We are happy to connect with Atlanta based trio Cousin. Comprised of three inspiring musicians, Cousin has been described as a supergroup. Collaborators Kreion, Muna Hiluf and Rob Milton are creating some serious waves in the ATL and beyond. As you will see from our chat with them, they are knowledgeable, passionate and funny! We learned a lot about their outlook on making music, influences, their friendship and bond and loved hearing about the Atlanta music scene.
They recently released a dope new single, “Comfortable” from their forthcoming EP, Best Life. The track features strong production by Milton and Kreion that floats the listener on an aural cloud while delivering an endearing message of love and trust. #RelationshipGoals indeed, this song reminds us to appreciate what we have because, as we are reminded, “everything that glitters ain’t gold.” The vocal delivery, specifically the harmony achieved between the three reminds us of Minnie Ripperton’s classic “Les Fleurs” which is a high water mark to achieve.
Check the single out below and get to know the group a bit while you listen. Let us know if you have any questions for the group in the comments. Be on the lookout for their Best Life EP later this year.
soulhead: ”Comfortable” is has a really airy ethereal feel to it. Can you tell us a little about the vision behind that song and how it was recorded?
Kreion: After hearing the lyrics and melody Rob had for “Comfortable,” we started listening through sounds and we just trusted what felt good. We created all the production in one long session and recorded the song the next week. It all just happened naturally. We’re really big on being ourselves and playing around with arrangements until it feels right.
soulhead: ”Comfortable” seems like it is about a relationship on the verge of going wrong? Is that correct?
Rob: “Comfortable” is about knowing when a situation is never going to work. Knowing that the person is never going to change. They’re never going to be what you deserve. But realizing that leaving means you have to start over. You have to explain all your quirks, point out your favorite poses for Instagram, introduce your favorite restaurants and tell your secrets to someone new. Nobody wants to have to do that.
soulhead: Outside of relationships, what are the biggest influences on your songs?
Muna: EVERYTHING IN LIFE. We all have extremely high gratitude for life and experiences, so all of us are constantly influenced by what we see externally and internally. We draw inspiration from love, truth, reality, beauty, nature, music & art. We were all brought up in church-going homes, so those roots are there as well and like you mentioned relationships (both platonic or romantic). We’re creatives, everything can be something to us.
soulhead: When you create songs, what comes first? The music or the lyrics?
Muna: Weed. 😂 Nah, we vibe out A LOT. A Cousin session is usually us just playing music first, to make sure we can feel it. Most times we are listening to sounds, crate digging for lack of a better term and building on top of them. And then the lyrics come from the feel of the music or something we have already written in a note.
soulhead: This track is really different from Rob Milton’s recently released solo tracks like the reggae feel of Greater Love or the mellow go-go funk feel of “Thank You.” How is the group approach to music different from Rob’s solo work?
Rob: One of the things that makes Cousin so special is that we are all so much alike. we all genuinely get each other. whether it be musically or just in life. but specifically in regards to the music, we all write straight from the heart. we all can be musical chameleons and dabble in different sounds. We all are willing to take risks creatively. So approaching my own records like “Greater Love” or even the duet record “Almost Cried” that Kreion and I dropped earlier this year is really no different from how we collectively approached creating “Comfortable” and the rest of our upcoming project. creating with these two literally feels like making a sandcastle or a snow man with my favorite cousins.
soulhead: Atlanta is a hotbed of hip-hop right now and has been for some time. Back in the day, you could go into a record store or pick up a cool mixtape/cd, but it seems harder to find new artists like you on the ground. Can you describe the scene there now for soul and R&B? Who are some of your contemporaries? DJs spinning your music? Performances spots?
Rob: I’ve only been in an Atlanta for a year now and it honestly feels like five. There is so much magic happening here, and so often that it’s overwhelming. As you said, there’s always going to be a hip-hop wave here. I’m really loving this group Miita right now. They’re really saucy and super talented.
But I would honestly say that Atlanta is a hotbed for creativity, in general. I love Wondaland and everyone connected there. I love All Cows Eat Grass, Chantae Cann, Creeak, Rahbi, Ron Shirley, Keeyen Martin and Melody Monroe. (In term of DJs) DJ Hourglass, The El Dorado Hotties, DJ Applejac and DJ Sir Daniel. There really is tons of talent here.
However, if I’m being real…my absolute favorite artists here in Atlanta are Kreion and Muna Hiluf. I really can’t wait for the world to hear and celebrate how talented these girls are. Y’all aren’t even ready.
soulhead: What can we expect from the Best Life EP? sonically? thematically?
Muna: Expect strong ideas and ideals, emotions, stories, truth. Sonically, you can expect a lot of innovative instrumental sounds. Heavy beats, lighter drums, stank face type stuff. More Soul then Pop, but Pop Soul sounds. Thematically, experiences. We’re your favorite cousin because our stories are relatable. We aimed to create music and visuals that draw from life events that we share. and even some of the ones we’re too ashamed to share. It’ll be fun but it’ll also be real.
soulhead: Where do you want the group to be in 3 years?
Kreion: This collaboration was so random and created out of a love we share for each other’s creativity and us as people. We haven’t even talked about it long term, but I’m sure that whatever opportunities come along that will allow us to create together and do what we love, I don’t see us turning them down. We’ll all of course continue our own journeys, but we’re down for whatever God’s plan has in store for the cousins.
soulhead: Totally random question: Describe a perfect first date.
Kreion: Having a whole real conversation with a guy that’s interested in me. I don’t ask for much. 😂
soulhead: Totally random question #2: Each of you name your Top 3 singers of all time
Rob: Asking this question is like asking me to pick a favorite cousin while I’m at the family reunion. It’s unfair. I’ll say that this is in no specific order but for now, I’m going to go with Donny Hathaway, Darryl Coley and Nicholas Ryan Gant.
Kreion: Twinkie Clark, Jazmine Sullivan and Shania Twain.
Muna: Ella Fitzgerald, Andre 3000 and Jazmine Sullivan. In that order have changed my life.