Hip-Hop R&B singers Jenna and Jenny, better known as CoCo Avenue appeared as guests for the Hallyu Haywire special on newly established radio show called Daebak K-pop with IMMY. The show’s theme for one of the most thankful months out of the year is to interview people that the international fans are thankful for and a chance to get to know them more. What better way to do that than a fun show with K-pop music and giveaways!
After seeing the duo perform live at KCON LA this year I knew they had to be one of the first guests for #HALLYUHAYWIRE on November 6th. The interview is as follows:
IMMY: When I was first introduced to CoCo Avenue it was because a headline that read ‘The World’s First All Black K-Pop Group” and my curiosity was peaked. So ladies, tell us about yourselves.
CoCo Avenue: We are Jenny and Jenna, two black girls who sing in Korean. A lot of the headlines say were the first all black K-pop group but that’s not necessarily something we call ourselves, were just two black girls who enjoy singing in Korean. In 2014 we stared as a duo but back in 2012 we originally were a 6 member group. We’ve been going around the country singing Korean getting our name out there while trying to show a positive image of black people in Korean culture. We are working on our EP to follow up our most recent single “Turn The Music Up“(TTMU). Our goal is to get our name out there and have a positive image of black women in K-pop music.
I: Tell us a little bit about your name CoCo Avenue and your fandom name CoCo Puffs.
CC: CoCo Avenue has been our name since the beginning, CoCo represents that we are black women while Avenue represents the avenue that we want to do K-pop music in. So CoCo Ave is like our own way of breaking into the Korean music industry. CoCo Puffs is a play on hair because we like to celebrate our curly hair texture, it’s a cute hairstyle and I thought it was great that our fans named themselves that out of the other options that were given(coco beans, baristas, ect.)
I: Any K-Pop or K-Hiphop artist collaborations CoCo wants to do?
CC:(Jenna) YOON MI RAE!! Shes been in the game for so long and she has some idea of where we are coming from and I feel like whatever we would create it wouldn’t just sound good, it would also have a message.
(Jenny) I want to collab with DEAN so bad. I love the sound he has. Even if he writes a song or sings the sound would be so great.
I: Speaking of Yoon Mi Rae, others in the entertainment industry like herself, Michelle Lee and newly introduced rapper Alex Reid from the idol group Raina, Whats your opinion on people with some kind of background in black culture coming to light in KPop?
CC: (Jenna) I’m excited about it. I just want so badly for our culture to be represented in the right way. Especially with Alex because shes also doing many solo activities and she’ll kill it! So I’m excited about the work that she does for black people in K-Pop.
I: Is it easier to sing in Korean or speak Korean?
CC: It’s a lot easier to sing in Korean. Talking (Korean) I’m scared to get something wrong(speech wise) and when you sing in Korean you can change the pronunciation and the accent is not as thick so there’s a lot more room for “mistake’ in singing in Korean.
I: Having already traveled to Korea and performed there as well, what is CoCo Avenue’s dream for themselves?
CC: (Jenny) To perform all over the world, be able to do the music we want and be ourselves while doing it. I just want to have a message for our fans and for them to receive that message.
(Jenna) We’re doing this for that girl/boy watching K-Pop thinking they can love this from a far but never be part of it. My dream is for us to just get big enough for that fan to see us and and know that they can do this themselves. If I can reach K-Pop fans who look like me and have them be able to say ‘I can be a part of this’ and ‘I’m represented well’ in this then that’s what we’re doing this for.
This interview was paraphrased from full interview conducted by Immy, a radio DJ on 91.3FM. For full interview and a listen to the full show click here. Tune in every Sunday 4-6pm(EST) for Daebak K-Pop with IMMY and enjoy #HALLYUHAYWIRE month with giveaways too.