NPR logo

Senor Coconut Takes Us 'Around the World'

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/99871341/99878168" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Senor Coconut Takes Us 'Around the World'

Senor Coconut Takes Us 'Around the World'

Senor Coconut Takes Us 'Around the World'

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/99871341/99878168" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

The musician Senor Coconut claims he is so focused on his own work, he only hears other music when he's in elevators and supermarkets. When you listen to his songs, that claim seems plausible.

Senor Coconut is not so much a person as a persona. A figment of imagination, of place and time. The moniker is used by Uwe Schmidt, born in Frankfurt, Germany and now residing in Chile. Hardly the place to base an assault on the international pop charts, but that suits Senor Coconut just fine. Lets face it—if you want to make it big, you don't mix Daft Punk with fifties lounge music and the ballroom cha cha cha of Perez Prado. Or do you?

What separates Coconut from kitsch and makes this head-spinning juxtaposition so fascinating is the sheer musicality of it all. It makes sense. It may—or may not—be tongue in cheek, but there is purpose behind Senor Coconut's blending of musical genres.

"I don't like the term 'experiment' because it sounds a bit unconscious of what you are doing," he says. "It's actually like a game, like playing, like throwing things together. In English like in German you 'play' music. In Spanish it's different: You 'touch' music when you make it. The entertaining thing for me about music in general is the playfulness of it."

Related NPR Stories

We no longer support commenting on NPR.org stories, but you can find us every day on Facebook, Twitter, email, and many other platforms. Learn more or contact us.