Singer Coco O. and musician/producer Robin Hannibal make up the Danish duo Quadron. They were introduced to each other as teenagers by a mutual friend, because they both love 70s soul music. The group's name comes from discovering that they are each a quarter black, and also because their sound isn't just one thing; it's a quarter soul, a quarter Scandinavian, and so forth. Coco O. came in to talk to Weekend Edition Sunday Host Rachel Martin about their new album Avalanche.
Coco, who has been compared to the late Amy Winehouse and Mary J. Blige, and made an appearance on The Great Gatsby soundtrack, told Martin that performing on stage is what she's always pictured for herself ever since she was a little girl. She used to regret not getting her start in church, where she says lots of great singers learned to sing with power. But she says she realized her background has contributed to her sparse-vocal style. Coco only has what's necessary in her singing, something she says is a very Danish trait.
The thing she likes most about America is the important place that music holds in its culture.
"America is into music in a different way than Denmark," says Coco. "It's almost as important as food." For the little girl who always dreamed of being on stage performing for hundreds of people, the big reaction she and Hannibal get when they perform has meant the world to them.
After she talked to Martin, Coco O. was headed over to NPR Member Station KCRW for a performance. But on her way out, she paused to show us a little stylish love.