Cuco’s eagerly anticipated debut album Para Mi drops today, an album release date that coincides with the Mexican-American musician’s 21st birthday; the first single from Para Mi, “Feelings,” was released last month, hinting at his skill for building dreamy soundscapes and dressing them with unabashed, Spanglish-laced lyrics. He once explained to LA Weekly his laid back perspective on sharing emotions through his work. “It’s cool to be in your feelings and it’s cool to be sad and it’s cool to feel all of these things. If you want to be expressive about something, do it. If you want to keep something to yourself, keep it to yourself. I have my own ways, people have theirs.”
To celebrate the release, CUCO will preside over one of many DJs sets at Grand Park Event Lawn in downtown Los Angeles this Sunday afternoon from 2-7pm; Remezcla reported that the admission-free block party will be attended by thousands, so RSVP and get there early before the event reaches capacity, or splurge for a “Fast Pass” that guarantees entry at any point in the day. You can catch Cuco at a live performance weekend, too, on Saturday when he’ll be finishing up his tour at The Novo in Los Angeles. And in case there wasn’t enough love surrounding the birthday boy and the release of Para Mi, Cuco’s hometown of Hawthorne is presenting him with a key to the city today.
Fans have connected with Cuco through the depth of his sound, something that he has developed over the course of his young life. As a former band geek, he excelled early on at picking up new instruments and absorbing sounds from across the spectrum of music.
As a solo act, he’s been releasing his own compositions independently since graduating high school, and he’s been accumulating a global fan base ever since, something that many music critics have likened to the magnetic draw that something like a boy band has over an audience. “It’s been actually crazy seeing people physically interacting with the music,” he told the Washington Post earlier this month. “When I was in Asia and Europe, seeing people know my stuff word for word — that’s crazy. So, it kind of blows my mind a lot of the time, with people messaging me and telling me where they’re from. It trips me out.”
NME praised his debut album as a forward-thinking reinvention of the past, of the nuts and bolts of modern pop, synth, and R&B. “Para Mi is indicative of the way a new generation consumes music. No genre is too lame to tackle and reinvent, and no problem is too small to dive into as a launching pad for something great. The future is here, and it sounds f*cking great.”