Upcoming Artists: Frankie Cosmos

Hi Greta! Could you explain your background a bit? When did you start playing and how come you became a musician?
I started playing piano when I was around six years old. My family supported my brother and I in our music studies, which started at a very early age.

With what kind of music did you grow up with? Your sounds reminds me of The Moldy Peaches or Daniel Johnston.
I grew up hearing James Taylor, The Police or The Beatles, which is the music my parents always used to listen to at home. Later, when we were a bit bigger, my brother started showing me some music and I first heard about The Moldy Peaches or Daniel Johnston when I was around 12, so this sound has been with me for a very long time.

You’re very young but you’ve already recorded many songs, something like 50 EPs in only years. Where does this desire to record come from?
It might come from a compulsive place. It’s just an urge to keep track of my life and have a sort of an archive through music. I started playing music as a game, and it still kind of is a game for me, that is why I make so many songs, because, for me, it is just fun. If it weren’t fun and something I enjoyed, I wouldn’t be making music in the first place.

The choice of the name Frankie Cosmos is not accidental; your real name is Greta Kline (that would still be a nice name for a band)…
The name comes from an nickname that my boyfriend made up after I showed him the poet Frank O’Hara, by whom I was very fascinated at the time. Then the band name grew from that.

What role does art play in your life? It looks as it were extremely important to you…
This is a tough question! It plays a huge role, both in what I personally make as well as for the people I surround myself with. All the people I know are in some way artists or care deeply about art. I don’t think I know anyone who doesn’t care about it, so it is sort of my basic environment in which I live and work every day.

You play a lot of instruments…During your concerts do you play all of them or just one? And when you record, what kind of equipment do you use?
We have a full band when we play live, I play guitar and sing, Aaron plays drums and sings, David plays bass, and Gabby plays keyboard and sings. When I record at home I use mostly an acoustic guitar and a keyboard, on garageband. We had access to a lot more equipment for the making of Zentropy.

In the last years Manhattan has been overwhelmed by young bands. Do you consider it a good or a bad thing?
I don’t really know any other young bands in Manhattan, so I guess this question is not applicable. But in general I say the more bands the better! It’s always good to have an environment where everyone feels safe making and sharing art no matter what their resources or backgrounds are.

Enrico Chinellato