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Coco Jr. was born as Marc Dierickx, and made his first fame as a resident DJ of the Ghent-based venue "Cirque central". On the label Colour Records (Marc Van Beveren & Co) he recorded a few singles, but these didn't make a lasting impression on anyone. His breakthrough came when he stepped up to the microphone of the colourful and merry popband The Dinky Toys, who accumulated success after success in the Belgian charts between 1991 and 1995.


"Acting Like Glass"
37 sec. - 73 Kb.
song : Coco Jr, Sly & Robbie

"Long Long Road"
49 sec. - 98 Kb.
song : Coco Jr.

"Power to the Peole"
45 sec. - 88 Kb.
song : Coco Jr.

Produced : Coco Jr.
Year : 1997
Record co. : Virgin

House of the Rising Sun
Year 2001


Gradually Kid Coco, as he wanted to be called in those days, introduced his passion for reggae music within the hodpodge of cheerful Dinky Toys sounds, which led to a cover of Bob Marley's "Three Little Birds" on the Dinky Toy's second album "Colour Blind". It as in this direction that the singer would head for, once the adventure of the Dinky Toys had ended.

Immediately after the split Coco Jr. - as he started to name himself from then on - assembled the reggae cover-band Vibes Alive with a number of musicians, with whom he did a number of gigs at the summer festivals.


In 1997 he got the chance however to make a solo-album, and for this he took a chance on trying to work together with "Sly" Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare, the lengendary Jamaican "riddim twins". They started working on the tapes of Coco in their Mixing Lab Studio (once the place where Grace Jones recorded her Nightclubbin album), where also the other member of "the Taxi Gang" lended a hand (Lloyd Gitsy Williams, Robbie Lyn, Pam Hall, Brian & Tony Gold). In Schelle Coco Jr. continued working on this material with guitar-player Thierry Van Durme, and keyboard-players Hans Francken & Yannick Fonderie (who had earlier earned their status by working for Soulsister, Vaya Con Dios, Zap Mama and Maurane). The result of all this work became the CD "Acting Like Glass".

As the bio says "Out of this wonderful union of man and machine (ProTools, the advanced digital recording system used by Coco Jr), of European thinking and Jamaican vibes, of pop and roots, a unique album has been born. 'Acting like Glass' is not dancehall, not reggae, neither is it pop or soul. Coco Jr explores the boundaries of these beats and rhythms, creating a colourful musical universe ... 'Acting Like Glass' is truly a magnificent album, combining elegant variation with seamless not-quite-reggae: the perfect pop music for the millennium."

It has to be pointed out that despite very catchy thunes such as "Acting like glass" and"(We're on a) long long road" there was not a great deal of success that ensued, certainly not if compared to the hitparade-climbing stuff of The Dinky Toys. A year later Coco Jr. found himself without a record deal, but he didn't feel exactly depressed about that: "I am involved in a lot of projects nowadays, but without the urge of leading the charts again. Not having a record company is quite a pleasant feeling actually. I'm 34 now, and I have always felt a the idea of safety - being tied up to the same firm until you're 40 - terrifying. I prefer the freedom."

In 1999 Coco Jr. had a surprise hit with a melody he wrote for a KBC-commercial. Although he initially only had the intention of composing the song and singing in a demo of it, the feel-good factor of the song was so high they even decided to put it out as a single, which led to the first appearance in the Flemish charts with "Mensen".In the summer he went on the road with "Cocojr. & The All Stars", a mixed lot of musicians with whom he played perfect covers of black soul-, funk-, disco-, r&b & dance-classics. In this year, Coco also became somewhat of a media-celebrity by his presence in panels from Nonkel Pop (musicquiz), De Drie Wijzen (fun) and Biebabeloeba (covers).


In 2000 he sung - together with his spouse Geena Lisa (who started out as a backing singer of The Dinky Toys once, but has become more famous then her husband as a "La la la"-girl and tv-presenter) and composed the official tune of the Belgian participants in Sidney 2000 ("Sidney here we come"), but this song's success was about equal to the achiements of the Belgians in Austrilia (not exactly good). In this year, he also produced the album of reggae newcomer Rohan Lee, and sung a duet with Salomé for the soundtrack of the motion picture Team Spirit.

In 2001, Coco Jr went on the road again with Vibes Alive (formed out of the Dutch band "The Vibe" (formerly The Recipe), with vocalists Chantal Kashala, Nina Babet and Wah'tanga Rema), and released a summery single with the song "House of the rising sun", as his record firm would have it "immediately puts the point across that even the most often played song still can sound catchy, sexy and fres and makes your hips move. Because of this forceful groove, sultry atmosphere and a touching portion of soul, this "house of the rising sun" suddenly sports a floor where things go on that are just this little bit more kinky than everybody thought."

Buy CD's of this artist at proxis

Albums :
- Acting Like Glass (Virgin, 1998)
Singles :
- Acting Like Glass (Virgin, 1997)
- Where (Virgin, 1997)
- Long Long Road (Virgin, 1998)
- No Tomorrow (Virgin, 1998)
- Mensen (1999)
- Coco Jr All Stars "One" (1999)
- Coco Jr & Geena Lisa "Sidney here we come" (2000)
- Coco Jr & Vibes Alive "The House of the Rising Sun" (2001)

Websites :
- Coco Jr. has a very decent official website
- The European Reggae Foundation
- Coco about his experiences as a young father at Zappybaby

Forum :
- Read the messages/questions about Coco Jr.
- Add your message, question, cd- or concertreview ... about Coco Jr.


Coco Jr.

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Dirk Houbrechts stopped working at The Belgian Pop & Rock Archives (you can read his personal statement here). The website is now entrusted to the Flanders Music Centre ( Contact:

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Last update to this site : December 2001.

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