A Berlin-based father and son electronic music duo, Cosmo and the Cosmonaut released their debut album, Ultra Mega, in August 2019.
Featuring songs about climate change, the stupidity of war and not wanting to go to school, Ultra Mega addresses some of the most important issues facing kids (and adults) today. It’s not all about serious topics though; Ultra Mega Yum Yum is a celebration of their favourite food and I Like Water is a gargled anthem to H2O.
“A couple of songs also function as a form of therapy, for example the Shut Up Song”, explains the Cosmonaut. “Cosmo was going through a phase of telling me to shut up so I said, hey let’s write a song about that and you can tell me to shut up as much as you like. Now he gets the satisfaction of telling me to shut up a bunch of times whenever we play that song. We Are the Dumbheads was a reaction to a situation where Cosmo ended up feeling bad and calling himself a dumbhead and I said no, I’m the dumbhead for not anticipating that situation (which I should have). In the song, being a dumbhead becomes something positive and silly.”
Regarding the inspiration for the songs, “A lot of them began while riding our bikes around our neighbourhood. I would sing the bassline or do some beatboxing and Cosmo would rap on top. In the beginning, I was writing most of the music and lyrics but towards the end, Cosmo was coming up with some great ideas. He also plays keyboards and recorder on a couple of tracks.”
The Cosmonaut is a musician and producer and just happens to have a recording studio set up in his lounge so recording was an uncomplicated affair. “There was always a mic set up ready to go for whenever we felt creatively inspired”, says the Cosmonaut. Recording of the second album is already well underway. “We’re planning to release an album a year.”
It’s no coincidence that the Ultra Mega album begins with the words of 15 year old climate activist Greta Thunberg, “You’re never too small to make a difference”. “She made a big impression on us,” says the Cosmonaut, “and we thought if we record these songs and even if just one person hears them and makes some positive changes, then we will have made a difference.”
In the closing song of the album, This Is the End, eight year old Cosmo and his dad sing “Be kind to all, that’s our message.” Sounds like a mantra worth repeating.