After a two-year bidding war between four labels, indie pop artist Omar Banos, who goes by Cuco, has emerged victorious with a fresh new deal from Interscope Records.
“Interscope understood what I wanted to do creatively and it wasn’t just about money,” Banos told Billboard on Tuesday. “I got everything I wanted.”
A Spanglish-language bedroom pop star from the school of D.I.Y., Banos joins a class of unconventional young artists on the major label, including emo rapper Juice Wrld and Colombian-American romantic Kali Uchis. His first release under contract is scheduled to drop in June; an as-yet-untitled debut LP, Cuco recorded and self-produced the album inside the garage of his Hawthorne, California home. “I’m only interested in a label if they come through with whatever terms I send them,” he told Rolling Stone last September.
According to his manager, 25-year-old Doris Muñoz, the seven-figure contract does not follow a conventional structure. “Omar owns all of his masters,” says Muñoz, adding that there is “no true album commitment,” but instead an agreement that Banos will release a certain number of songs in “various configurations.”
“We didn’t want to do a typical record deal,” says Muñoz. “It’s been that way and that’s the way it will always be. Ownership was the important factor in moving forward with the deal.”
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“Cuco is a genius,” Interscope A&R executive Carlos Cancela told Billboard. “A week later, Doris and Cuco came to my office and we talked about life, music and we played records back and forth … He’s doing his own thing, finding his own way.”