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About Cuco

Cuco was still in high school when he recorded his debut mixtape, 2016’s Wannabewithu, but his lo-fi appeal is hardly limited to teenagers: The wistful depth of feeling captured in the Los Angeles singer/songwriter’s music has universal resonance. Born to Mexican immigrants in Inglewood, California, in 1998, Omar Banos—his alias “Cuco” translates to “cuckoo”—got his start playing house shows around L.A.; his first brush with viral fame was a slide-guitar cover of ’50s rock ’n’ rollers Santo & Johnny’s “Sleepwalk.” But it was his 2017 single “Lo Que Siento” that made him famous, netting millions of plays and laying the groundwork for the seven-figure Interscope deal leading to his debut album, 2019’s Para Mi. Those sorts of numbers might seem out of proportion for a style so understated; informed by bedroom pop, chillwave, and cloud rap, Cuco’s music favors slow tempos, woozy keys, and lots of reverb, while his sing-speaking delivery is extremely low key. But the vulnerability of his heart-on-the-sleeve love songs is refreshing, while his bilingual lyrics and dedication to his family—when he signed his deal, he bought a home just five doors down from his folks’ place—have inspired growing legions of immigrant kids who see Banos’ life mirroring their own. (His super-fans even have a name for themselves: Cuco Puffs.) As Banos revealed to Apple Music, he finds that interaction with his followers incredibly moving: “My main goal as an artist, I wanna create an impact…. But it means a lot when somebody tells me, ‘Yo, thank you.’ That means the world to me.”

Inglewood, CA, United States
June 26, 1998

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