there are songs we hear that stop us in our tracks, immediately. and it feels like from that moment on we are displaced, even slightly. moved. just by hearing that sound, those words, that feeling.
hold on to me by mondo cozmo did just that. i remember hearing his song last year for the first time, and pausing it during the intro, because i was scared that the lyrics wouldn’t stand up to the relentless power of the music. … i remember silently praying that the lyrics would somehow keep pace, at least, with the relentless power and beauty of just the intro i’d heard and absorbed so far.
i kept listening.
and this song, hold on to me, developed into a stunning and permanently moving sound that hasn’t yet me go.
that first time hearing it, which led to the second and the third and then a few more times, i finally emerged to look up this guy – mondo cozmo. and found little to nothing, other than this random post from beloved KCRW.
which only made me realize that he was just getting started. almost a year later, i find myself at baby’s all right in brooklyn this past monday, eyes closed clutching my heart and hearing him perform the 5 songs he’s now released. and while hsi performance was captivating and his music is stunning, what i’ve taken from him more than that is his story.
born joshua ostrander, the artist currently now known as mondo cozmo gave up everything to pursue music with no guarantee or even glimmer of promise that it would work out. he posted a video recently of a voicemail from his former boss , the day he decided to quit his job, with absolutely no money in his bank account. his talent, tenacity, humility, and drive have now brought him to be on the lineup for bonaroo, gov ball, boston calling, and shakey knees, plus selling out concert venues all over the country.
there’s this story i constantly remind myself of, retold in the secret but originating in jim carrey’s wallet. poor, struggling, hungry and scrappy as hell, jim carrey wrote himself a check for $10 million, from his bank own account. then, an aspiring comic, he wrote the check for “acting services rendered” and stuck it in his wallet. and its presence simply helped mold every decision, every intention, every molecule around it so that within 5 years, and with 2 ace venturas over his belt, by 2015 he was billing $20mill/film.
it’s this spirit that is interwoven into mondo cozmo’s song, story, words, and persona. it’s a spirit relentless hope, tenacious energy, and contagious joy.
check out his music here
plus this amazing song not on the EP, written for david bowie.
follow him on instagram for constant inspiration
and keep an eye on his tour dates here.
and from his story, take these things with you:
Leap and the net will appear
Don’t wait for the money, it won’t come. don’t wait for encouragement from other people, haters gon’ hate, doubters gon’ doubt. don’t wait for an opportunity to fall into your lap, because that isn’t what opportunities do. then run right before you,
Rock and roll isn’t dead.
ugh I’m so sick of this mentality. Settle in to your sweet comfortable state of saying there will never be a band as good as [insert band name here] and no one will ever understand! Open your ears and hearts folks and be curious. because without that curiosity there would be no more noise and no more revelry and no more you and no more me.
Break the rules.
he has a renegade spirit, mondo cozmo. approaching his music making and media in a way that is completely unorthodox. it’s raw, it’s refreshing, and it reminds us that there is no rule book when it comes to creativity. you’re creating something that wasn’t there before. do it your own way.
Be relentlessly grateful.
every challenge, every setback, every doubt, every hesitation is a gift. just as watching your song creep to the top of the charts, hearing fans sing along with the music you created in a sold-out venue, seeing your name on the lineup for bonaroo. be relentlessly and eternally grateful for every single moment.