Kosine Talks Creating Hits for Industry Icons, His Current Stage Show and Releasing New Music


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Kosine has already crafted a career as a generational talent. Behind the scenes of some of the biggest hits for Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Big Sean, and more, his work in music has made an entire generation dance and party, with the promise of creating moments for more people in the future.

Currently, Kosine is showcasing his talents, performing his new music and the hits he has crafted for others, hosting live events, and more. Taking some time out of his busy schedule, Kosine spoke with The SOURCE about working alongside the biggest names in music, his current live show, his current work, and more.

The SOURCE: First, congrats on your 10th anniversary of “Cake.” Did you see yourself creating a song that has become this big?

Kosine: Oh man. Absolutely not. That track is so crazy. It is probably one of the most organic hits. Shout out and rest in peace to Aaron Michael Cox. He was my producer and artist, and he just used to just find cool sounds. So he had found this plugin and using that, I found basically like the lead, like transformer type sound. Whenever I’m in the studio, I’m just exploring sounds. So I pick that and add that signature, gourmet ratchet, 808 bounce, and clap on there. The pack of beats made it to The-Dream while he was on the road and working with Rihanna to finish up her album. When that first came out, that song was an interlude to her album. Shout out to the Rihanna Navy for demanding that she put out a full version of that song. And, of course, her linking with Chris Brown to do that remix. It just really put us in another tier as far as producers go. When you got the Rihanna club banger in, it doesn’t go away. It’s a birthday anthem that’s going to outlive me.

How did it feel at the time to see the support of the Navy and for the single to grow and include Chris Brown?

It’s like knowing that you’re about to win the lottery. When you know it’s coming and counting down the days is really one of the best feelings ever. At the end of the day, I just make music to share with the world. So every time I have a release, whether it’s indie and coming from me or whether it’s a major label thing with a big artist, it’s always exciting. Cause I know I’m just like operating in my purpose.

In your live show, you highlight your work with major artists and also from your collective. What does it mean for you to have an impact on both artists and fans?

I look at it as what I’m passing on to my kids. I’m sure they’re going to have days when they wonder why dad wasn’t around more. Then they will know that I was working and I was working with these songs that you now own. Songs that your last name is on. It’s no different from a real estate portfolio. It’s intellectual property that accrues residual income that I can pass on. So from a financial legacy standpoint, it means a lot knowing that this is what is going to continue to take care of my family. Then on some culture, it’s just cool as hell. It ain’t nothing like walking in a little kickback or party, and you hear it. It just makes you feel like your work isn’t in vain. It’s just good to be able to bring that joy and happiness.

In your current set, there is original music, the music you created, and also introducing new artists. Will that be the case with your future shows?

For sure. The show is Kosine and the Super Friends. My network of artists and all the people I’ve worked with, from John Legend to Nicki Minaj to Big Sean, is large. I had the biggest artists in the world call me to help them do favors and stuff like that. And me being an artist is kind of like an opportunity for me to call back and say, Hey man, help me out. I’m ready to get some of that love back. With that, I want to be somebody that you come to discover new artists. So it’s an exciting time.

You recently dropped off “Smoke and Dream,” what led you to know that was the song that you wanted to bring the fans right now?

“Smoke and Dream” was from 2014. So that song is eight years old and has been dying to come out. One of my biggest issues is getting in my own way in not releasing music. As a cannabis enthusiast, I was like, “you know what? This is it’s time,” and shout out to my mystery feature on there.

You said it’s a part of you getting your own way. Is that because you feel that you’re too busy helping other people?

Not really. Just doubt. Doubt sometimes can just be like derailing. I’m so passionate; this is my first love. This music stuff is my first love. So, I want everything to be perfect. I want to be able to get as many resources together to do it as big as possible. We’re like the indie renaissance of music where you don’t have to do all that. You can just put music out consistently and a little marketing here and there, but the people will find you.

Last year you dropped Truth Serum. What did you learn about yourself in creating that album, and how different are you in creating today?

Doing truth serum was like ten times deeper than doing a Ted talk. When I did my Ted Talk, Professor Kosine Presents How to Rewrite Your Life, it was really me speaking a prophetic word over my life. It was my first time not being on the billboard charts in about six or seven years. Before that, I fell into a depression. I had moved back to Chicago, and I felt like I could encourage others by encouraging myself. One of my favorite gospel songs is by Donald Lawrence, and it’s called “Encourage Yourself.” So in doing Truth Serum, there’s an interlude where I have my aunt, my mom’s sister, who’s also originally from Panama. She just talks about how my mom would feel if she was still alive. That, to me, is probably one of the most powerful moments in the project. I’ve been too afraid to even think about what my mom would think if she was still alive at some point because I know she’s not proud, especially during my Bobby Brown and MC Hammer phases. And just living in LA, I know she’s not proud, but after really taking a step away and getting it together and doing that self-work, it was powerful to hear my aunt in that Panamanian accent. So Truth Serum is one of those projects that when people finally get a chance to sit with it, it will age well.

You are working on an NFT for “Smoke and Dream.” How long did it take you to understand the world of NFTs?

I’m still learning as I go. Luckily I have a team of people, and the majority of my team is smarter than me. I learned so much from my team, and we are walking through it step by step. I had already been invested in some crypto. I had some Ethereum and some Bitcoin. But now I got my NFT in the game. So you can go to the Kosine website and cop the NFT. We’re dropping a song once a month for a year. So the name of the project is It Takes a Year to Get to Know Me. Thankfully, my first NFT is my own NFT. I’m encouraging everybody to buy NFTs, and then you have some vested interest in an artist early on in their career so that when they blow up, you blow up. You own some of that stuff; you got royalties coming back your way. It’s powerful.


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