I feel like it didn’t affect me much. On the contrary, it helped me much more, because at that time I was working and only had Saturdays and Sundays free to make music. In quarantine, I dedicated myself to making music every day and, in that time, I released three singles, something that I had never done so quickly.
As for live shows, I currently don’t make much money playing, that’s why I’m still working as an engineer. But little by little it is becoming sustainable.
What musical influences were you under when you decided to go solo?
There are many artists that I admire. The first ones are the Arctic Monkeys, although my music doesn’t sound like theirs at all. I really like José José, Luis Miguel, Gian Marco. It would be a dream, if at some point I get to do a collaboration with him. I really like Camilo. I respect him for his great career. Those were the music artists that influenced me on my way.
Coco Saenz is a singer-songwriter from Cusco who performs songs that fuse ballads and pop. Photo: Instagram
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Last year you were part of the Qarnival Festival in Cusco, where you shared the stage with Tourista, the Olaya and other artists, how was the experience?
Very cool. There I met the guys from Tourista. I only greeted the Olayas. I’m still in communication with Genko (Tourista’s guitarist), he helps me with some things.
Playing there and meeting Tourista helped me decide to work with a producer. I had my sights set on working with Alejo León, but it seemed a bit expensive to me. Listening to them live made me realize that I had to do it. I said, ‘It’s an investment.’
The next day, I wrote to Alejo and told him: ‘You have to make a song’, and that’s how it started.
Coco Saenz is preparing her second studio album hand in hand with Alejandro León. Photo: Instagram
Have you ever dared to participate in “The Voice”?
He never gave me the time because he had to go to Lima. They only came to Cusco once and they didn’t even spread the word, it was very quiet, but yes
I would have loved to. It would be a little push for the race. If given the opportunity, yes I would go.
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I live in Cusco now, but my plan this year is to release songs from the hand of Alejandro León, the producer of Tourista and Gala Brie. Having that material, I want to start touring next year and maybe move to Lima.
I am in Cusco because I have a permanent job, but,
sometime, I have to get out of here to start generating more fans in person.
You really like Arctic Monkeys, what are your expectations now that the band returns to Peru for the second time? Will you go to the concert?
I definitely have to go. Arctic Monkeys have influenced a lot, not only in my music but in my life. I feel that I am who I am for listening to them and I know that knowing them is very far away, but I thank them very much. Thanks to them I sing, I write songs and I am fulfilling this dream. They are my greatest musical exponent.
It’s going to be a great show. I recently spoke with Charlie, from Los Outsaiders, because he arrived in Cusco. I lent him my guitar for an acoustic gig and asked him what it was like dealing with Alex Turner, because he knew him. He told me that Alex was the friendliest of the group, although on stage his character is different.
That motivates me to perform on stage, and not exhibit my personality to the public.
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At the beginning of April, you released the single “Solo en Sueños”, will this song be part of your second studio album?
Yes, fixed. With Alejo we made the deal to make this second album so far this year. The first song will be that, the next one will come out in a few weeks. We already have it ready, but we want to make the video clip before launching it.
The idea is that the album contains 10 songs. I want to make this album more pop, something good Harry Styles, without stopping writing my lyrics in a lyrical way.
Coco released her first single of 2022, “Solo en Suenos,” in early April. Photo: Instagram
How has the public reception been with the release of your single “Solo en Sueños”?
I had slightly higher expectations, because we submitted the song to Spotify’s history playlists and it didn’t make it.
On this occasion, I felt that it would be different, because we had a work team behind us. Alejo was helping me and the guys from Zumo Collaboratorio too. It bummed me out a bit that it hasn’t entered any playlist, but I think that’s the least of it. I understood that the idea is to continue playing in all the places that you can to generate an audience.
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You mentioned that you would like to collaborate with Gian Marco, is there an artist closer to the musical movement that you do that you are interested in collaborating with?
I would very much like to do a song with Tourista, but, as for the genre I am doing, I would like to collaborate with Micaela Salaverry. I started listening to her recently, she is a very talented girl. I feel like our songs go that way.
At this point in your musical career, what are the highest priority plans on your agenda?
Keep putting out good quality songs, try to move around some cities in Peru: Arequipa, Ayacuho, Tacna. I feel like not in Lima, because there are already many artists there. I want to enter the provinces little by little.