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In conversation with Coco María

Growing up surrounded by the sounds of music, Coco María is now making her mark. Her natural draw towards high vibrations led her to discover the afro-latin beats that she now mixes with jazz, samba, and everything in between. The radiating DJ also hosts her own morning show called “Breakfast Club Coco” on the Gilles Peterson’s London online radio Worldwide FMThrough her Dekmantel set We Out Here and LP Club Coco she’s proven herself with beats that will immediately warm you up. We got the chance to talk to Coco María before her amazing Lente Kabinet performance over the weekend to talk about her music and more. 


Hey! So great to be speaking with you – How are you today?
Today, I am on my way from Berlin (my former home) to Amsterdam. It has been lovely and warm.

Yes, this weather is changing the entire vibe of the city. I was so excited to see you on the Lente line-up this year. How does it feel to be back, live and in-person once again?
I am very happy to be part of Lente Kabinet this year. People I know speak highly about the festival and after two years it’s finally happening! Being back to playing and travelling, and meeting each other again is fun and I feel active and energised. But I also need to adapt again to a faster rhythm without “blowing a fuse”, any tips welcome.

I wish I knew myself ha-ha. Though it has been a while since we were all in a collective space together, I have to say, it felt as though you were with us the whole way through the lockdown. From live sessions to now Breakfast Club Coco! I imagine it was helpful having a place to share music and create community during this time?
It makes me very happy to hear this! Every time someone expresses something similar to me, I feel like I have a mission in this world and I love that mission. Breakfast Club Coco – and its lockdown version – saved me from the void. It gave me ideas, perspective and a new, lovely and supportive community of listeners. At first, we thought it was just going to be during the lockdown, but the vibes are still there!

Those morning vibes are forever!

There is an indisputable vastness of your curations, rooted in Latin influence. Do you have a first memory of feeling connectivity to music/sound? Maybe a song or instrument in particular…
My first memories connected to music are from when I was three years old. My dad plays the guitar and my parents often had people over (or we went to people’s houses) for parties and music sessions that lasted until the early morning. It started there. I had my own cassette and CD collection, tape player and my little guitar since I was four… I remember always having this love for radio and my favourite songs.

Your energy on WorldwideFM is so optimistic and radiating. It has a massive impact on the listener’s day. From the opening jingle to your soothing first track, what motivates these positive-morning mantras?
Thanks, wow, such nice heartwarming questions! I love mornings and one of the first things I do after drinking a glass of water is put music on. I know how important is, for me at least, to set up the mood for the day and to motivate me to get in the right frame of mind for doing whatever I have to do – and with the help of a coffee. And that is what I have in mind during my show. I  love to be the listener´s company, with nice music so we can remind each other that we are not alone.

There are definitely two aspects to your practice: finding/hearing music, and sharing music (recently on vinyl yourself with the Coco Club record). What was the process of curating this compilation, and how did it feel to share it with the world?
The process of Club Coco was very smooth and natural. It started with an idea and as soon as I shared it with Bongo Joe and the artists, it went rolling almost by itself. Then, when it was time to share it with the world, the reception was so positive and we got support and love from people from a lot of parts of the world. I am very happy and proud for taking that step and creating something that didn´t exist (it is the first time for me). This project also gave me more trust and confidence in my role in this music world. 


Currently, you live here in Amsterdam, how have you found the music community here?
Actually, while I was still living in Berlin, I found the music community in Amsterdam “ultra-cool” and full of creative artists and music lovers. My images of Amsterdam were: Red Light Radio (where there were always lots of fun and stylish people hanging out), then going to eat an Italian sandwich and visiting the record stores.

And what are some of your favourite places to shop for vinyl in the city? And why?
Vintage Voudou, Red Light Records, Rush Hour and Wax Well. What I like is that, once you find one person that shares your music taste and energies, you meet others very easily and you are suddenly part of the scene. What I would like to see is more relaxed easy-going spaces with good music and good sound…

The Lente Kabinet line-up this year is super eclectic and has something for everyone. Who are some people you are looking forward to seeing?
I agree. I would love to catch Arp Frique & Antal (but they play on Saturday), Esa´s afro-synth band, and Kamma & Masala on Sunday for sure!

… And what can we expect from your show?
My set is quite early, so you can expect welcoming- fresh music.

Love it! Spring/summer 2022 is set to be the ‘hot girl’ season we were promised last year – what are you manifesting for the upcoming sun?
I want to be present… Meet and enjoy people´s energies; other DJs, and artists. Discover.


More about Coco María

Words by Grace Powell