You can next catch Coco Cole at Chase The Compass Presents WORKITOUT at Work Bar alongside Anna Wall, Ceri, NINJA and CTC DJs on 29th January. Free entry and details here.
Coco Cole is tearing apart a giant jam doughnut. It’s one of the few breathers the Capital Xtra DJ, producer, A&R and soon-to-be label-head gets in a world of nocturnal and peak-time radio appearances, back-to-back sets and talent scouting.
Nominated for Best Radio Show in our recent Best Of British Awards, Coco has been rapidly gaining accolades in the industry, and has just dropped the second in her ‘Say Yes’ series — a compilation of some of the fiercest new talent, outsourced by her. “I’ve set out to create this family of artists who work together and create music together,” she explains, in between mouthfuls of jam. “But it's happened without me pushing too hard for it. I'm a bit cosmic about it all!” she grins.
One of these artists is BOY, whom she got to know after he drove her round Ibiza. Having just gone to see Maya Jane Coles b2b Kim Ann Foxman at Ushuaïa, Coco couldn’t remember much of their car journey together, but later found an email of “30 sick techno tunes made from analogue synthesisers” in her inbox. “It felt like I’d struck gold...”
Then there’s Ireen Ames, who Coco discovered after Emerging Ibiza ran a mix competition on Capital Xtra. “There were 750 that went in — my producers were looking for the more commercial, crossover ones, and then I heard Ireen’s mix which was the most seamlessly-mixed minimal techno, and I was like, 'This chick is sick!'”
The competition went to a public vote and Ireen didn’t make the top spot, but they stayed in touch and Coco brought her out to ADE as an acting mentor/manager. “Her idol is Richie Hawtin and I got her on stage with him and she couldn’t handle it!” she laughs. “I absolutely adore her.”
The radio DJ met TIMANTI after she came to the ‘Volume I’ launch party, and Barber has a studio in Hackney Wick with her so they linked through her.
While she’d been sitting on a track by Dollop at Stealth resident Shoot The Ghost for ages. “When I found it I thought, 'That's the song that's gonna root this compilation in the UK'. There's something so intrinsically ravey and UK about it.”
Paola (Cantachin) she met through Ireen, who sent her one of Paola’s tunes one day and it didn’t register with Coco for ages until she found the untitled file and decided to play it on air.
“There was something a bit magic about it... I thought, I really need to trace down this song, I have to have it!” Finally, Canada’s Waxman had been sending her tunes on Soundcloud for some time and she now wants him as a core artist on her label. “I always maintain relationships with artists to help them out,” she nods.
She’s buzzing about the compilation, but it’s clear that the project most firmly on her mind is the creation of her own imprint. “Being on air I get sent so much music, and I’m fed up of getting six to eight-track EPs with remixes for every possible DJ, or listener.
It just seems like people are playing it so safe these days. So I wanna do a singles-only label. It’s not an unknown thing — Jamie Jones is doing it on his new label. I understand the thing of wanting to convey a concept or idea in an EP, but why can’t you do that over the course of a few releases?”
Coco is no stranger to the inner cogs and wheels of a label, having clinched a dream job at Black Butter when she was just 21. “I knew Woz and Kidnap Kid cos they’d done mixes on my uni radio show, so I got in touch through them. It was just me and Olly [Wood] at that point.
That was a crazy, crazy year, every day there was something more mental happening. There I learnt everything I needed to know about the record industry.”
While her Capital Xtra show is a vital outlet for her to showcase her favourite new tracks. “Monday to Thursday 3am-6am I mix live, I produce that show completely myself. It’s great — I get complete creative freedom, with guest mixes from whoever I want.
But Coco hasn't set her sights on just one path. “The way I want my career to go is to be the pioneer of a new generation,” she concludes. “Label boss, producer, A&R, with radio being one of the things that I do. Label club-nights, festivals. Yeah! A Pete Tong-kinda character. I wanna see what I can do in terms of creative collaborations, like, how far can I push it?"
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