Cocoa Sarai
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Cocoa Sarai

Brooklyn, NY | Established. Jan 01, 2007 | SELF

Brooklyn, NY | SELF
Established on Jan, 2007
Solo R&B Hip Hop

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I am a dark-skinned woman, and I love every ounce of my skin. I very understand that this industry is not very accepting of this kind of woman. I’ve been told, ‘Cocoa, you need to be barefoot with a frock,’ but that’s not me. I love my pumps like Beyoncé, I love my big hair just like Diana Ross and you’re going to let me do what I do because I can sing. And as long as it looks good, you can’t be mad at me. I love the glam, I love everything that is shiny, I love rhinestone, I love eyelashes and I love colorful makeup.

Follow the like to read more... - Vibe Magazine (Interview)


If you’ve lived in Bedford-Stuyvesant and have been to block parties, sometimes you can catch a glimpse of aspiring local performers from the neighborhood. On one occasion you might have seen a teenage girl singing to the crowd and doing something gutsy like climbing on top of scaffolding to get the audience’s full attention, perhaps symbolizing her determination to be heard. With the neighborhood’s history of producing talent, someone like that could have a long career ahead of them.

That performer is Tia Myrie, but she goes by the name Cocoa Sarai when she performs.

“They call me ‘Chocolate,’ so that’s where the name comes from,” Ms. Myrie said, a few days before Saturday night’s show at Southpaw in nearby Park Slope.

Since her father was a former radio disc jockey and her mother also a singer, Ms. Myrie, 22, was bound to get involved with music somehow. From being part of her church’s choir to singing at talent shows the calling was there most of her life.

In sixth grade, she put on a performance that won over many of her relatives and friends. She knew then that this was what she was going to pursue.

“I sung the Celine Dion song that she did from ‘Titanic,’ and people were moved by it,” Ms. Myrie said. “They were crying. That’s when I said, ‘I have to keep doing this.’”

Ms. Myrie drew further inspiration from listening to Whitney Houston, Tina Turner, Anita Baker and Billie Holiday. She would often perform at neighborhood events, especially block parties as she thinks Brooklyn has the best ones, and built her name through those kind of local performances.

Along the way she has been fortunate to share stages with current stars, as well as past ones.

“I once performed with the Sugar Hill Gang,” Ms. Myrie said. “During my set, the CD kept skipping, but I just decided to do my songs in a capella, and people loved it.”

Ms. Myrie has also opened for Rick Ross, Lil Wayne and Talib Kweli.

Now Ms. Myrie, backed by a band that shares the name of her new single, “Black and White,” wants to tour. After that, she would like to start an after-school program in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

“I want to be a role model and show that you can do it too,” said Ms. Myrie. “But instead of doing it from afar, I am going to come back and be at the church and community events, too.” - The New York Times


Interview by Ashley P. Williams

Raw, hearty, genuine, gorgeous. Cocoa Sarai is a lot of things. Her music is gentle on your ears and hard on your hips. And her most notable hit, “Raining in my Room,” is a soulful, well-written tribute to pain and survival that honors the artist in her truest form – a brilliant poet turned soulful songwriter turned beautiful vocalist. But, there is much more to Cocoa Sarai than a big hit, witty words and a pretty face. We sat down with the powerhouse to dig a little deeper…

To read more follow the link... - AMMO Magazine (Interview)


Brooklyn’s a creative place and singer/songwriter Cocoa Sarai is BK’s newest budding star. Performing since the age of three Cocoa’s fully dedicated to singing, whether it is the business or creative side of her career. Singing has always been a part of her life with her family beside her every endeavor. However, she lost her biggest supporter of all, her mother ,last November but she continues to find strength from her mother’s spirit pushing as she continues to navigate the music industry.

To read more follow the link... - The Urban Daily (Interview)


Cocoa Sarai has been on the fast track to stardom since her big win at the 55DSL Has Talent Too competition. A New York native, Cocoa draws inspiration from her character-shaping past and present life. While in high school, she had the opportunity to take part in the Hip-Hop Project where she learned how to hone her craft, as well as the business side of the music world. In March of 2010, Cocoa released a 15-track CD via iTunes titled 1/2 Past Seven, penning every track herself. Two years later, she is now ready to release her second album in January 2012. Cocoa took some time out to tell us about what her life has been like since winning 55DSL Has Talent Too and what we have to look forward to in 2012.
YRB: You refer to your sound as pop-soul, so can you describe some of your influences?
Cocoa: Prince, Billie Holiday, Tina Turner, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin [and] Gladys Knight. Those are mainly my influences. Growing up, I always liked the latter. Now it’s moving towards… I don’t even know what to call it, it’s hard for me to categorize it now, especially when I am in the middle of creating a project. I definitely think it’s not what it used to be. “Raining In My Room” is very different from my first project – it’s grander, it’s greater. I love it!

Click The link to read further... - YRB Magazine


If Santa Claus doesn’t go to her house and give her what she ask for after hearing this song, hell I will. Brooklyn, New York’s own, singer/songwriter Cocoa Sarai remakes the seductive “Santa Baby” Christmas song that will probably have Mrs. Claus question every house Santa goes to. - Why Cause I Can


Very often here at SFPL, we bring you new music from artists all over the world. But on this very day, we bring you a natural heartfelt talent by the name of Cocoa Sarai. With amazing vocals and expressive lyrics, Cocoa is sure to grab your attention with emotional undertones in tow. This is one of the best albums from an unsigned artist this year in our book. Cocoa Sarai has been blessed with such a remarkable gift. - Stuff Fly People Like


Cocoa tell us a little bit about growing up as a young lady in the heart of Bedstuy, who aspired to be a Singer. What was it like, who inspired you, and what obstacles did you face at a young age?


Cocoa Sarai : I have to say I'm what you call "cultured" as my grandmother would call it. My grandparents are West Indian and I traveled a lot as a kid so my mind was always bigger than my surroundings. There is no place like Brooklyn, growing up in Bed-Stuy was a beautiful experience. I had my fair share of fights, shootouts, block parties etc. I always sang so everyone in my neighborhood knew it. I sang EVERYWHERE and ALL the time. Their all extremely proud of me. The guy at the bodega to the old lady in the Laundromat. My family definitely inspires me because they all sing, but the ciphers on the corner are always what drove me to want to do music. The hip-hop that was all around me definitely inspired the edge in my music. The biggest obstacle faced when I was young is losing my grandmother, it was hard because she raised me but had she not passed I definitely would have only been your local Sunday celebrity opposed to doing the music I do now. God always has a plan.


Read more>> (Click the Link) - DefinitelyAmazing.com (Interview)


Remember that scene in Alice in Wonderland where the heroine cried so hard that (thanks to the shrinking effects of the famous “Eat Me” cake) she nearly drowned in her own tears? Well, it’s a damn good thing magic cake doesn’t exist in the real world; otherwise Cocoa Sarai would run a serious risk of being swept away in the torrential downpour of post-breakup sorrow she describes on her first solo feature, Raining in My Room. Originally released back in December 2011, this heartbroken single finds producer Jayd serving up a deceptively upbeat, guitar-laced R&B/pop groove as the Roller Coaster/Book of Faust hookwoman describes the traumatic effects of her ex-man’s departure (“Now my pillow’s soaking wet, there’s a river by my bed….”), begging him to return and rescue her from her grief. Will the guy in question heed Cocoa Sarai’s call and take her back? We can only speculate, and hope. Either way, fans of innovative R&B won’t want to miss the rest of the fresh material on the artist’s latest full-length, The Black & White, available on iTunes right now. - DJ BOOTH


Brooklyn bred Singer/Songwriter Cocoa Sarai is far from your average upcoming spotlight! With many accomplishments under her belt, she has traveled the world and worked with notable entertainers such as Doug E. Fresh, The Harlem Gospel Choir and The Buchanans(who has worked with Forbes Top 5 Wealthiest Hip-Hop Artists, Jay-Z and Dr. Dre). Her unique talent on and off stage has granted her the award for "Best Female R&B Artist" at the 2007 Underground Music Awards as well as a Grammy Nomination for her vocals on "Treat You Better." Cocoa Sarai has inspired and performed for the nation of Guam, The Hip Hop Project produced by Queen Latifah and Bruce Willis and BET's 106 and Park.

Follow The link to Read more... - Jhana


Webseries In The Studio provides fans with an inside look and a way to engage with their favorite indie artists. In the latest episode, Ms. Jessica sits down with Brooklyn diva, Cocoa Sarai. The BK artist opens up about losing her mother to cancer, the challenges she faced as a Black artist, and why she was fed up with the music industry. Real stuff, huh?

The intimate setting of the interview and the casual conversation between Ms. Jessica and Cocoa Sarai is an informative and entertaining fourteen minute look into Cocoa Sarai’s soon to be huge career. Ms. Jessica’s heartfelt questions and Cocoa Sarai’s honest and in depth answers create the perfect interview for any fan. With a beautiful and powerful a capella performance to round off the interview, Cocoa Sarai shows her true, raw talent.

With a powerful and strong attitude that comes across both through her music and through her interviews and a softer side talking about her mother, “In The Studio” provides us with a perfect balance of Cocoa Sarai as both a singer and a person.

-Francesca Fortunato - SoGutsy.com


rench Kissez recently got the opportunity to interview a wonderfully talented, up and coming musical artist. She’s having a release party THIS Thursday for her second album “The Black and White” at Dominion NY.

We love her already! Read the interview below.
French Kissez: How would you describe your music style to those that aren’t familiar with you yet? Do you have favorite artists right now that you pull inspiration from?
Cocoa Sarai: I use to call it pop-soul, Now its just me. Most people call it R&B some call it soul, some call it pop. I call it Cocoa lol. Its Soul dipped in chocolate. I’m listening to a lot of Stevie Wonder right now. Ive been on a serious Stevie Wonder binge for the last month or so. Hes a musician so I guess its been me wanting to be inspired so that my live shows with the band can become even more dynamic then they already are.
FK: This is your second release. What are your hopes for this album? What is the biggest thing you would like for people to take away from listening to your music?
CS: My biggest dream would be for the album to spread wide enough for me to be able to do a world wide tour and have millions of fans everywhere. Maybe that’s every artist’s dream but if it is then I share the exact same sentiments. I want people to walk away feeling as if the product is worth every penny. I want them to appreciate the lyrics, vocal performance, production, artwork, etc. For them to not feel robbed. I put a lot into this Ive learned a lot and I hope that people love it as much as I do…
FK: Your first album was self-produced and independently released when you were just 21. You’re still so young but you already have so much experience under your belt. What major lessons did you learn when putting your first album together and how did they help you shape your upcoming release, “Black and White”?
CS: Well, I definitely learned how important a team is!!!!! I did not know a lot of the things I know now about marketing and PR (public relations) and promoting. I did everything on my own the first time because I had to. This time my management and PR made it much easier to just create. They were like “Cocoa stay in the studio and we’ll handle the rest” I’m extremely hands on with EVERYTHING but they make it easier wayyyyyy easier. I definitely understand now that being a songwriter is different from being an artist. So just because I can write it, it doesn’t really mean I should be the person to sing it. I always prided myself on being able to write every genre and I’m still learning, but now I understand myself as an artist even more. I’ve grown, I’M grown, I’m not afraid to be completely myself because I know who that person is now.
FK: How did you arrive at the name “Black and White”?
CS: Its actually called “THE Black and White” Black and White to most are merely colors, Its used to describe something being THIS or THAT. A lot of people strive to be that “Black and White:’ type of person because its safer not to feel. LIFE is about the colors, the ups and downs. Naming the album The Black and White is my proclamation of the “Colors” that make us human. Not to mention my hair has been black and white for 10 months, I guess it was the universe’s way of foreshadowing..
FK: What song on this album do you consider “your baby”, the one you feel most connected to, and how does it pertain to your life?
CS: That is such a a hard question because I love them all. My favorites change every day depending on my mood. One minute Im in a “”black and blue” kinda mood and the next Im in a “Memories for suckers” kinda mood. Thats probably my favorite right now, well today at least!

FK: Ok, so this wouldn’t be French Kissez if we didn’t delve into love, relationships and heartache! After listening to “Raining in My Room”, I couldn’t help but wonder; what is the story behind it?
CS: Ill try to condense it. In 2010 my house burned down, I went through a bad break up and I was staying in a Loft. There was a tornado in Brooklyn around that time and it was raining really really hard. I was coming back from a meeting with my old manager and he had a cd of tracks. The irony is that I was telling him about my issue with my ex before he put the cd on. I talked about my issues all the way up until track 6, the music came on I stopped talking and started freestyling the way I do most of my songs. i told him what the title was going to be and that was that. My loft had huge windows so the thunderstorm looked and felt as if it was in the middle of the room. I started writing the song. Lost the track and called it a lost cause. A year later the producer finds me on facebook and sends me the record, Fellow songwriter Rich Lowe stopped by and we finished it. When I began writing it, I missed my ex and wanted to be back with him, We didnt get back together and Im so thankful now that he let me drown lol, Someone better came along to save me:-)
FK: You’ve also done some modeling, you’ve been featured in VIBE VIXEN; does being in front of the camera feel as organic to you as standing behind the mic? Have you noticed men approaching you differently now?
CS: I have never considered myself a model, I never wanted to be, I still dont want to be lol. I always felt like the ugly duckling growing up. I just knew I could sing. I only began taking pictures because its apart of being an artist. My makeup artist Londyn- Nikole and I met when I was 19 and she had me do a few shoots, people always said I was a natural so I guess its almost as simple as singing minus the ugly soulful faces lol. Im thankful for the features and the people that admire my look. If the woman I am now would have told “3rd grade Cocoa” that Id be a model, I wouldn’t believe her lol. Men are men, Men do men things. By high school I gained a lot of attention. I sang all the time and I wore heels almost everyday…I just love shoes so Im use to it now but always thankful. Im fully aware that no on has to take time out of there day to say “I think you’re beautiful” What surprises me now is the women that actually approach me, it always catches me off guard
FK: Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions!
CS: Thank you for liking my music and actually reading my bio, for feeling that Im interesting enough to even interview, this interview was fun and I appreciate the opportunity:-) - French Kissez (Interview)


I had the pleasure of meeting the lovely Cocoa Sarai through producer SteffNasty at an in-store music event for Tank. As I don't believe in coincidences, I'm happy to say that my subsequent foray into her musical stylings has been awesome; this lady is truly about her work, and she can really SANG! Check out her latest buzz single, "Raining In My Room," an insistently rhythmic mid-tempo ballad invoking the 'i-need-you-back' ilk and adding some hot snare action. You're gonna enjoy this, trust. - P. Murray


If you have been suck inside because of the extreme cold this Winter then New York-native, Cocoa Sarai has something to heat things up for you. The “Raining In My Room” singer has unleashed a new song called “Robots” and she isn’t holding back, lyrically or vocally. “You don’t need to recharge/ we be going for hours,” Cocoa sings over the Rick Hertz production. Cocoa isn’t afraid to tell her lover or the world what she expects in the bedroom. “Robots” is just another gem under the talented singer/songwriter’s already stellar discography.

Read more: kempiredaily.com/2015/02/new-music-cocoa-sarai-robots/ | KempireDaily.com (@KempireDaily) - Kempire


Staying true to what brought her to the dance; her passion filled voice with more strength than one can think could fit in her tiny body, along with the classic essence of R&B. Cocoa Sarai remains relevant and filled with pure talent. She has long embodied what’s missing in her style and brand of music. As long as she’s still pumping them out, we will all continue to listen.
Let Cocoa tell it… - Profanity Magazine


Download “Half Past 7” if you haven’t done so already… My favorites are “Camera’s On,” “Up Against the Wall,” “Playing In Ya Hair” and “Complicated.” Cocoa Sarai is a solid singer holding her own in an industry full of pretty faces and mediocre/sub-par talent. I expect nothing but greatness from this young lady!
Shouts to Chris Faust, Jesse Boykins III, Live Wire, Joe Columbo, Jinesis and everyone else who came out to support this fantastic artist! - Nobody Beats The Liz


NOSTALGIA, The Vibey EP, is the newest release from established Brooklyn Singer/Songwriter, Cocoa Sarai. The talented artist is no stranger to SFPL, as we believe she is the most underrated artist of our generation. - Stuff Fly People Like


I hereby declare Cocoa Sarai the Queen of Indie R&B. That is, until she gets a record deal. Then she'll be the heir to the throne. You can decide for yourself who's sitting on it now? Mary J. Blige? Alicia Keys? Chrisette Michele? It doesn't really matter because Cocoa is different from them, or anyone else for that matter. She's got her own thing.

With her latest release, "Raining in my Room", she again impresses with her incredible ear, range and lyricism. She's a total package. I've seen her perform on more than one occasion and she is a really dynamic performer. Her tiny frame can barely contain her huge stage presence and self awareness.

When I tell you this song is a HIT, I mean that if this song was sold to a major label artist, it would debut at #1. Cocoa is not a major label artist yet, but this song still debuted at #1. Number 1 in the hearts of her fans and supporters. She's such a gifted talent and it's just a matter of time before she gets her just due. Check the audio below. Enjoy! Your playlist just got a whole lot fresher... - Rox Fontaine


Discography

"Nostalgia | The Vibey EP" (2015)

1.Timing (Intro)

2. Blow Me

3. Retrospect (Freewrite)

4. WTF (Can't Be Friends)

5. 9 Lives

6. Broken Parts (Interlude)

7. Wait a Minute (feat. The B3nder)

8. Robots

9. Shadowboxer 

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The Black & White (2012)

1. The Black & White (Intro)

2. Raining In My Room

3. Criminal

4. Black & Blue

5. Love Feels Like

6. Colours

7. Memories 4 Suckers

8. Anything ft. Fred Da Godson

9. Delete You

10. One Second 2 Love ft. Rich Lowe

11. Live

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Half Past 7 ( 2010)

1.Half Past Seven (Intro)

2. Camera's On

3. Up Against The Wall

4. Playing In Ya Hair

5. Stupid Love Song

6. Complicated

7. Beat Box (Skit)

8. Ur Such A Girl 

9. Everything ft. Livewire

10. Mind Control (Skit)

11. She Took the Night

12. Hungover 

13. Side Effects 

14. Thank You (Outro)

15. Ring (Bonus Track)

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Photos

Bio

Brooklyn, New York based singer, songwriter and dynamic performer Cocoa Sarai began singing at the age of 2 as her mother the late Sandra Myrie recalls, “She was 2 years old when she started singing, but actually I knew that her voice was going to be something special because she had an unusual cry and her grandmother said she’s going to be a singer”.

Hailing from the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, Cocoa Sarai draws her inspiration from a character-shaping past, present life and career experiences and a wild imagination of a future she intends to take control of by sheer will. The eldest of three siblings, Cocoa Sarai was raised by her grandmother and notes her as the source of her strength. When she was very young, she took on the role of caretaker at home due to health issues arising from her grandmother’s diabetes.

It was in 2006 at the age of 15 when Cocoa Sarai would begin to spread her wings, being the youngest member, and one of just a few women, of The Hip Hop Project; a New York-based program that encourages and inspires New York City teens to make their life stories works of art using Hip-Hop as a method of self-development and personal discovery. The program was also the subject of an award-winning documentary film executive produced by Bruce Willis and Queen Latifah. “The student becomes the Teacher” and with this being true to life, Cocoa became a Teaching Artist for that very same program.

In 2008, at the age of 17 Cocoa Sarai would take her talents to another level being seen world wide as a contestant on BET’s Wild Out Wednesday appearing once in January and requested to come back in July, which led to her achieving the 2009 best Female R&B artist award at BET’s Blaze The Stage ceremony. Following her senior year of high school, Cocoa traveled the world as part of the Hip-Hop Project sharing her talent and serving as a pillar of inspiration in several countries including the nation of Guam and Japan. Upon her return, she next toured Southern Europe (France, Hungary, Spain and Italy) with the world renowned "Harlem Gospel Choir".

In 2010 Cocoa Sarai released her Debut Ep ½ PAST 7, all songs self written, showcasing her original music, which created a lane for her to perform at venues that catered to R&B and Hip Hop. The Ep would bring Cocoa Sarai more recognition, with her working with producers such as The Buchanans (Jay-Z - “What More Can I Say”, Beyonce – “Hip-Hop Star”) and Rick Hertz (Rodney ‘Darkchild’ Jerkins New Seventy7 Publishing Signee) which lead to her big performance at Madison Square Garden where she performed the National Anthem for the NY KNICKS on February 9, 2011.

In late 2011 Cocoa released her lead single “Raining In My Room” as a dedication to her mother who sadly died of Lung Cancer in November of 2011. This led to the release of her sophomore EP The Black & White. Two singles from the project gained recognition from radio DJ’s, having her songs “Raining In My Room” and “Anything” featuring emerging rapper Fred Da Godson,  air on popular radio stations such as HOT 97 and Power 105.1, two leading stations for Hip-Hop and R&B in NYC. This soon lead to her performance at BET’s Music Matters showcase delivering a performance so impressive and dynamic that she was invited to perform and headline the showcase in 2013.

In 2012 Cocoa Sarai would also receive an Underground Music Award for Best Female R&B artist. Her talents, personality, street presence and her achievements are all responsible for her becoming the “go to” girl for hooks and features.  Cocoa has also received much praise as a songwriter from several music industry executives including Atlantic Records’ VP of A&R Darrale Jones, SONY/ATV Music Publishing’s A&R Walter Jones, J-Records’  Trevor Gale, Vice President of Writer/Publisher Relations at SESAC, LaFace Records’ JoJo Brim, General Manager/ Senior Vice President of A&R at Epic Records, Interscope Records, John Ehmann, Sr, Director of A&R and others. She has been featured in The NY Times, Vibe.com, Vibe Vixen, YRBMag, The Singers Room, The Urban Daily,  just to name a few, all noting Cocoa Sarai as the best new songwriter and singer on the horizon.

Cocoa has now written songs that have been released by artists signed to major labels ("Sevyn Streeter", Atlantic Records, "Adina Howard", SMG/Sony Red Records, "Rawyals", Massenburg Media/Sony Red Records, "Che'nelle​", EMI Capitol Universal, "Shaggy" Sony EMI) 

After nearly a year of recovery due to Voice Microsurgery in order to remove polyps from the songbird’s vocal chords, she is back and stronger than ever. 

Band Members