Local talent: Going cuckoo for Cuckoo Baby
Cuckoo Baby is one of the bands competing at “UMass Got Talent” Friday to determine the opening act of the Spring Concert
April 5, 2018
Cuckoo Baby is one of the musical performers scheduled to compete in “UMass Got Talent” this Friday. The winner of the talent competition will perform in the Mullins Center as the opening act of this year’s Spring Concert for Lil Yachty and Khalid.
The origins of the pop band date back to November 2017. Now the pianist of Cuckoo Baby, Stephen Maher approached vocalist Devin Patton with a song he was writing that he wanted her vocals on. While working together in their improv group “TK,” Maher took a liking to Patton’s singing. After making their first song together, “Song here,” Maher and Patton went on to write several more. Just one month later, they added guitarist Fizze Fonte and drummer Nikolai Wright and began working on music as a collective. In their short time together, Cuckoo Baby has written several songs, put out a four track EP on Soundcloud and, as of last week, performed a show on campus.
While still in the early stages of being a band, Cuckoo Baby has made it a point to remain flexible in sound. They take pride in their diverse array of styles, ranging from indy-pop to blues, with plans to incorporate elements of hip-hop into future songs.
“We’re not containing ourselves, and we hope that our fans and the audience respect that. I think [sticking to one sound] is boring,” Maher said, “I don’t wanna be Nickelback, not to sh*t on them or anything, but they sound the same in every song.”
Along with their versatility, Cuckoo Baby takes pride in their songwriting ability, drawing inspiration from their day to day lives. “We’re not just pandering to something, [the lyrics] are very specific things that happened to us,” said Maher.
For Maher and Patton, songwriting is a form of therapy, often including themes of mental health and relationships. On “Shadowman,” Patton personifies depression when she sings, “Shadowman, he’s coming to town/Shadowman is gonna bring you down/and everybody knows he don’t fight fair/he’ll show you things just to keep you scared.”
Patton, a theater major, brings this same level of intense emotion on stage with her when performing. “She’s so emotive and expressive in her music,” Maher said. “Whatever level she’s at emotionally with a song, she takes you right there.”
On March 28, Cuckoo Baby packed the Herter Hall auditorium with friends and fans in attendance, marking the first time they performed a show as a full band. With the show living up to the band’s expectations, they’re feeling confident heading into UMass Got Talent.
“Hopefully, we can rub shoulders with Lil Yachty and Khalid backstage [during the spring concert],” said Maher. “We’re trying to make the most out of this opportunity and turn it into an even bigger one.”
Email Jonathan at [email protected], or follow him on Twitter @JKermah98.