In conversation with: Phoebe Coco

Phoebe Coco in a woodland setting
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Phoebe Coco is a maker of elegant, interesting and meaningful music, often rooted in nature and sometimes in collaboration, a reflection of her open-mindedness, energy and creative spirit.

Phoebe used her Seed Award to support a project of vital importance to her, getting another perspective on writing funding applications – thoughtfully using coaching and strategic thinking sessions to ‘reach the project’s potential through discussion’.

We talked to Phoebe to find out more about her experience.

How did you make use of the coaching and strategic thinking sessions included as part of the Seed Award? 

They were really helpful for me. I do so much stuff as an individual solo artist that it’s great to be able to talk to someone who’s completely outside of where I’m coming from – and who is also an expert in the field – about the next steps in the project.

I have these things that I want to do, but it’s helpful to have someone who says, ‘OK, well, let’s talk about how we’re going to do that’.

At the same time, I really wanted specific advice as on writing funding applications. I spoke about it in the advice sessions and mentoring sessions and used the finance part of my Seed Award to have another advice session about funding applications. After this, one of my applications was successful, which was great!

Fiona (Sound and Music Creative Project Leader) gave me a few techniques of how other people approach their funding applications and I found that really useful. A lot of it seems to be packaging the information so that it’s extremely accessible to people who might be funding you or partnering with you and things like that. By presenting in a certain way, it’s both in a format that can be absorbed by a lot of people and also makes it even clearer to me, as the maker, what needs to happen.

What did you do as a result of the Seed Award?

The Seed Award helped secure funding for the project; reaching the project’s potential through discussion.

With this funding, I created a large-scale site-specific performance installation called Tree Song. I recorded acapella songs, some of them with my family vocal group and some of them with local schools and community choirs and these were mapped out onto a tree walk around a London borough, partnering with TiCL, the tree trail app, and the Urban Tree Festival, where we launched the tree trail with live performances in a London nature reserve.

What are your plans for future work?

I have now started a Creative Practice Masters at Goldsmiths. It’s lovely to be in a learning environment after completing quite a major project. I’m looking at how to take these themes forward as there’s lots of potential for collaborations and working with people. I’m studying lots of different things including a course which covers ecology which is really great because I am looking to expand on that area of my practice to further bring it into the sound worlds I’m creating.

I have a release coming up in 2023 – a studio EP that’s actually been a bit of a counterpart to the Tree Song project, exploring similar environmental themes from another angle. The first single will be ‘Clear Eyes’ out on the 17th of February. At the moment I’m working on the visuals and making the videos. The musical pieces themselves are ready to go, so I’m looking forward to letting them out into the world, with a headline show launching this song on the 22nd February in London venue ‘Folklore’

I’ve been exploring the idea of folk song, so haven’t yet released some of the acapella songs because I’m quite interested in the idea that often folk song doesn’t get recorded. In its purest form, it’s passed around by oral performance – by the act of actually singing.

I have various ongoing collaborations– one with a new group called ALULA – longer improvised pieces with a meditative feel, using piano, saxophone and voices. It’s all very live-based and there’s just the two of us and invited guests.

I’m also still composing, and I’ve scored and produced sounds for various film and theatre projects. I’ve always found that collaborative space really interesting, because I get to explore vastly different styles and it’s always exciting to see the results.

Phoebe’s journey is made possible with the generous support of individuals like you. There are many ways to get involved and every donation really does make a difference.  

If you want to help champion new music and the people who make it, please consider supporting our work.  

Visit our support page or contact Chris Lillywhite, Fundraising Co-ordinator, directly at We’d love to hear from you!

Learn more about Phoebe

Learn more about the Seed Award

Meet all of the Seed Award 2021 winners 

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