We spoke to the author of 'zero dark thirty', as the composer and songwriter reveals details about his debut book, writing lyrics and his next project.

For a few years, Dean Cocozza worked under the surface of the music industry, writing and helping artists and music labels with lyrics. His close relation to the music industry remains unchanged, as we will find out. But in the last couple of years, the writer has enjoyed an increasing popularity for his poetry. Starting with shared samples on social media, Cocozza's poetic endeavours have resulted in numerous top publications and ultimately his first collection. The book, named 'zero dark thirty' thrives on the same dark essence, that is found throughout most of his creative work. 

We wanted to know how he had come to separating writing from music and putting a different focus on it. 

"It's a little ironic because I am actually someone who, by the right music, can be touched on a level that words could never reach. I have met a lot of people who say lyrics are the most important part of a song to them. I do agree sometimes that can be the case, but not always. Sometimes you hear a line and just go "Dang, I wish I had written that line". Especially the simple ones that unfold. For me, I just wanted to be able to write completely independent from rhythm or rhyming sometimes. With music, you're usually always counting in the back of your head."

When asked whether his success as an author would be a hint as a permanent shift of industries, Cocozza wants to keep his options open.

"No, these are just two separate things. Just as writing for film is different. I am still getting used to being called 'a writer' because it almost feels like a label that is leaving no space for anything else."

Dean Cocozza's work, always approach a rather intense and dark style and choice of topics. According to the writer, this is less of a conscious idea or concept, and much rather the essence of his creative drive.

"I don't know if things are necessarily dark. I hope for everything I do to be unapologetic in whatever way it unfolds. To be fair, I only read through my book once. And I remember thinking, this is probably gonna be perceived as pretty dark. I think I can be very intense on all spectrums, whether you wanna call them good and bad, or light and dark. And genuine creations of mine will obviously reflect that."

After a successful debut, it's only consequent to expect a follow-up to 'zero dark thirty'. But the writer can't give us an exact description of what his next project is going to look like. 

"I am always writing and if it makes sense, there will be another poetry book. But I am also working on other projects, that are taking a little more time. My favourite musicians always leave me waiting a couple of years inbetween albums, but rarely disappoint. And maybe I still see 'zero dark thirty' as somewhat of an album."