Music is the universal language, so when Cape Verdean singer ELL Cosme met up with American R&B/Pop singer Paloma Ford and her manager, music mogul Percy “Master P” Miller for a chat at NYC’s Bryant Park Grill they found they had lots to talk about.
Ford was celebrating her latest single is “That Shit Ain’t Cool” and her new signing with Miller’s No Limit management.
Ford has already started to make her musical mark. She was featured on Meek Mill’s “I Don’t Know” and on Snoop’s song “Summer in California.” Ford got her start as a background singer for Macy Gray on her 2007 album Big. She has also gained popularity through her YouTube for original songs like “Dollars,” “Me´nage a` Trois,” and “Hit of You.” Ford released her music videos for her songs “Ménage à Trois” and “Hit Of You” in 2013, which both became successful on YouTube.
ELL Cosme hails from the West African island nation of Cape Verde, known worldwide for its musical traditions. Although still relatively new to the music business, ELL Cosme has racked up a number of hits in Cape Verde, include “Koza Sab,” “I Love You More,” “Love Me Like You Do,” Amor na Club,” “Fire,” and more. And now in the U.S., Cosme, who covers a range of genres from Kizomba to R&B, is looking to top the American music charts.
So when two artists from different parts of the world and a veteran music mogul sat down to chat, they had lots to discuss. Here’s how the conversation went:
ELL Cosme: I understand you count 2Pac and other Hip Hop artists as major influences. Why Hip Hop?
Paloma Ford: I was raised on Hip Hop, I always felt I connect with Hip Hop and 2Pac was a major influence.
ELL Cosme: When did you realize you had the gift of music?
Paloma Ford: I don’t think I thought I had a gift growing up. I was obsessed with music early on. I was obsessed with Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson. I didn’t want to watch cartoons growing up. I wanted to watch Michael and Janet, over and over again. I wanted to study them. I always knew as a kid that was what I wanted to do. This what I loved.
ELL Cosme: So what artist inspired you the most?
Paloma Ford: Sade. Michael and Janet for sure. Aaliyah. And I have to say 2Pac again, because he was such a strong influence. Also, Lauryn Hill, Lil Kim. I’m a ’90s baby, so all of those artists for sure.
ELL Cosme: What has made you stay in the industry?
Paloma Ford: No matter what you’re going through you want to use your music to express that, and people can relate to it. People may speak different languages but they can connect over a song. This is one of the reasons I love music and always wanted to be in the world of music. I feel I have a story that is relateable and I want to help people.
ELL Cosme: I was listening to “That Shit Ain’t Cool” and I was wondering, is it based on a true story?
Paloma Ford: It is real story definitely. I felt like at the tome I didn’t have any songs that women could relate to and I dug deep on a personal relationship I think as a new artist, it is important for you to give people a look into your life.
ELL Cosme: What is it like to be managed by a Hip Hop legend, Master P?
Paloma Ford: I think when are around someone of his caliber, you just soak in the experience. And he’s such a down-to-earth person. I am always seeking knowledge and he’s constantly giving it. I look at him like a teacher.
ELL Cosme: What makes an artist successful?
Master P: I really believe that hard work pays off. You can sell a lot of records in the beginning, but what makes an artist have longevity is hard work.
ELL Cosme: Why did you decide to sign Paloma?
Master P: Honestly, her talent was undeniable. I think she is very talented.