As Coco Jones celebrates her first Grammy win, she’s been reflecting on finding success and her place as a “pioneer” for R&B.
In a new interview for Rolling Stone‘s The Green Room from her Grammys celebration with Grey Goose that took place ahead of her Grammy win, Jones says she is ready to focus on embracing her own needs as she enters a new era of music.
“I have to keep realizing that the version of myself that I am is all I can be and all I need to be. I can get caught up in this mental quiz of how I get to where I want to go — I never answer it correctly,” she says. “Always, it’s who I am that gets me to where I need to be.”
“For me, I’m just letting go of this unknown strategy that I’ve created in my mind that must be solved, this Rubik’s cube of success. [I just need to embrace] the creative choice I am that day,” she adds. “This is what I feel like making today, this is what I don’t. And that’s fine.”
The singer — who won the Grammy for Best R&B Performance for “ICU” on Sunday — also says she’s excited for the future of R&B, and helping lead “a new wave” of the genre.
“It’s a different time. To pioneer R&B and really make it connect to a world that is really into social media and a quick attention span and to be able to ignite souls in this day and age is a real skill,” she says. “Black women are eating it up in the music industry. History repeats itself. If it’s the start of a new wave of R&B, I’m honored to be here.”
Jones reflected on the timelessness of so many R&B records and how she would belt the lyrics to classics, including “Be Without You” by Mary J. Blige. in the back of her mom’s car.
“I actually was very much using that song as vocal training, because that note was literally me on my way to school trying not to pass out. The diaphragm of this woman is powerful!” she said, adding that her mom would make her sing “powerhouse ballads” by Aretha Franklin and Whitney Houston at auditions. “I was belting as a fetus!”
Jones also shares her excitement about working with Reneé Rapp, and how she’d immediately say yes if she’s ever offered the role of Princess Tiana.
“I am very, very aware that playing Princess Tiana would be iconic. History,” she says. “My daughter would be able to see me as a princess. It’s all positives and no negatives! If that ever is a reality, I would accept the opportunity.”