The UK grime scene has been making its way over to the United States, impacting our hip-hop culture with style and swag. Some may not know who CoCo is over here but, this artist has been making waves lately in the grime music world, especially with his recent track "Target Practice."
HYPEFRESH’s Erin Simon (@erinasimon) chats with CoCo about grime music, his influences and more in this exclusive interview.
Erin Simon: If you had to explain who Coco is, how would you describe yourself?
CoCo: I'm a crazy Northerner. A Sheffield MC with a lot of energy and originality.
ES: For those of us in the United States who have no idea what Grime is. What is it and how has it influenced you?
CoCo: Grime is a true representation of UK Hip Hop. It's a great way to express yourself and your surroundings.
ES: Some individuals may think that you are a new artist but you've been producing grime music for close to 10 years. How have you been able to develop as an artist over the years? Why do you think some people are starting to know who you are after 10 years? Does development play a role in that recognition?
CoCo: Up North people have known me for a long time. I've worked and collaborated with some great people, which has immensely helped my development. In the last 12 months I have been getting more music to the radio, which greatly helps my exposure.
ES: Do you have any plans to work on converting or creating the grime sound in a way that it can translate over to the United States? Like covering a United States hit song but in grime form?
CoCo: I'm not really into covering tracks, I dont feel that's necessary. We don't need to translate grime to an American market, let's just keep creating and let the music do the talking. The Americans seem to be happy lapping it up at the moment, which is sick. Let's just keep that energy going.
ES: Are there any artists in the United States that you've worked with or would love to work with? Vic Mensa and OT Genasis have talked about mixing and meddling in grime.
CoCo: I would love to work with the Godfather, Dr Dre! Who wouldn't? All roads lead back to Dre, it would be immense to work with him.
ES: I've watched several videos of you freestyling, are you a big freestyler? Do you feel like it's important for artists to be able to make grime music and also freestyle well?
CoCo: This really comes back to your originality. I personally love that I'mm able to Freestyle & Rap, but I fully appreciate that every artist is different.
ES: Who are some of your influences within Grime and around where you are? Do you have any influences from the U.S.?
CoCo: The scene in the UK at the moment is big! Stormzy, Skepta, JME & Wiley are leading the pack and nailing it. AJ Tracey is another good artist who is coming through...
ES: What was the meaning behind "Target Practice"? What inspired the lyrics for it?
CoCo: Once I heard the beats I knew exactly how the flow would go... My inspiration is normally having a great beat to write too.
ES: I've noticed on your Twitter that you've posted Skepta several time, is Skepta one of the leaders of Grime now? A fan favorite and a favorite of yours? If so, why?
CoCo: Skepta is the man. He's been doing this for years - flying the flag for Grime - worldwide!
ES: What can we expect from you in the future? Any future projects or tracks?
CoCo: I'm busy busy busy.... My next release is Sept 25th - Big Bou Yah. Then in November I have a collaboration being released with my fam in Sheffield, Sticky Blood. Expect lots of music over the next 12 months.