The CoKo Cure

Wherehouse Lounge Transcript with Coko
September 02, 1999

As a member of the now-defunct New Jill Swing trio, SWV, Coko stood out as the commanding lead vocalist behind several chart-topping hits, including "Right Here," "I'm So Into You" and "Weak" from SWV's double-platinum first album, It's About Time. Now, with the release of her long-awaited solo debut, HOT,COKO, the former choir girl sets out to establish herself as one of contemporary music's leading female vocalists and songwriters.

Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, Coko (né Cheryl Gamble) grew up singing in church and eventually would like to come back to gospel music because that's her roots. "I was singing in Hezekiah Walker's Love Fellowship choir when I decided to leave and start singing secular music," explains the 25year-old songstress, who cites gospel singers Twinkie Clark, Tramaine Hawkins and Men of Standard as her biggest influences. That's when she teamed up with childhood friends Lelee (Leanne Lyons) and Taj (Tamara Johnson) and formed SWV-an acronym for Sisters With Voices. The trio recorded a demo tape and shopped it around to various record labels. The tape soon caught the attention of producer Teddy Riley, the originator of the ubiquitous early '90s New Jack Swing sound who played an instrumental role in launching the successful careers of acts like Jodeci and Mary J. Blige. Riley helped SWV craft their debut LP, It's About Time, which gave way to two later releases 1996's New Beginning followed by Release Some Tension in 1997.TRANSCRIPT

Steve White: [cut out some of his babbling]. I WANT COKO....DAMN IT! I WANT COKO....GIVE ME COKO! She said, we don't have Coko...Well I said, COME TO THE WHEREHOUSE LOUNGE! WE'VE GOT COKO!!!!!!!!!! Bam! Right there Coko. Album in the Wherehouse Music......NOW! I I'm hoping to get Coko in the Wherehouse... Hi, what's up girlfriend?

Coko: {action} saunters in and hugs Steve. HI!

Steve White: You're a tall drink of water! You tired?

Coko: Yup.

Steve White: This gonna be fun.

Coko: Okay.

Steve White: You know why? 'Cause it's all love. First of all, Coko, say hello to the world.

Coko: Alright. Hello world!

Steve White: So what's up girlfriend?

Coko: workin' hard on this album

Steve White: I heard, you been up all day and all that.

Coko: Yup.

Steve White: You got those sleepy, sexy eyes, blinkin' all slow.

Coko: (LOL)

Steve White: You want something to eat?

Coko: No, I just ate some Roscoe's.

Steve White: What did you get?

Coko: I just had some chicken wings and french fries.

Steve White: Right on! Did you get a Lisa's Delight?

Coko: No.

Steve White: Lemonade and Ice Tea? What about the sunrise?

Coko: No I don't like that.

Steve White: I love it! For those of you all across the world, Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles is an icon here in LA

Coko: It's a Southern thing....

Steve White: Is it? Really? You from the South?

Coko: No, I'm from LA! LOL

Steve White: We try to make you as relaxed as possible....where you from in the South?

Coko: Kingmansville, NC actually.

Steve White: Is that near Nashville?

Coko: It's a small, small town.

Steve White: How close to 95?

Coko: Full of family. It's right there! {action} laughs

Steve White: You know, 95, goes right now the haven't been back in a while have you Coko?

Coko: Nah, I go back every year!

Steve White: Is there a wireless mic on your left hip?

Coko: You want it?

Steve White: Okay, so apparently I have to do this now...there's a man in my ear

Coko: Okay, okay, okay. I can hear him.

Steve White: He tries to talk into this and I'm trying to make you comfortable parents are from South Carolina.

Coko: Who?

Steve White: My mother. I have a mother.

Coko: You do?

Steve White: Akin

Coko: Oh, never heard of it.

Steve White: Oh, it's near Augusta

Coko: Okay. {action} giggles

Steve White: I don't blow smoke up anybody's ass when they come here....but the album's hot.

Coko: Thank you!

Steve White: And I'm not a R&B cat...I'd rather listen to hard core rap and R&B's growing on me but I put this on and I'm like, wait a second, this girl is saying something and the voice is lovely.

Coko: Mmm, mmm.

Steve White: I'm in the moment. I'm talking about what's happening right here and now and we could sell it right now!

Coko: Thank you!

Steve White: Right here on the internet. It came out August 10th.

Coko: Yeah, August 10th.

Steve White: I did my homework.

Coko: Mmm,hmm...

Steve White: And my wife and I are asking who that is singing on your album, is that Luther?

Coko: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah!

Steve White: No, it's Tyrese!

Coko: Yup.

Steve White: He's been in the album. What's the inspiration for the album?

Coko: (LOL)

Steve White: What was going through your mind?

Coko: I just wanted to prove to the world I could do this, there are a few haters.

Steve White: FEW?

Coko: I just wanted to show everyone I could do this, so it's personal. I did five songs

Steve White: Mmmmm. {action} snaps

Coko: I picked producers, I do my thing.

Steve White: Doing your thing, thing. You even got freestyle going there.

Coko: That's not me, that's Eve from the Roughriders.

Steve White: Eve, check in, we need to see you!

Coko: Okay!

Steve White: I wonder if she cut her nails?

Coko: {action} laughs. Well, I had a baby...I had to get rid of my nails.

Steve White: {action} claps! You had Jazz.

Coko: Yeah, Jazz.

Steve White: Jazz is three now. Jazz is on the album.

Coko: He'll be four in October.

Steve White: Did you pay Jazz? 'Cause there's child labor laws.

Coko: Yeah!

Steve White: How is single-momdom?

Coko: It's great!

Steve White: She said it's GREAT! Yeah?

Coko: It's cool, yup and that's it.

Steve White: You're just going to leave that one right there!

Coko: Yup, yup. {action} giggles

Steve White: See, it's happening....the Wherehouse is loving just takes a few minutes before the love of the Wherehouse permeates this room and next thing we know we're singing and dancing.

Coko: Anytime, look at you! I'm thinking about Clockers!

Steve White: Mmm Clockers with me taking a bullet in the mouth and all that. In other words I deserve to die? It was a movie!

Coko: You talked too much in Clockers!

Steve White: Are you trying to say I'm talking too much?

Coko: No, no! {action} laughs

Steve White: Eyebrows are perfect!

Coko: Thank you!

Steve White: You're a very handsome young lady....can you say handsome?

Coko: Thank you!

Steve White: Like those Bette Davis movies in the 40s?

Coko: {action} laughs

Steve White: She's like, NO, I don't want to be called handsome...I want to be called FINE!

Coko: {action} keeps laughing

Steve White: Who's that fellow?

Coko: That's Boogie

Steve White: What's Bookie do?

Coko: He dances with me!

Steve White: {action} laughs! And we're going to see those dances very soon right here on the Wherehouse Lounge. So here's how it goes, the whole world has access here and I read questions from them.. because they want to see if the Black guy can read.....and you answer them.

Coko: Mmm, mmm. Okay. Okay.

Steve White: {action} laughs!

WH Moderator: Question from hotgyrl104: How did you know singing was your destiny?

Coko: I've been singing since I was 11 months old.

P>Steve White: What? 11 months?

Coko: So, yeah!

Steve White: Gooo gooo ga ga.....

Coko: Yup.

Steve White: Is it obstacle or optical?

Coko: {action} laughs! In spite of the obstacles.

Steve White: In spite of the obstacle....EXACTLY! I love that song.

Coko: Mmm hmmm....thank you.

Steve White: I mean the voice on me...if it was whack...I'd be, nice album, good luck with the sales, you can pick it up in stores.

Coko: {action} cackles

Steve White: I'm sitting there saying....THIS GIRL CAN SANG! You can see the ex-boyfriends, you can see the pain

Coko: Trina's ex boyfriends!

Steve White: So you like used her when she got dogged once and said, I can use that 'cause Trina can't sing!

Coko: That's for my best friend too! That's why I did it, yup.

Steve White: Just kidding Trina, you're not sitting in the room though so I can have fun.... Coko's here...album's HOT though.....tell us about "Sunshine"!

Coko: I wrote that song about my son Jazz, he makes me so happy. It's a feel good track.

Steve White: Right on. Is Jazz here?

Coko: He's here.

Steve White: You know you were a couple minutes late, just want to make sure you're aware of that.

Coko: I know....

Steve White: 'Cause Warren G was a lot late and I want to show you what he gave me!

Coko: Mary wanna give you somethin'!

Steve White: But you weren't THAT late so a little trinket, a Diablo or Bentley.

Coko: She'll get you the Bentley! Hook him up Mary!

Other people have questions out there.

WH Moderator: Question from Coko_Online: Coko I love you! I'm the creator of your first fansite called 'Coko Online"!

Coko: I love you too!

Steve White: Do you know the creator of your first fan site, Coko Online? I think I know who this is but I don't want to say the wrong name.

Steve White: Why don't we look at a couple pictures here. She's stupid!

Coko: {action} can't stop laughing

Steve White: I'm not stupid...I'm a college graduate! Damn! What's the tattoo of? Is it a real one?

Coko: it was real. It says Ms. Voice.

Steve White: Now tell me...the Bronx?

Coko: The Bronx.

Steve White: Because, see, again doing my homework. You're from the Bronx...concourse or what?

Coko: Yeah.

Steve White: Is that the South Bronx?

Coko: I'm from Forest Avenue.

Steve White: The South South Bronx?

Coko: Yeah. The South Bronx.

Steve White: I'm from New York too..

Coko: Yeah.

Steve White: I'm from Long Island!

Coko: Oh, wow! That's a rough place!

Steve White: Yeah, you know, all types of stuff went down on the wiffle ball field. You know what I'm saying?

Coko: Yeah, mmm, mmm. Yeah, I know.

Steve White: You know I had to cut the grass sometimes 'til 8:00 at night!

Coko: {action} laughs

Steve White: You know what I'm saying?

Coko: Okay, alright. Okay.

Steve White: In Spite Of The's not about me....It's not about my money

Coko: (LOL) Can't be!

Steve White: I'm going to ask you a question now

Coko: Okay, okay.

WH Moderator: Question from LILRED: Are u going on tour...r u comin to Houston????

Coko: Oh my God, what's up Lil Red? Yeah? What did she say?

Steve White: Lil Red wants you to give Steve a kiss right now........NO, she didn't say that!

Coko: No she doesn't!

Steve White: You think I would take advantage of my position as host of this show?

Coko: Okay!

Steve White: She's in Houston, I guess.

Coko: /B> That's my girl. Oh yeah I'm comin' I should be there sometime this month. She writes me, I write her back.

Steve White: Oh, do you have a website? Tell the folks. You can link in and get hits.

Coko: Oh yeah. I don't know the address.

Steve White: Mary! My God!

Coko: Mary! It is

Steve White:

Coko: Yeah, that's it. Yes.

Steve White: Right on. Why don't we do this...I want to do some "Sunshine." Do you have to bring in Boogie and Everlast and Shabadoo and Turbulent?

Coko: Yup. Yup it's Boogie, Randy, Eddie and Sergio.

Steve White: Roberto...what's up? You have a very aquiline jaw line...anything happening on the model front?

Coko: OH, thank you. No, I'm too thick!

Steve White: And I'm too dark! Wait a second....I just saw Foxy Brown on the Calvin Klein.

Coko: She's smaller than I am.

Steve White: She's petite but she's got girth. She is NOT too thick.....let's crush those stereotypes...there's no reason Coko can't get a million dollar modeling contract. You put it out there and it comes!

Coko: Mkay. Cool.

Steve White: Let' s get these guys in here and do "Sunshine."

Coko: Okay, come on boys!

Steve White: Who was the first one to put the laces up? Was it LL? Run DMC? I thought Boogie was comin' in?

Coko: He'll be in, in the next song. {action} adjusts her mic.

Steve White: World.....Coko!

Coko: {action} sings

Steve White: Booya, Cabooya cabooya!

Coko: Booya cabooya cabooya!

Steve White: Get yourself a Corona on me...have all the sushi you want back there in the green room. That was great!

Coko: {action} cackles!

Steve White: The song was four minutes and 7 seconds can buy that right now at! BAM just like that right to your house.

Coko: Mmm, mmm. Okay.

Steve White: Gospel music a big influence?

Coko: Yeah, I grew up singing solo in the Pentecostal church.

Steve White: Pentecostal church?

Coko: Yeah, singing solos at a young age.

Steve White: Are you tired right now or is that your normal blink? 'Cause that is sooo damn sexxy!

Coko: {action} laughs

Steve White: Man, you don't know....sscchhhh ! Oh, man. Sometimes women when you get up in the morning, I'm like wait, they're like, I want to put on makeup, but I say use that!

Coko: Oh, okay!

Steve White: What's your favorite gospel song?

Coko: I have a lot!

Steve White: And it goes a little something like....?

Coko: It's a song called I Won't Complain. I like Twinkie Clark,

Steve White: Twinkie Clark?

Coko: Cameron Clark's older sister.

Steve White: Devil Dog? Funny Bone? Drakes products

Coko: {action} laughs. Yup.

Steve White: Gospel rap is killing me though....can't get into that.... I love Kirk Franklin....gotta get him in the Lounge here! I always have to say this....right here live in the doctoring the voice!

Coko: Nooooo.

Steve White: Right from the kishkas.

Coko: Mmm hmmm....

Steve White: I was hoping you'd sing a song for me.....sing happy birthday to birthday's coming up 9/23rd I'm a Libra! Black man in his 30's I made it!

Coko: Oh....

Steve White: Ha!

Coko: {action} laughs

WH Moderator: Question from basil: Coko were you in the Sparkle Video for "Move On"...I got a bet on YOU

Coko: No, that wasn't me.

Steve White: It wasn't her, okay, the bottom line, it wasn't her!

Coko: Wasn't.

Steve White: That was Iman or somebody. You get address that if you want...I don't want to NOT say it because it is...look.... BAM!

Coko: No....

Steve White: Right here on the IBM could just say technical difficulties.

Coko: Okay, oh, no....

WH Moderator: Question from guest62: Why did SWV split up?

Coko: We weren't getting along anymore it was uncomfortable, I decided to leave.

Steve White: And it's going great. You know why it's going great? POW! Right there. Wherehousemusic. It's great. Any particular boyfriend in mind when you were singing "I Ain't Feelin' You." Ex-boyfriend?

Coko: Hmmm mmm. Hm...

Steve White: Do you find men to be dogs or?

Coko: {action} laughs

Steve White: All of 'em?

Coko: Most of em.

Steve White: You with the slow blink...come! Are you actively searching to have the void filled?

Coko: (LOL). Yeah, that's it.

Steve White: Really?

Coko: Yeah!

Steve White: IF this world were mine....let's sing that song again and I'll sing the Tyrese part....

Coko: Oh, do it! Okay!

Steve White: I had this in the car and I'm loving it and my wife starts singing and crucifying it! She's right there and I don't care if we don't have sex for a week, but she can't sing.

Coko: {action} laughs

Steve White: I can't sing, but she was just crucifying the lyrics. and I'm sorry honey but I had to do this, I just reached over and covered her mouth.


Steve White: And she's beautiful, she's fine, she can cook her ass off....can't sing! It's for real! More questions.

WH Moderator: Question from ArtG: How long did it take to complete this last album ?

Coko: It took me about 6 months to complete the whole album

Steve White: Mm hmmm.

Coko: and on and off process, some in NY,, some in LA

Steve White: In the Bronx? At D&D Studios?

Coko: No, in Manhattan.

Steve White: You see, I keep it real......they didn't just hire some schmot off the street....New York is lookin' clean now....Mayor Giuliani is keeping it clean.

Coko: {action} laughs and says "yeah, yeah. That's clean now."

Steve White: Favorite part of the country now to tour and sing...I'm asking you now

Coko: New York? I like Hawaii! I filmed my video in Hawaii.

Steve White: We watched it this morning on cable hook-

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