We had the good fortune of connecting with Dean Cocozza and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dean, do you disagree with some advice that is more or less universally accepted?
I left high school one year early because I knew I wouldn’t be able to afford university. So I guess I have to disagree with two pieces of conventional advice: That you need the right financial background to get where you want to go, as well as that you need the backing of traditional education to get anywhere in life. Both can help you, I am sure. But both can also take a lot of freedom, by attaching you to the expectations of those who provide it.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m a creative, mostly known as a writer and musician I guess. I used to work behind the scenes on songwriting, as well as lyric writing. At some point I started to share short writings of mine detached from music and it just seemed to resonate with a lot of people. It led me to work in different departments such as fashion and film and I am still constantly expanding my network and nature of work there. I had to learn a lot of lessons in order to get where I am and feel confident in where I am going. Those lessons were often more on a personal base than you might expect them to be. But as a creative there is not much of a difference between work & life. I think I have always been very honest and emotional in my work and never attempt to hide any part of desires, feelings or thoughts. As we tend to ignore or cover the parts of ourselves that we do not like as much as the rest of the image, I think that is something that people feel drawn to.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’m still constantly exploring this city myself and I am going to sound like such a cliché on this one. I wouldn’t go a week without grabbing some food and fruit at Erewhon, so let’s get that off the list first. I eat plant based so that’s definitely one of the places that give me plenty of great options. I am also a huge lover of Indian cuisine and Anarbagh in Beverly Hills won me as a customer on my very first day I came to LA. For a vegan and budget friendly traditional curry I also really recommend the Samosa House in Santa Monica. It reminds me a lot of the corner curry shops we have in the UK.
Wild Living Foods in Downtown have insane vegan ice cream and The Last Bookstore is right around the corner, most of my friends would appreciate that combination.
Besides food – I love days at the beach anywhere from Venice towards Malibu where it gets a little less crowded.
I’ve had some of my most interesting conversations stuck in traffic with Uber drivers in this city, so I think the most exciting people are often whoever you pay attention to.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Every person that comes forward to me and tells me what my creations mean to them personally will never understand how much it can make my day. Also, all my partners in my life have been extremely supportive. Something that might be considered natural but I know that it’s not to be taken for granted. From visual artists that came up to me open for collaborations, to agencies, publishers, managers. I can really say that the people I have been working with and work with always had the best intentions.
Yannick Schuette, Christian Hasselbusch