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Coko [June 27th 2007]

Coko was first introduced to the music scene back in the early 90's as lead singer of SWV, with multi platinum albums & top ten singles such as 'I'm So Into You', 'Weak'& Right Here'. After leaving SWV Coko released her first solo album 'Hot Coko' in 1999.. She is now back with her second album 'Grateful. I had the pleasure of interviewing her while on tour in the US... this is how it went...

Jason: What have you been up to since your solo release ‘Hot Coko’?
Coko: I have gotten married, had another baby and just been enjoying life.

Jason: You rose to fame in the early 90’s with SWV, Did you ever imagine you would have been a success?
Coko: No I never imagined that the success would've been so great but I'm so grateful for it all.

Jason: Do you feel leaving SWV was the right decision?
Coko: I sure do. No regrets here. I’m still singing and doing what I love and I also get to spread some good positive music.

Jason: On your most recent album ‘Grateful’ you have moved to the gospel side of things, why the change?
Coko: I started out in gospel and it's really not a surprise to many that I came back. I had a great time on the secular side but gospel is my first love.


Jason: Is gospel music something you have always wanted to do?
Coko: I started out singing gospel. I was born and raised in church. I sang solos and with the choir so gospel music has always been apart of my life.

Jason: You duet with Faith, Lil Mo & Fantasia on ‘Endow Thee’ how did this come about?
Coko: They are good friends of mine and I couldn't think of a better group of girls to help me remake that song I reached out to them and like me, they love the Clark Sisters as well so they all agreed to do it and history was made.

Jason: What inspires you to write songs?
Coko: I don’t write a lot but when I do it depends on what’s going on in my life at the time. I’m an emotional writer if I’m not feeling a sort of way I can't write and that’s not a good thing.

Jason: Which gospel artist do you listen to?
Coko: I listen to a lot of people. Right now I'm listening to Marvin Sapp, Maurette Brown Clarke, The Clark Sisters and many more.

Jason: Looking back on your days in SWV how do you feel about singing songs such as ‘Downtown’ & ‘Can We’, which have a more explicit message?
Coko: I no longer sing those songs. That's not a message I want to send out to kids. I wasn't where I am now back in those days so it really didn't matter much back then. Right now I try to be more positive.

Jason: Your first deal was with RCA records, which is a major label, you are now signed to Light Records, which is an independent label, do you feel being with an independent label gives you more creative control?
Coko: No I don't. You can be creative on whatever kind of label you're on.

Jason: Are records sells more important to you then making the music you love?
Coko: Everything is important so I try to make music that I love and people will love as well. That way they're loving it and will buy it and enjoy it.

Jason: One of the most uplifting songs on the ‘Grateful’ ‘Mighty God’ in my opinion uplifts my spirit when I’m feeling low… what inspired this song?
Coko: I didn't write that song so I really don't know what the writer was thinking about. But it is a great song and it features my Mom on there as well. I love it because we truly indeed serve a mighty good God!

Jason: Do you now feel you are moving in the right direction with your music?
Coko: Of course! At this point in my life I'm not going to do anything I don't want to. If I'm not comfortable with it, I'm not going to do. I'm very excited and happy about the music that I'm making these days. I'm all about encouraging and inspiring people to live good and holy lives.

Jason: What are your plans for the rest of the year?
Coko: I plan to keep working and promoting this album. I hope to start working on the new record as well. I also need a vacation!!! Lol

Jason: Do you plan on coming over to the UK anytime soon?
Coko: I would love to come to the UK. I'm hoping to get there soon. That is something that I'm so looking forward to. So hopefully soon!

On behalf of myself and the rest of the Just Soul family we would like to thank you for your time.
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