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CoCo Lee
If you haven't caught No Doubt, CoCo Lee's scorching collaboration with Indian rapper Blaaze, you're missing out! The Record brings you an exclusive interview with the Asian-American songstress.

The Record: Tell us about your new album.
CoCo: My new album is called Exposed and I spent two and a half years in New York putting it all together. This album is really my baby. I worked on it from scratch. Every single sound that you hear, the lyrics, the instruments, the melody, putting the songs in order, everything… This is something that belongs to me and I'm really proud of it. I just wanted to write an album that people could listen to anytime, could groove to, feel good without any pressure; I just want to have music that could bring some joy and happiness to people's lives.

TR: Tell us about the song No Doubt, your collaboration with Indian rapper Blaaze.
CoCo: Oh he's fantastic! It was great that I had a chance to have someone as talented as him rapping on this song. The reason why we have an Indian version was because two years ago when I was having a birthday party in Hong Kong, the next table, full of pretty girls came over and said to me, 'Oh are you CoCo? You have a lot of fans in India and we'd love for you to go there and promote so more people will get to know you'. And I was so happy and so flattered because I had no idea! And so I told the record company and they thought it was a great idea, so I did a song that's a bit more ethnic. It's got an exotic sound and I thought it would be a great idea to collaborate with an Indian rapper and Blaaze was definitely the best choice.

TR: What role do your fans play in your music?
CoCo: They play a very important part, they inspire me! There's a song on the album called All Around The World that completely is my present to them. They always write me letters because they don't get to talk to me too much. And they always ask me, 'CoCo we know you're all around the world but are you thinking about us?' Since I cannot write back to all those letters, I decided to write a song that sort of is like a big letter replying to all of them. And a song is forever so I want them to know that wherever I go, 'hear me on the radio/catch me on a TV show/forever I'll be your girl'. That was my lyric and my answer to them. They inspire me to work hard, to achieve, to succeed and to create better music. It's all for them.

TR: Musically what is the CoCo Lee trademark according to you?
CoCo: That's a good question… hmm… I think definitely very rhythmic, definitely something that you can groove to, always that you can groove to. For me, fast, uptempo songs, dance songs are very important, and also ballads are very important. So I have two power ballads, one of my trademarks, that really showcase the voice, and dance songs that would really make you want to dance your butt off!

TR: You've had a long career. Do you look back at anything and think 'Oh my God why did I do that?!'
CoCo: Oh yeah! [Laughs] Lots of stuff that I wish I didn't do. But no regrets! It's a part of my career, part of my growth… and I'm sure back then those platform shoes were very in. [Laughs] Or that crazy hair colour was considered fashionable but now of course, ten years later you look at it and you laugh at yourself! But it's okay, I'm glad I went through all that because I know what looks good and what doesn't and I'll never do it again.

BLAAZE IN DA HOUSE
He's the hottest rapper in India today and The Record gets him to dish on his collaboration with CoCo.

TR: Tell us about your collaboration with CoCo Lee.
Blaaze: First and foremost, it was because of God's grace and blessings that the CoCo Lee project happened. CoCo heard some of my earlier works with A R Rahman and the guys at Sony Music approached me to do my Blaaze stuff on the track. She liked the Indian-African flavour that the rap brought to the song and hence the deal was sealed.

TR: How was the experience of working with her?
Blaaze: The experience was CoCo-licious!! She's truly an artist, very down to earth and yet so professional in her approach to work. We met on the sets in Hong Kong for the video and she was so much fun. Very curious about India and the culture and at the same time quite amazed at hip hop comin' out of India. We had a blast!!

TR: The video for No Doubt looked fun to make. How was the experience? Any stories?
Blaaze: Rage is the guy who directed the video. A Japanese director who was Tarsem Singh's assistant director. When I got my storyboard, my brief stated 'Blaaze - Rapper - Fur Coat - Medallions - Girls around him in lingerie'!! [Laughs] That was truly a Snoop Dogg 'moment' for me, if you know what I mean. In rap, the bling bling and the whole rap vibe has always been so larger than life and for a director to portray that through me, was really smooth.


You can read the rest of our exclusive with CoCo Lee in the June 2005 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE:

The Black Eyed Peas
UB40
Geri Halliwell
Rob Thomas
Sonu Nigam
Asian Dub Foundation
Jal
Rooster
Missy Higgins
Engelbert Humperdinck
VJ Pia
Janis Joplin
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