Spellbinding Dutch artist Cosmo V has just released the cinematic accomplice to her poetic and heartfelt track Forever. Setting hazy, ethereal pop to drifting, dream-like images; discern the looming and waning idea of forever as a lost expectation and grapple with the harsh beauty of life defined by the streets as the Glamcult favourite dispels her thoughts behind the mantra-esque lines: “By day I’m a dreamer, by night I’m a wanderer.”
You’ve just released the new video for Forever. What’s the defining message of the song? And how have you translated it visually?
It’s an ode to escapism: the urging desire to escape, physically or mentally, to a better place. It’s also an ode to my younger, lonely and heartbroken self. The song and video make up a larger, meaningful process of reclaiming the parts of the ‘self’ I’ve lost over the years.
A number of bittersweet memories are translated in the visuals, such as the film Lilja 4-ever, which I watched repeatedly with my childhood friend. I grew up in a rough environment and I found connection, comfort and understanding in this film. The patent leather clothing is a reference to my all-time hero Lou Reed. His songs and stories gave me a sense of reassurance that everything would be alright. I also discovered the beautiful photographic series titled West Side Rendezvous by Katsu Naito. I have a love for vintage imagery and these photographs just blew me away. I fell in love with the beauty and rawness of the empty, desolated streets run by transsexual and transvestite streetwalkers.
Where is the video set? Do the aesthetics of the clip bare any significance to you as an artist?
The video is recorded in a secluded, industrial area in Rotterdam. Initially, I wanted to film at the Keileweg, a street known in the past for its streetwalkers. But the area is now filled with creative spaces and a refugee centre, so it was a bit too crowded to film there. While driving around, we searched for a place that exudes a sense of isolation and rawness. My fascination with this raw aesthetic stems from my troubled youth. Running away from home made the streets feel like a reliable and liberating place.
What do the lines “by day I’m a dreamer, by night I’m a wanderer[…]” refer to?
This past year I’ve been suffering from intense insomnia. These lines make up a poem I wrote during one of those sleepless nights. It is an expression of feelings I felt on lonely days during my childhood, and the same feelings I had whilst writing the song Forever. With this poem, I wanted to capture the state of being lost.
Your newly released sound feels very poetic, escapist and romantic. What do you hope it will evoke in listeners?
I hope to bare the feeling of despair. A feeling I connected with in the works of the artists that inspire me: the Lou Reeds, the Tupac Shakurs, the Charles Bukowskis, the Maya Angelous, the Kurt Cobains and the James Baldwins. It’s meant for the people who are familiar with the harshness of reality. I hope they can find connection, understanding, acceptance or comfort in it.
As an artist, what does forever mean to you?
Forever was a concept I truly wanted to believe in as a child. But I’ve learnt that things change and that life can let us down in many ways. To me, forever is a lost expectation. The only thing that unfortunately and infuriatingly lasts forever is death.