The A List: DJ Coco


Each year, the B-Metro team compiles a list of people and organizations that we believe are extraordinary; we call it our A List. Those who landed on this year’s list can boast some remarkable achievements, but their mention here goes beyond that—these are the people who are working to make this city better, in whatever way they know how.

 

It’s a long way from the Hacienda (an infamous dance club in Manchester, England) to the runways of Paris fashion week to Birmingham, Ala., but DJ Coco has made the trip—and what a trip it has been. “I remember watching the DJs when I was just a teenager and thinking how cool it would be to have that kind of power over a crowd,” Coco says. “People want to have an experience. The music is all about highs and lows, about building tension and then letting go. You are basically conducting everybody’s night.”

The club scene of his youth in Manchester is legendary. In fact, there’s a movie, 24 Hour Party People, that chronicles the birth of the Hacienda and the explosion of the music scene in Manchester. It’s where DJ Coco found his beginnings.

He moved to America in 2000 and began spending a lot of time in Miami and Atlanta. He brought with him the beats he had experienced in Manchester. “I deejayed a lot of drag shows, because they were the only people listening to European dance music at the time,” he says.

He started a stone masonry business (a trade he had learned in the UK) in Atlanta and deejayed on the weekends. A couple of those weekend jobs brought him to Birmingham, and he began playing house music at the Juniper martini bar (later Amani Raha). He officially landed in Birmingham a decade ago.

His focus has since shifted, and these days, he works a lot of fashion shows. “Producing the whole show and not just playing your own music—but rather playing music that is appropriate to the designer’s work—is a great challenge,” he says. He is involved in Birmingham Fashion Week (the fourth annual BFW will be held April 21–26, 2014), serving as one of the key players in Birmingham’s entry into the fashion show scene.

The past year and a half have seen DJ Coco in London, Paris, Monaco, Montreal, LA, Miami, Vancouver, and, of course, Birmingham, working fashion shows and fashion weeks and picking up nightclub gigs along the way. “I’ve seen some of the most amazing fashion shows,” he says.

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