Coco Jones Once Wrote A Love Song About Her Bed: ‘I Was Tired’
The new Grammy nominee and star of Bel-Air knows how to hustle. She could still probably use a nap.
If you asked a 15-year-old Coco Jones what she would think of all of her success this year, she would probably say: It’s about time. “‘Yeah, that took a little too long for my preference,’” Jones jokes with Bustle. “And I’d be like, ‘Girl, if I could have made it go faster, I would have! Now go sit down somewhere with your pink skinny jeans on.’”
You can understand her eagerness. The 25-year-old started working in the industry when her age was still in the single-digits. But with her pink skinny jean era firmly in the rear view, the former Disney Channel star is seeing the hustle pay off. On the strength of her project What I Didn’t Tell You — whose platinum hit “ICU” got a remix from Justin Timberlake over the summer — Jones was just nominated this month for five Grammy Awards, including Best New Artist and Best R&B Album. “I do think eventually I want to be genre-less,” Jones says. “I want bops in every area code.”
She also stars as ambitious influencer Hilary on Peacock’s Bel-Air, which was renewed this year for a third season. Like her character, Jones has personality in spades, both on social media — where her quick-witted candor frequently lights up TikTok — and in her lyrics, whether she’s going deep on an all-consuming love or delivering a wake up call to an out-of-pocket lover. Plenty of artists describe making music as a kind of therapy, but if she wasn’t working in Hollywood, Jones says she’d actually want to be a therapist herself. “I love therapy and I recommend it to all my friends,” she says. “I [am kind of like] their therapist, but they don’t pay me. And they don’t take my advice. But it’s top-notch advice.”
Below, Jones reflects on her journey to the Grammys, the Disney Channel stars that shaped her, and the sacrifices she makes to keep her nails fly.
On Girl Groups And The Importance Of An “Eight Days of Christmas” Man:
Is there an artist that really inspired you during your childhood?
Definitely The Cheetah Girls. They were the moment. They still are the moment, forever will be the moment. I just was obsessed with Raven because I didn’t even know you could do that: have your own TV show and be in these movies and sing and get to dress cool and talk how we actually talk. I was so impressed.
If your life had a theme song, what would it be?
It changes, but right now, I would say my theme song is definitely “Deli” by Ice Spice. I don’t know what it is about that beat, but that song just gets me going.
The holidays are coming up. Do you have a favorite holiday song?
I love “Eight Days of Christmas" by Destiny’s Child. I was very inspired by that song. I need a relationship that gives this energy. I mean, Santa, you're not even coming as hard as this guy! Like, who is this man? I need him in my life.
What is your go-to karaoke song?
“Diamonds” by Rihanna. It’s a great song: inspiring, everyone knows the lyrics, and then I get to pretend I’m from the islands and do a little accent there. The acting part of me is satisfied.
Who is your current musical idol?
I would definitely say Beyoncé because I just think it’s so impressive and so rare to stay relevant for all this time. New fans, old fans, like how? She’s just built different.
On Her Five Grammy Nominations And Hustling With Victoria Monet:
You were just nominated for five Grammy Awards. Is there a song on What I Didn’t Tell You that you’re especially proud of?
Definitely “ICU.” I love the lyrics. “When I leave you, I see you” is my favorite lyric, because I mean two things: When I leave that person, my body reacts — I need the emergency room, like I feel like I’m losing my breath. And then also when I leave the person, I romanticize what they are, and I see this vision of them so clearly.
You’ve toured a lot this year. What’s it like seeing so many people connect with your music?
I’ve always had my hardcore fans, you know? But to see [“ICU”] travel to all these different cities and to all these different people, it’s just kind of mind blowing. You're shook a little bit because you’re like, “I wrote that and had no idea what was going to happen.”
Do Coco stans have a name yet?
Co-Captains — that’s what they came up with. We even put that on my merch hats.
Besides your own work, is there another Grammy-nominated album or artist that you really enjoyed this year?
Definitely Victoria Monét. I always saw her around, hustling everywhere, from the very beginning. She actually wrote on my debut EP when I was first signed and was like 15, so I'm like, “Hey girl, look at us!”
On Practicing Gratitude... Even For The One Song She’ll Never Listen To Again:
What’s a song you want played at your wedding?
“Love” by Musiq Soulchild. I’ve always thought that song was so beautiful and so well-written. Sometimes love songs don’t talk about the good and the bad. That song really encapsulates everything that love is. It’s just beautiful.
Do you have a song you would want to be played at your funeral?
Girl, what the hell? I would say “Grateful” by Hezekiah Walker. Even when I didn’t have the things that I wanted, I would always run back to gratitude because it kept me positive and kept me motivated. Gratefulness has been a huge theme of my life. Also, everyone be grateful that you had my presence in your life! [Laughs] I’m sure I elevated you as a human by being in association with me. Stay grateful for that.
What is one song that you’ve listened to so much you can never listen to it again?
Respectfully, “Me and You” by Roxie [my character from the Disney Channel movie] Let It Shine. It’s just followed me, and that’s fine. But I personally will not be pressing play.
What is the weirdest thing you've ever written a song about?
The weirdest thing I’ve ever written a song about is my bed and wanting to go to sleep. I actually was so tired and was like, “What if I could make a sexy song about my bed?” You know when you’re like, “My bed looks so good right now”? I wrote a song about it. I was feeling it. The passion was there.
Is there an instrument you wish you played?
Hell yes. I wish I played several, but we can start with piano or guitar. I actually tried to learn both of them and I just could not cope with the fact that I had to keep my nails so low.
A lot of people do not think about that! That’s a huge sacrifice.
Yeah! Considering I hold a microphone every freaking day of my life.