: Everything around me is full but when I’m starting then everything becomes quiet. Like the Grand Slam, for example. Those are trophies and I kind of compare them to women, rapping lyrics like: “Your b*tch has mood swings all the time because it sucks that you don’t bring it, I land a Grand Slam and have four b*tches.” You know what I mean? That’s when I draw the comparison from tennis into my life and say: “Well, you can’t handle one, but meanwhile Cozy handles four, like that.” It’s also a bit of flex actually. As I said, the content is not too profound because I don’t want to get into the rap section right away where it’s seen as conscious rap or something. For me it’s just fun to just rap a little bit here and there, not about nonsense but also about funny things in general, not taking the whole thing or myself too seriously. To clarify, b*tch can have completely different meanings, and I try to take that out a bit. In Germany if you say b*tch to someone they feel offended but it can be seen from a different context. I always try to include that a little bit, not wanting to offend anybody.
Yeah, sometimes rap lyrics can sound as if they are on the surface, though can have deep layers of content without reaching a ground…
Right, and some listeners just want a mixture of both with a cool beat, cool lyrics, then going very deep in a passage somewhere. And that’s how it goes in ‘Federer’, in between I’ll go deep for a moment about what concerns me, then I just switch it and pull it out when I say “Land the Grand Slam have four b*tches.” People then listen and think: “Ah, ok, how deep does he go now or what does he reveal about himself now?” But then I bust it out again as I’m not a fan of giving too much away from me.
Why did you decide to release ‘Federer’ as your first single?
The song is very low key; no hectic pace, but very cozy, like my artist name. And it’s basically to show people that here I am, and I’ll show you what’s going on. The other songs I worked on are either a bit choleric or uplifting, but on those I’m not really chilled out anymore as it’ll progress a bit more forwards. ‘Federer’ is basically to tease people and make them excited for what’s to come. That’s why I chose the song as the first of three singles I prepared, reason being for its low key character.
We did a pilot project followed by a feature track ‘Bandos’ that I did with Deezy, and after that it became quiet. I was in the self-discovery phase and somehow had to figure out how to move forward without going under, so there was radio silence for a long time. A lot of people asked me “When is something new coming”, and I was always busy tweaking my music, telling them “Wait, it’ll come”, but in the meantime I was at odds with myself. You also don’t want to tell people that there’s nothing right now, because you want them to stay with you. But in the end it was worth waiting for me because during that time the production improved within a year. We recorded it again more professionally with the Broke Boys in Berlin, they are friends of ours and very well known in the hip hop scene in Germany.
And so, that’s how I realized it was worth the wait. However, I did have to work a lot on my patience. I’m maybe very chill, but patience was not so mine. I always wanted everything to go quick and fast, but then every time I somehow got the door slammed in my face. This made me realize I have to chill out a bit, and I think that’s how I come in with my song. I’m basically showing people a sneak preview of what could be coming or what’s still to come and that’s the reason why the song was released first.
Can you explain the concept of the music video:
We shot the music video close to Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and it’s my third music video. The original concept would have been two girls in miniskirts playing a tennis match and me being the referee on an umpire chair using binoculars to follow the game, then later I would sneak away, being in my own world and not wanting to deal with this anymore. The idea was about aesthetics which I like very much. Not to show off or any demeaning views about women, but to showcase the beauty. I’m not a friend of sex sells and is not how I was raised. However, it didn’t go through that way because of the cancellation of one of our actresses, so we decided to make a solo video out of it. I’m a fan of colors so there’s a huge garden, lots of flowers, sculptures, statues, and an indoor pool with a painted sky. I was in Las Vegas at Caesars Palace once, and you walk and walk through this huge hotel and at some point you look up at the ceiling and it looks just like a real sky. I was so flashed by this, and the video’s location had a pool with a ceiling like that which motivated me to shoot there. It’s surreal and also very artistic, and I like art.
In the video I’m also wearing a jacket from Davrilsupply, a hand-made brand from Paris that I discovered on Instagram by chance. I also like to support individual artists, be in music or fashion or something like that, because I see myself in that position too. I’m not an industry kid and want people to acknowledge that I’m humble too, and do everything myself, getting people to support me because of these reasons, too, instead of being another rapper on an assembly line.
Is it hard to keep up as an artist in an Instagram-culture? The world moves so fast these days. You release something and next week comes something else… That’s a bit of a shame.
I noticed this with our first video. We got ten to eleven thousand views in the beginning, and after the third month it dimmed down a bit, and then you’re like ‘Ok, sh*t, now I actually got to add more content!’ And then you’re not ready either, learning in the meantime, etc… You just have to keep up, that’s unfortunately the case. Nowadays it’s overflowing, everything is on Spotify and you don’t even know who or what to follow anymore. Then you only see what’s on the front screen, and as soon as you’re slowing down you fall into a hole and have to fight your way out of it again.
“Federer” is out on all digital platforms. You can stream the single on Spotify here.
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