At the Acoustic Alley hosted last month at Ibrida, it was hard to ignore the voice that was Coco. We catch up with the gorgeous artist to discuss her journey through music.
Carol Souki, who goes under the stage name of Coco, is of Lebanese descent. Born and raised in Venezuela, this 27-year-old musician traced her steps back to the Arab World and currently resides in Kuwait. She took some time off her busy day in Bahrain to talk to Woman This Month about what brings her here and of her future plans.
Woman This Month (WTM): What role does music have to play in your life?
Carol Souki (CS): Music was always a part of me. I’ve been performing in plays and talent shows since my school days. I attended Berklee College of Music to study singing and music therapy in 2005. This gave me the chance to learn many styles of music, to develop vocally, to perform at venues and to meet many talented international musicians.
WTM: How much of your training in music therapy influences you?
CS: Music therapy has helped me be in tune with who I am. It helps me learn from patients and to appreciate the musical journey that we create together. It has led me to connect with so many individuals and to raise awareness about music therapy.
WTM: Give us a glimpse of what working with special needs children feels like.
CS: Working with them is rewarding and challenging because you have to identify the needs of the child and know how to best support them while keeping them entertained using music that they prefer. I love to see their smiles, enhance their self-esteem and explore their talents and strengths. You can show others that they are unique and special rather than focus on their disability.
WTM: What are the genres of music that you identify yourself with?
CS: My favourite genres include R&B, jazz, lounge, Latin and Middle Eastern fusion. I mostly sing in Spanish, English and French. I am inspired by Mariah Carey, Jill Scott, Ella Fitzgerald, Lauryn Hill, Fairuz and Celia Cruz amongst many others.
WTM: What is your long-term goal as a musician?
CS: It would be to release my album and perform internationally. I would love to volunteer in less fortunate countries, in centres for women and children and assist in their daily life situations through musical journeys. I have always been passionate about helping and learning from others.
WTM: What brings you to Bahrain?
CS: I have been fortunate to visit Bahrain since I have the honour to work with DJ Outlaw and Outlaw Productions on my upcoming album. Bahrain has several talented and humble musicians that I have had the pleasure to work with and hope to collaborate with on my album.
WTM: What project are you currently working on?
CS: Upcoming works include a video for my first single Don’t Belong. I’m also working on my second single which should be out before autumn.
WTM: What have you planned for Coco for the near future?
CS: My main focus is to perform across the region. I aim to work on my album in collaboration with Outlaw Productions and the talented singer and producer Daffy from Army of One.
WTM: When can we expect to see you in the Kingdom again?
CS: I hope to make it back to Bahrain after Eid for musical events and to record new songs. I can’t wait! I love the vibe in Bahrain. The people are so welcoming and supportive.