Cocoa Sarai – The Black and White [INTERVIEW]

French Kissez recently got the opportunity to interview a wonderfully talented, up and coming musical artist. She’s having a release party THIS Thursday for her second album “The Black and White” at Dominion NY.

We love her already! Read the interview below.

French Kissez: How would you describe your music style to those that aren’t familiar with you yet? Do you have favorite artists right now that you pull inspiration from?

Cocoa Sarai: I use to call it pop-soul, Now its just me. Most people call it R&B some call it soul, some call it pop. I call it Cocoa lol. Its Soul dipped in chocolate. I’m listening to a lot of Stevie Wonder right now. Ive been on a serious Stevie Wonder binge for the last month or so. Hes a musician so I guess its been me wanting to be inspired so that my live shows with the band can become even more dynamic then they already are.

FK: This is your second release. What are your hopes for this album? What is the biggest thing you would like for people to take away from listening to your music?

CS: My biggest dream would be for the album to spread wide enough for me to be able to do a world wide tour and have millions of fans everywhere. Maybe that’s every artist’s dream but if it is then I share the exact same sentiments. I want people to walk away feeling as if the product is worth every penny. I want them to appreciate the lyrics, vocal performance, production, artwork, etc. For them to not feel robbed. I put a lot into this Ive learned a lot and I hope that people love it as much as I do…

FK: Your first album was self-produced and independently released when you were just 21. You’re still so young but you already have so much experience under your belt. What major lessons did you learn when putting your first album together and how did they help you shape your upcoming release, “Black and White”?

CS: Well, I definitely learned how important a team is!!!!! I did not know a lot of the things I know now about marketing and PR (public relations) and promoting. I did everything on my own the first time because I had to. This time my management and PR made it much easier to just create. They were like “Cocoa stay in the studio and we’ll handle the rest” I’m extremely hands on with EVERYTHING but they make it easier wayyyyyy easier. I definitely understand now that being a songwriter is different from being an artist. So just because I can write it, it doesn’t really mean I should be the person to sing it. I always prided myself on being able to write every genre and I’m still learning, but now I understand myself as an artist even more. I’ve grown, I’M grown, I’m not afraid to be completely myself because I know who that person is now.

FK: How did you arrive at the name “Black and White”?

CS: Its actually called “THE Black and White” Black and White to most are merely colors, Its used to describe something being THIS or THAT. A lot of people strive to be that “Black and White:’ type of person because its safer not to feel. LIFE is about the colors, the ups and downs. Naming the album The Black and White is my proclamation of the “Colors” that make us human. Not to mention my hair has been black and white for 10 months, I guess it was the universe’s way of foreshadowing..

FK: What song on this album do you consider “your baby”, the one you feel most connected to, and how does it pertain to your life?

CS: That is such a a hard question because I love them all. My favorites change every day depending on my mood. One minute Im in a “”black and blue” kinda mood and the next Im in a “Memories for suckers” kinda mood. Thats probably my favorite right now, well today at least!

FK: Ok, so this wouldn’t be French Kissez if we didn’t delve into love, relationships and heartache! After listening to “Raining in My Room”, I couldn’t help but wonder; what is the story behind it?

CS: Ill try to condense it. In 2010 my house burned down, I went through a bad break up and I was staying in a Loft. There was a tornado in Brooklyn around that time and it was raining really really hard. I was coming back from a meeting with my old manager and he had a cd of tracks. The irony is that I was telling him about my issue with my ex before he put the cd on. I talked about my issues all the way up until track 6, the music came on I stopped talking and started freestyling the way I do most of my songs. i told him what the title was going to be and that was that. My loft had huge windows so the thunderstorm looked and felt as if it was in the middle of the room. I started writing the song. Lost the track and called it a lost cause. A year later the producer finds me on facebook and sends me the record, Fellow songwriter Rich Lowe stopped by and we finished it. When I began writing it, I missed my ex and wanted to be back with him, We didnt get back together and Im so thankful now that he let me drown lol, Someone better came along to save me πŸ™‚

FK: You’ve also done some modeling, you’ve been featured in VIBE VIXEN; does being in front of the camera feel as organic to you as standing behind the mic? Have you noticed men approaching you differently now?

CS: I have never considered myself a model, I never wanted to be, I still dont want to be lol. I always felt like the ugly duckling growing up. I just knew I could sing. I only began taking pictures because its apart of being an artist. My makeup artist Londyn- Nikole and I met when I was 19 and she had me do a few shoots, people always said I was a natural so I guess its almost as simple as singing minus the ugly soulful faces lol. Im thankful for the features and the people that admire my look. If the woman I am now would have told “3rd grade Cocoa” that Id be a model, I wouldn’t believe her lol. Men are men, Men do men things. By high school I gained a lot of attention. I sang all the time and I wore heels almost everyday…I just love shoes so Im use to it now but always thankful. Im fully aware that no on has to take time out of there day to say “I think you’re beautiful” Β What surprises me now is the women that actually approach me, it always catches me off guard

FK: Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions!

CS: Thank you for liking my music and actually reading my bio, for feeling that Im interesting enough to even interview, this interview was fun and I appreciate the opportunity πŸ™‚

I’ll definitely be in attendance for her album release! I posted the flyer below. Come join us in support.

Use these links to check her out. Follow her on twitter, she’s definitely one to watch!

www.cocoasarai.com
www.twitter.com/cocoasarai
www.myspace.com/cocoasarai
www.youtube.com/cocoasaraitv
www.facebook.com/cocoasarai

So, I Changed My Life

. . . and now I’m back! I don’t know if you all noticed, but I’ve been missing from the blogosphere since July. I was really unhappy about a lot of things (life, career, love… all of that!) In the past few months my life has turned in a completely different direction. I feel more confident about where I’m headed.

If you follow me on Facebook and Twitter you may already know that since my last post:

  • I moved back to New York – I love and miss Baltimore and the DMV but I’m HOME now!
  • I got my real estate license – I’m sooo excited about the flexibility this will allow for all of my side hustles : writing, events, just all around creativity.
  • I haven’t stopped dating – it never stops being fun and weird to me! Stories to come.

I haven’t been posting, but the ideas haven’t stopped flowing! There is so much I want to share with you all. I even came up with a new series I want to incorporate called “Letters to My Exes”. It would be a bunch of letters from me to men I’ve been involved with, I don’t want it to be depressing more like a romantic comedy where I don’t end up with the guy in the end! LoL but I have to figure out to present it in a way that creates the least amount of pissitivity among them. I can’t take the hate texts I tend to receive when my blog gets REAL! Men are sensitive too πŸ˜‰

Also look forward to more art, fashion, interviews and events on French Kissez in 2012. I figure I’m in NY, why not take advantage of surroundings?? So, HAPPY NEW YEAR (almost 3 weeks late) and all that jazz. I promise I’ll never leave you for this long ever again (for real this time)!!