Recently turned 19-year-old Cuco only began releasing music late 2016, but has been playing music his whole life. The performer, born Omar Banos, has lived his whole life in the Los Angeles district of Hawthorne and began playing guitar, bass, drums, keyboards and horns at the age of 8. This summer, his crooning love-songs that blend both English and Spanish verses together has caught the big time and Cuco is performing in front of sold-out crowds for the first time in his life. Key to Banos is writing of his feelings. “It’s cool to be in your feelings and it’s cool to be sad and it’s cool to feel all of these things,” he says. In regards to his signature sound, Cuco tells how he “grew up listening to a lot of Chicano rap like MC Magic, Lil Rob, and Baby Bash and that music had a lot of oldies elements to it and stuff like that… Production-wise, it’s more on that oldies vibe like that Smokey Robinson type of stuff. Old school, but at the same time a lot of post-production because I also use a lot of 808s, but I just pitch them so it sounds like an old drum machine.”
Cuco has released two mixtapes so far, 2016’s Wannabewithu and 2017’s Songs4u with a full-length only in the early stages. Banos recently chatted with B-Sides host, Pete Mar, during his tour stop in Oakland, CA about his sudden rise to prominence and more.