The title of this weeks’ post is a quote from Jose Rizal, a reformist and nationalist prominent in the history of the Philippines. Rizal was a polymath; he attended medical school and was a practicing physician, as well as an artist, a poet and essayist, additionally remembered as a political figure. He accomplished all of these things at a very young age as he died in 1896 at thirty-five. You see, Rizal would have the unique perception of viewing life from both sides as prodigal youth and reflective adult. Therefore, he would have a very clear understanding of the promise young people would offer society throughout a variety of institutions. I have written about a number of very talented young artists now making their individual contributions to the world of music, and this week I feel I made another exemplary choice. This week our featured artist is Courtney “Coco” Jones.
Coco celebrated her fifteenth birthday at the beginning of January this year, but she has quite a few musical accomplishments to her credit. Like many talented musicians, her musical abilities became apparent very early, for Coco this was at her kindergarten graduation where she performed America the Beautiful at six years of age. At nine years old, the youngster from Lebanon, Tennessee met with casting heads for Disney, and she was well on her way. Since 2010, she has been a very busy young woman, first competing on Radio Disney’s The Next BIG Thing. As of 2011, she has guest starred on the Disney Channel’s So Random. In the summer of 2012, she starred in the movie Let It Shine. Earlier this month she released an EP entitled Made Of, which displays her exceptional vocal and songwriting talents. I first discovered this very talented young woman, as I happened upon a video for a song she released earlier in 2012 called Holla at the DJ. The video is very good and polished, featuring an artist with great vocal and dancing abilities. I wanted to find out a little more about this young person, and just as I started to research, Let it Shine premiered on the Disney Channel.
Right away, I noticed that she was rather young, but her voice was more mature than I expected from a fifteen year old. Upon listening to the entire EP Made Of, I could still hear a very mature voice, but the material is certainly age appropriate. Nevertheless, media and fans compare her to a young Beyonce Knowles. I have made clear I really do not like to compare artists; however, I do understand why most see parallels.
There is no doubting the talent of young Coco Jones, but when thinking about very young performers I tend to think like a parent. For most of us who are parents, the goal is to find balance for your children so that they can enjoy their childhood. My parents really did a wonderful job of making sure my younger years were happy times. Parents of exceptional children never want to stifle creativity, but balance is necessary if you want your child to continue to enjoy what they do. All indications are that Coco Jones is enjoying life even as the limelight grows brighter. Very soon will come adulthood and there will be pressure to continue to create music – at an adult level. It appears that she is preparing for a great future in music, film and more. Jose Rizal’s quote rings true in that we do look at our young people to carry on in our future. Coco Jones is another young performer with the hope of future success.