Cousn: releasing an album has always been a major goal of ours

Today we are pleased to welcome another guest, Cousn!

Cousn describe the roots of their project and the collaborative process behind the album. "Being actual cousins, we first met each other as tiny babies. But it wasn't until we formed Cousn at age 16 that we started this mad journey together. Since then, through our FAMLY Connection collective, we've built up a large number of like-minded artists from all walks of life who we can now call our FAMLY."

We talked to the duo about their new debut album "FAMLY JEWELS" and other projects. Find out more below!
— Hey Alfie and Billy, a pleasure to have you with us today. How are you both and whereabouts are you chatting to us from right now?
Alfie: I'm in Frome at the moment which is a little town 45 mins from Bristol where I grew up.
Billy: I'm in my flat in London looking over a rainy Finsbury Park.
— We're very pleased to be chatting with you at this exciting point in your career, with the release of your debut album 'FAMLY JEWELS', an album that marks the launch of Irvine Welsh's new label, Jack Said What. Before we dive into the album, how does it feel to see this project releasing?
— It feels great! Releasing an album has always been a major goal of ours so we were both really relieved to see it all come together and finally be released, and on such an amazing label too!
When did work start on the album and what was it that initially inspired you to create one for the first time?
— We started working on the album in February this year and had it all mixed and mastered within three months, it was a pretty quick turnaround. However a couple of the tracks came from demos we made years ago, 'Get Some Sleep' was first made all the way back in 2016 when we were in college in Bristol, so technically it's been in the works for six years! I guess this was one of the reasons why we decided to make this album, we had so many songs and ideas that never got the chance to see the light of day so felt now was a good time to bring some of those forgotten tracks to the forefront, and compile them into one big body of work with the new ideas to really show a full spectrum of our sound.
— We were very excited to hear the news of Irvine Welsh launching his label, it must be a great feeling to be called upon to deliver the first release on the imprint. Can you talk us through how you and the label first connected and how the album came to find its home on the imprint?
— We met Irvine through our close friend Steve Mac who we've known for many years now. We first met Steve when he invited us down to his studio in Brighton to show him some demos and we hit it off instantly. When he told us he was starting a label with Irvine back in February, it was a no brainer to get involved. Trainspotting has always been one of our favourite films, the soundtrack was a huge part of that, it definitely had an impact on our music taste so it's a privilege to be delivering the first album on the label.
— An eclectic ten-track LP, FAMLY JEWELS features a number of other artists across the album; with Tom Williams on the drums and features from Surya Sen, Scott Booth, Luca Manning and The Fluffy Teddy Bear. Can you tell us a bit about how you decided who you wanted to work with on the album?
— Everyone who featured, remixed, worked on the music videos or artwork are part of our FAMLY Connection Collective and close friends. This collective started as a WhatsApp group during the pandemic when everything halted as a place for like-minded producers, artists, video makers etc to keep chatting, collaborating and sending their thoughts and feedback. There's about 200 members now and we also run a 'FAMLY Connection' night in London with only members booked to DJ. It was so much fun collaborating with this bunch for the album, we're really lucky to have such a talented collection around us.
Where did you create the album and what were the main bits of kit involved? Was there any equipment involved that we might not expect?
— We created it in the studio setup up in our living room in London and The Other Songs studio space in Covent Garden which was a massive help, great little studio there. Our main bits of kit for this album were the TR-8s drum machine and the MicroKorg synthesiser. These two bits of kit, with the right samples loaded into the TR-8s, gave us the freedom to create pretty much anything we wanted and most of our songs now will start through this process.

In the last song on the album, 'Mala', lots of the percussion sounds are from Scott Booth drumming on his guitar with his bare hands whilst it's hooked up to about a dozen pedals, such a talented man Scott is, it's genuinely mind bending watching him do it all live.
— The album makes for a superb listening experience whilst also retaining a dancefloor focused feel. Is this something you intended for or is it more an organic part of the process?
— Definitely! We wanted the album to be one that you can listen all the way through from start to end. With variety, different styles, tempos and no fillers. It was about showing off the whole scope to the Cousn sound. With our drummer Tom Williams we give the album a live feel while keeping it grounded somewhere in club-land. Having both was definitely intended but also comes organically as that's what we've always created with Cousn.
— Was there a particular track on the album that you had the most fun creating?
— Big Fat Acid was really fun to make with Surya Sen. Initially the lyrics were much more X-rated and disgustingly dirty, which was completely hilarious to record but eventually realised that it probably wasn't the right direction for the track after playing it to some close friends and them saying it ruined their day. We re-wrote the lyrics and made it all in about 2 hours, thinking it was the last track we finished for the album.
— Thank you for chatting with us today guys. Congratulations to you on the album's release and wishing all the best. To round things off, could you tell the readers in your own words what they can expect from the album?
— A collaborative melting pot of catchy ear worms and sweaty rave bangers to get your blood pumping and booty shaking. Thanks for having us!