‘Ireland will always be my home’: Cosha has introduced herself to the world

Cosha used to go by the moniker Bonzai and played to tens of thousands at festivals around the world
‘Ireland will always be my home’: Cosha has introduced herself to the world

Cosha, aka Cassia O’Reilly.

Cosha is one of the bright new names releasing their debut album this summer.  Mt Pleasant - named after the area in Dublin where Cassia O’Reilly was raised - is a heady, sexy swirl of RnB. Featuring collaborations with similarly tipped acts like Coby Sey and production from former Vampire Weekend alum Rostom, among others, Cosha has announced herself to the world.

Except it’s not the first time the world is hearing of her. Cosha used to go by the moniker Bonzai and was part of Mura Masa’s live band, touring the world and playing to tens of thousands at festivals around the world. She also provides vocals on one of his biggest tracks, ‘What If I Go?’ She’s circumspect now, looking back on that relationship. It was a fun time, she says, and a moment where things “started firing up a little bit”.

She says Bonzai felt like an extension of the Mura Masa project. “We were making the music together, most of it, I was still touring with him and fronting his shows. And then it just got to a stage where I feel like I hit a wall with this, hit a ceiling. We parted ways. I left the show, I just felt like it was time for me to move away from being attached to him and figure out my own thing. But it was great. It was all a learning curve. I enjoyed it all very much.”

 Now 25, Cosha isn’t afraid of an abrupt right turn, whether it’s ending the Mura Masa collaboration or leaving Dublin for London, which she did at the age of 17.

“It didn't seem like the thing that I wanted to do was there yet, to be honest. It just seemed like I might have more of an opportunity in London. I don't know if that's the case still - there seems to be more of an effort to do stuff like that now in Dublin, and there's loads of really good artists coming out that are doing fun stuff.”

She says despite her tender age, it was “super easy” to move to London. “I wasn't thinking about it. I was just doing, I feel like you do that when you're younger and then as you get older, the world teaches you to be more cautious and think about things more.”

While working with a producer, she says it's all about trust. “Well, no one tells me what to do. I'll start there,” she declares, laughing. “Because I'm a producer so I'm the one telling people what to do. But it's for sure important to have a good connection.

“Honestly, more and more, I'm realising that if I'm not comfortable with the person I'm making music with, the music probably isn't going to be that cute. I feel like for me to get into a space where I'm tapping into something and really being honest with it and I'm really getting into the cush - the good stuff, the heart - I can't do that if I'm not comfortable with the person, if I have to keep my guard up around this person. It's just not going to be that cool.”

Cosha is speaking over Zoom from LA - but even having lived in London for the past seven or so years, she says Ireland is still most definitely home.

 “I want to travel, but Ireland will most definitely always be home, that's always gonna be my home. Everywhere I go, I will rep for Ireland. I love that. That's my home. I’m really proud of that.”

  • Mt Pleasant is out now

More in this section

Scene & Heard

Music, film art, culture, books and more from Munster and beyond.......curated weekly by the Irish Examiner Arts Editor.

Sign up