When it comes to music, 2023 is a year unlike any other. Not only are there a plethora of album anniversaries to celebrate, hip hop turns 50 years old in August, and our very own REVOLT celebrates 10 years as an unapologetic voice in Black music and culture. With these milestones in mind and with Black Music Month upon us, we wanted to pay tribute to some of our community’s most iconic artists. A ’90s party-themed ode to R&B legends and rising stars felt like the perfect way to do just that, and you’re on the guest list.
The second installment of the Xfinity-sponsored series “The Link Up” continues to showcase rising Black artists through a pair of eye-catching performances, but this time, with a more immersive visual upgrade. Thanks to a single shot videography approach and an energetic, throwback house party theme, season two drops viewers right into the action. A picturesque house in the Los Angeles hills sets the scene for a medley of ear-catching musical performances, all while showcasing how the Xfinity 10G Network fosters stronger connections between people within the party and their friends who have yet to arrive.
Last year’s inaugural season — led by Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Lucky Daye and a collection of up-and-coming instrumentalists — had a goal of connecting artists who were in the same building, though separated across different spaces.
Lending her talents to lead “The Link Up’s” sophomore year is Coco Jones. Alongside a host of dynamic accompanying artists (bassist Aneesa Strings, trumpeter J. Chantel, snare drummer Jamese Moses, talkbox player Andre Troutman, and vocalists Shaleah Nikole and Keisha Renee), the multitalented star performs outstanding renditions of R&B classics “Full Moon” and “Real Love.” With each track, the musical ensemble crafts performances that put a refreshing spin on records we’ve all come to know and love.
“I think ‘Full Moon’ has a lot of the characteristics that I like to instill in my own music — it’s up-tempo, but it still has that urban realness to it,” Jones explains of her song choice. She adds that “Real Love,” in particular, carries an “authenticity” that provides a timeless energy for R&B fans. “[The] ‘90s was the pathway,” Jones beams. “They walked, so I can run, so I take a lot of inspiration from the OGs.”
After getting her start at a young age in various Disney projects, including Let It Shine! and Radio Disney’s “The Next Big Thing,” Jones has steadily grown into one of the biggest breakthrough acts in Hollywood. Now 25, the Tennessee-bred titan holds a starring role in Peacock’s dramedy series “Bel-Air.” She’s also been christened one of the leaders of R&B’s new school after receiving rave reviews for her debut EP, 2022’s What I Didn’t Tell You.
“I think being an adult and reintroducing myself was very crucial,” she tells REVOLT of the acclaimed project. “So what I wanted to do with my debut EP is give a lot of different sonics, and flavors and styles to really see what people like from me, and also to show the different layers of who I am, as if this person had never met me before.”
The Black community has been pivotal in the advancement of popular music culture as we know it, and there’s no better time to toast to our successes and contributions than during Black Music Month. Jones feels that initiatives like “The Link Up” exemplify Xfinity’s desire to uplift and support Black artists while offering rising musicians the chance to “shine in a different way.”
“To use that reach to shine light on other communities, I think continues to push the needle toward more opportunities for more people of color,” Jones says of “The Link Up.”
She also explains that paying homage to the generations of musicians who came before her allows her to create a cultural and historical “link up” of her own. “If you don’t know where you came from, you don’t really know where you’re going,” she affirms. “I feel like a part of me and my identity is my culture and the people that have inspired me — the women in music that have inspired me. I want to give them some honor because they’ve done a lot for me in my life.”
This is your chance to cash in on your party invite, courtesy of REVOLT and the Xfinity 10G Network. Watch Coco Jones’ vibrant cover of “Full Moon” now and lookout for “Real Love” dropping on June 19.