For Black Music Month, singer Coko speaks to Aries from UrbanBridgez about her new release “The Winner in Me,” going Gospel, an SWV reunion album, her essential R&B albums and much more!
UrbanBridgez.com: Tell me about the new disc “The Winner In Me.”
Coko: “The Winner in Me,” I think it’s really a good CD if you’re going through it and just feeling down and out. I say it’s for depressed and insecure people. It’s something that can just uplift you, encourage you and make you feel better. To encourage you and let you know, there is a winner inside of you. A lot of people are going through alot in this day and time. I just wanted to put some music out there that’s real positive!
UrbanBridgez.com: What was the best part about recording the new album?
Coko: The best part? I don’t really like the studio (laughs). So that’s always like just terrible. But I think the best part about working on this record, was my Pastor he wrote two songs on this record for me. He actually wrote the title track “The Winner in Me,” so that was really exciting. He’s a great writer, so I got the chance to work with him and help him get out there some too. So that was really good for me when I was working on this record.
UrbanBridgez.com: How do you prepare yourself when you know you’re about to start work on a new release?
Coko: Oh man, I just have to sit there and get it together for a minute. Because like I said I really don’t like going into the studio because it’s such a long process. You have to always do stuff over and over again. So I just have to sit, by myself a minute and get it together. No talking, no yelling and screaming, because I know I have to be focused when I go into the studio and do what I have to do.
UrbanBridgez.com: When you recorded “Grateful,” were you at all worried about your fans reaction to your first gospel project?
Coko: I wasn’t really worried about the SWV fans, I was more worried about the Church people (laughs). SWV fans, you know they’re pretty cool. They just wanna hear some music. They’re pretty loyal, they flow with us. It was the Church people that I was much more worried about. Some of them gave me a hard time, but they’ve come around. It’s better now.
UrbanBridgez.com: Any upcoming plans to perform “Endow Me” live this time with Faith, considering she had to miss the Celebration of Gospel performance?
Coko: I really want to! I really wanna do it again. I’m just trying to find something, I guess on that scale. Where she can do it with us. She really wanted to, but she was pregnant. Doctors orders, so she couldn’t come out. But yeah, we would love to do it again with everybody! I’m trying to work something out.
UrbanBridgez.com: You’ve been doing some spot dates with SWV, many fans made me ask this next question… will there be a reunion album and tour?
Coko: There is going to be a reunion album. We really wanna at least do that for the fans. Because we just left, and haven’t done anything. I mean we been doing these shows here and there and that’s cute. But we know fans really want another record. So we’ve decided to do something, I don’t know when it’s going to happen. But we are going to do something.
UrbanBridgez.com: Being this is Black Music Month, take me back to when SWV first started, did you ever expect the success you all had early on?
Coko: No, not at all (laughs). I don’t know, we were just like girls from around the way. Doing whatever, I don’t think we took it as serious as we should have. We were doing it, because we love to sing. We didn’t expect it to ever be this big. And I don’t think we really understood how big we were until recently. Like when Alicia Keys called, and we did that with her (BET Awards 2008). Recently I did something with Keri Hilson, so I think now it’s starting to hit us. Like we did something, okay (laughs).
UrbanBridgez.com: Shanice talked to me recently about when she first got pregnant, her label made her feel like she had caught a disease, did you experience any type of backlash from your label when you were pregnant with your first child? I remember you being pregnant in the BLACKstreet (Tonight’s The Night) video.
Coko: They make you feel like that even before you’re pregnant. They let you know from the beginning, they don’t want you to do that. When I did get pregnant, I hid it for maybe 4 or 5 months. And they was like she is gaining weight, I wasn’t saying a word… So one day I called my manager, so he could let my label know. I was like I can’t hide it anymore, I’m busting out my jeans. They were upset, but you know what can you do I’m human. They got over it though.
UrbanBridgez.com: Do you still keep in contact with Brian Alexander Morgan?
Coko: Not really. I talk to him like every now and then, we say hello. We had a show in Sacramento, he came to the show and came out on stage. But not to much.
UrbanBridgez.com: If you could put together a dream tour, who would you include?
Coko: I would love to do something with Patti LaBelle, that’s my ultimate. Who else, I love Ledisi. I love her energy. Man, she makes me just wanna sing all night. SWV would have to be in there. And I have to say Salt-N-Pepa, I did something with them recently. It was tight.
UrbanBridgez.com: Off the top of your head, what are your top 3 favorite SWV songs?
Coko: (laughs) You know what? All of my favorite SWV songs wasn’t singles. One of them is “What’s it Gonna Be,” I was just listening to that the other day. The other one is “Fine Time,” and “You Are My Love.” And they all were off the second record (laughs).
UrbanBridgez.com: How are your children and Big Mike?
Coko: They’re doing really good, getting big. Jazz is 13 and Jalen is 6. Mike is busy sleep. Like I was telling you earlier we just came from Vegas, like at 2 this morning. So we’re re-cooperating.
UrbanBridgez.com: What are three essential R&B albums you think everybody should have?
Coko: Hmm… Okay, I’m a little corny. I was just listening to this, Miki Howard has a greatest hits CD. I think everybody should own it. I love it, it’s awesome. I know people was looking at me like I was crazy on the plane, but I don’t care (laughs). I’m gonna say SWV for sho (laughs), everybody likes the first album, but I like the second album. That’s my favorite. And, I’m gonna have to say GUY! I have a whole lot more, but okay I’ll stick to three (laughs).
UrbanBridgez.com: Any last words for your fans?
Coko: I just wanna say, I wanna thank everybody for the love and support. For sticking with me through SWV, through the transition and back with SWV. I really appreciate it, it means a whole lot to me!
“The Winner in Me” In Stores and Online July 14th!