Exclusive: Coco Jones Has Mastered The Art Of The Long Game–And She’s Just Getting Started


At only 25, Coco Jones is enjoying the fruits of her labor. As a child raised in Tennessee, Jones always dreamed of becoming a household name in the realm of entertainment. Some fans grew up with Jones on Disney Channel, becoming introduced to her on sketch shows like So Random. Equally as talented musically as she is theatrically, this generation of Jones’ fans also came to know her incredible vocal stylings through the musical Disney Channel Original Movie, Let It Shine, in which she played a teenage singing sensation named Roxie.

But some fans first came to know Jones only last year, when we met her as the wealthy and influential Hilary Banks on Peacock’s Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air reimagining, Bel Air. Shortly after the premiere of the first season, Jones signed with Def Jam–a move which would later launch a new chapter for Jones.

Last fall, Jones released “ICU” from her major label debut EP (and fifth overall) What I Didn’t Tell You. In the era of quick hits on TikTok and streaming platforms, “ICU” has proven to be a sweet, slow burn, just reaching the top of Billboard’s Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay this past May, and getting a remix with Justin Timberlake in July.

Her talent is undeniable, as she delivers smooth R&B tracks by way of her soulful vocals and poetic, metaphoric lyricism.

Over the course of the What I Didn’t Tell You Tour, Jones has been able to focus on her first love–music–notably as production and promotion for Bel Air is currently suspended due to the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike. Hot off the release of a Brent Faiyaz collaboration and in the brainstorming for her full-length debut, Jones hasn’t taken her foot off of the gas.

Contributor, Alex Gonzalez, spoke with Jones during a special VIP dinner ahead of her Dallas tour stop. After an evening of southern-inspired plates and light drinks, Jones is ready to meet with fans and give them an intimate night of pure R&B.

TRNB: First off, I’m loving your new song, “Moment Of Your Life” with Brent Faiyaz. How did this collaboration come about?

COCO JONES: Brent just hit me up, and he was like, “Come to the studio.” That was literally it. I went to the studio, he played me a song that he had in mind for me. I went in, and did my verse in an hour. And it came really naturally.

What have you enjoyed about touring so far? How has the experience been?

Tour is challenging, but it’s very rewarding to give a good show every night. It just gives me that boost of energy I need for the next day–the next travel, the next radio and press day, meet and greet, club appearance. It’s really motivating to see how people love my songs and what they love why they love it.

Right, you’re making a club appearance after dinner tonight. Then tomorrow night, you take the stage. How are you going to do self-care between these events?

Sleep is the most important thing. Sometimes I really just want to scroll and get caught up on what’s going on in the world, but I know I need to go to sleep. I need those hours. But I also am really big on a massage. Working and dancing every day is crazy on your body. And I love to walk. Sometimes I won’t get time to fully exercise, and I’ll just walk. And it just makes me feel like it’s my own time. it’s my own life,  my own schedule, and I get to just have a moment.

“ICU” has proven to be a breakthrough single for you. What would you say has been the key to its longevity?

I think authenticity. And I think the soul and the feeling that “ICU” has is hard to match. It really connects with your spirit and your story, however you relate to it. I think that just transcends and translates every time it plays.

You come from a class of  Disney stars like Sabrina Carpenter and Olivia Rodrigo, and they’re also having their moments where they’re pivoting from the screen becoming household names in the musical landscape. When do you know when it’s time to pivot?

I think when songs don’t feel authentic to you anymore. At a certain point, when that subject matter is not what you live anymore, you have to start speaking more on how you live. That’s when it’s time to pivot.

And speaking of signs, I love your song “Double Back.” I like how it features you recognizing the signs that it’s time to leave a relationship. When do you know when it’s time to let go?

I feel like your intuition always knows. Because you just don’t feel right. It’s gonna be challenging to be in a relationship, but sometimes it just feels wrong. It feels forced. Your intuition be the loudest one.

I also really like “No Chaser.” I love your lyricism and the metaphors you use for different types of liquors and spirits. What liquor would you say is the devil?

Fireball. Literally.

You’ve been putting in the work for over a decade now. But over the past year, you’ve had such a big breakthrough. So what has been keeping you motivated for all this time?

I just have big goals for myself. And this is what I love to do. I don’t love anything else more.

We’re coming up on a year of What I Didn’t Tell You. What’s next? Are you working on a full-length album?

I’m working on my debut album. And after the tour, I’m really going to lock in and blow y’all’s minds! I don’t really have a concept right now, but what I’m sure of now is that I’m more confident as a creative. Watching the success and the support of my current project has really boosted my creative confidence. So I’m going to take more leaps.

*Cover photo courtesy of Def Jam

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