Scotland-bred and London-based, Cocoa Futures are the brainchild of frontman Greg (vocals/bass). They specialize in pristine pop harmonics crossed with a taste for the unexpected. Greg assembled a band including Dave (drums), Zoe (keys) and Jack (guitar) and first came to prominence in 2014 through the self-released upbeat singles ‘Do Something’ and ‘Scotland’, while commanding distinguished reviews for their select live shows, which included the Great Escape and Camden Crawl festivals. This early promise served as a staging post for the band to determine their musical direction and decamp to the studio to write. The result was The Blue EP which has built some major momentum in 2016 and setting the stage for a big 2017 for Cocoa Futures.
We had a chance to sit down with Greg from Cocoa Futures and get some insight on their rise.
Where did you get the name Cocoa Futures?
I first heard the words ‘Cocoa Futures’ in a Steve Martin film from 1979 called ‘The Jerk’. The film is GREAT and you should check it out. The phrase stuck out to me. Trading Cocoa Futures is basically trading in cocoa. This means that people get confused when they google us.
How did the band form?
We started working together back in 2014. Drummer Dave and I started the project, then we were lucky enough to find Zoe (synths/vocals) and Jack (guitar) to make us sound like a proper band.
What’s changed since then? Well, I think I’ve got a little bit better at writing songs and also I stopped playing the bass to concentrate on singing. I miss the bass but I think it was a good move – plus I don’t have to carry anything to gigs!
How would you describe the Cocoa Futures sound?
I think it’s pretty poppy, but slightly messed up! It’s got some odd electronic stuff in there, and some harmonies too.
What are your influences?
I love the 80s a lot, but hope that we don’t sound too much like a straight up 80s band. I’m really into Roxy Music, loads of pop stuff and also some more out-there electronic stuff. It’s not even out-there I guess, just doing something different or trying to say something different. I think we were trying to do our own thing and bring some of those influences together.
What is the songwriting process like for the band?
I spend a lot of time writing ideas, lyrics and music and then trying to work them up into songs. A lot of these end up being pretty terrible, but there’s the odd one that can be exciting or sound good. With these ones, I take them to the rest of the band to make them better. I’ll also spend a lot of time listening to how they sound with the band to try and improve them. It can be quite a long process.
What’s next for Cocoa Futures?
Well, we’ve got our EP coming out on December 2nd on Lost in the Manor. They’re a lovely label. There’s an EP Launch show at Sebright Arms on Saturday 3rd.
For next year, we’ll aim to play some fun gigs, and make another EP!
What advice would you give to other bands on the rise?
Oh, I’m not sure if I’m really that qualified to answer this one. But I think it’s just important to work as hard as you can in the time that you have. And try to make something that really excites you.
You can keep up with Cocoa Futures at their website here.