How many young girls get to live their dreams exactly as they envisioned them? Coco Jones (Roxie) from the Disney Channel’s Original Movie, Let It Shine, wanted to star in a movie for as long as she could remember. Her dream finally came true on June 15, 2012 when her very first movie premiered! At age 14, Coco is not new to the industry. Her music has been featured on Radio Disney and she has been seen on Disney shows such as So Random and Disney’s Next Big Thing.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Coco, along with our two Little Shootie Girls (ages 8 and 9) who were SQUEALING in the background and just couldn’t wait to ask their questions. Take a look at our chat:
Shootie Girl: I’m always inspired by people’s personal stories. Was any part of the movie, Let it Shine, a portrayal of your own life?
Coco Jones: There were situations in the movie where Roxie didn’t believe in herself. I have had many experiences like that. So many doors slammed in my face. You just have to believe that it’s not you. Believe in yourself no matter what!
SG: How long have you been singing and do you come from a music family?
CJ: I’ve been singing since I could talk. My mom says when she heard me sing Barney songs, she really knew I could sing. My mom got her degree in music and my dad (Former NFL Player, Mike Jones) can’t sing at all (laughs). I also have three other brothers and sisters.
SG: Did your mom encourage you to sing?
CJ: Not really. They (my parents) knew I wanted to, and they are just very supportive of us in whatever it is we want to do.
SG: What artists or people inspire you?
CJ: Jennifer Hudson, Taylor Swift. I like the way she dresses and carries herself. Selina Gomez works really hard and takes times out to include her fans. I like that, because I can remember being in the crowd and wishing I was on stage.
SG: How do you include your fans?
CJ: I use Twitter – @TheRealCocoJ a lot. When I was at the Teen Choice Awards, I gave a lot of descriptions of what I was wearing, what the lights looked like. Anything to make my fans feel like they are there with me.
SG: I think I hear a little gospel in your voice? Do you come from a spiritual background?
CJ: Yes! My family is from South Carolina. So I was definitely raised in that environment. I sang in the choir, but I don’t anymore, because my church now doesn’t have one.
SG: How do you want people to feel when listening to your music?
CJ: It depends on the song? I want them to cry if it’s something sad. I want them to feel like life is a party if it’s something fun. I write a lot about females and kid empowerment. I just want people to have fun and learn to show who they are.
SG: What was the most memorable thing about working with Tyler James Williams (Cyrus, Everybody Hates Chris and Lab Rats) and Trevor Jackson (Kris)?
CJ: We had so many memorable moments. They are like my brothers. The most memorable for me was on the first day of filming, I had just arrived in Atlanta. We drove to the set and I saw my name and a star on the dressing room door. That was pretty amazing.
SG: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
CJ: I would love to do a big global tour in Europe, Japan and China. I would like to do more movie roles; action, horror films. I would also like to do fashion, makeup and jewelry.
SG: What grade are you entering? How hard is it to travel and study?
CJ: I’m going into my Freshman year, which is exciting. It’s not hard to do both because my mom protects me from getting stressed. Nothing has to be stressful. I just keep things fun when I work, then I come home and study.
Little Shootie #1: How did it feel starring in the movie, Let It Shine?
CJ: It was my first movie ever. So I was really excited. You know how when you’re little and you dream of being a princess? Well my dream was to do a movie, and I finally got to do it. Never stop believing in your dreams.
Little Shootie #2: I’m a singer, and I play piano and write songs too. What inspired you to start singing?
CJ: I just love to sing, so I had fun with it. Good or bad, I love to do it. You should always do what you love!
Be sure to run out and get the Let It Shine DVD + Digital Copy which hits the stores on August 7, 2012. It’s a great story of perseverance despite the obstacles. A music-inspired movie with positive messages for kids. Nevermind that the 2 Shooties and I have watched it about six times!