Whether it’s been Tottenham, East Ham or Croydon, grime music has always been entrenched in London. In recent years, though, the earthquake that grime music has created has caused tremors further afield. MCs outside of the city have been proving their mic skills to attest their strength side by side those from the capital. One MC effortlessly proving this is Sheffield native Coco.
For Coco, his peers in Sheffield are on equal footing with the big names in grime when it comes to who inspired him to pursue music: “As well as the obvious grime stars like Skepta, Wiley that were big a the time, it was my peers around me that got me into music and got me to MC. A lot of people in my town encouraged me to be the best that I can be.”
Coco’s journey through the grime scene has clearly kept the MC grounded. Now living in the city, he’s aware that his new surroundings have impacted his music. “London is monumental,” he says, “it’s different to Sheffield. It helps me write about different things”. Coco admits that it wasn’t until three years ago that he decided, “This is serious”. Previously music had just been a hobby for him. Humble, the MC lacks a starry-eyed, dreamy story about how he was forever destined to be an artist. “I’ve always been the kind of person where I’ve worked a 9 to 5. That’s how my mum raised me.” Moving his focus solely onto music is a relatively new notion for Coco despite all the catchy tracks that we know him for such as ‘Big And Serious’ and ‘My G’. Amazingly, Coco only left his last job as a business broker five months ago.
Though early in his career, Coco has already worked with some significant names, including Nadia Rose, AJ Tracey and Protégé. But the MC is clear that he doesn’t go out seeking collaborations and neither is he desperate to work with any of the big artists out there on the grime scene. “I don’t really create like that. If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be.”
But in a short space of time, Coco has developed a strong working relationship with fellow Steel City native Toddla T that keeps giving. The two have noticeable musical chemistry. “It does feel like I’ve known him my whole life and I don’t know if it’s because we’re both from Sheffield. I met him solely through music, but he’s like a best friend.” Toddla T also helped recruit Shola Ama for Coco’s new track, ‘Waters Run Deep’.
Those following the grime scene outside of London will be aware that Coco isn’t exactly all that new to the genre. He’s been previously described as a “veteran” even though we’ve discovered that Coco only quit his day job recently. The MC has caught the attention of many even though he hasn’t hit his prime yet.
Whatever the labels, Coco is firmly rooted, his career objective seems clear: “No matter where I go, I want to spread the Sheffield sound.” Whilst he knows he’ll be hearing the compliments along the way in his career, he’ll be ensuring that he never loses sight of his origins, “It’s important when you’re in the spotlight to remember where you came from”.
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Words: Nikita Rathod // @NikitaRath0d