Coco Solid is the musician, writer and artist Jessica Lee Hansell hailing from Aotearoa, New Zealand. Acclaimed on her home-turf and abroad, the outspoken Māori/Samoan/German Aucklander has proven herself as an enduring and shapeshifting artist in recent years.
As a musician, Hansell is one half of Parallel Dance Ensemble (Permanent Vacation Records, Germany) with Danish producer Robin Hannibal.
She is also a founding member of New Zealand noize collective Badd Energy (Flying Nun).
As a solo artist she has released cult records and mixtapes independently since 2004 with a wide roster of kiwi cohorts. Hansell also regularly collaborates with Portuguese rap duo A.M.O.R. and continues to work with artists and producers from Europe, The US, Asia, Latin America and the South Pacific
As a comic book writer and zine-maker Hansell produced ‘This Is Not A Comic’ with Pritika Lal from 2005-2008. She briefly edited political newspaper ‘Fight the Fight’ and has produced her annual zine Philosoflygirl ever since. She is set to release her first full graphic novel on Pikitia Press this year. Hansell was also the creator of the comic ‘Hook Ups’ which was turned into the cult cartoon series in 2013 with another series currently in the pipeline. She has recently became a writer for leading Māori magazine, MANA and in 2014 Hansell became a hand-picked member of Piki, the film-making collective and production company founded by award-winning director Taika Waititi.
Hansell has attended the Red Bull Music Academy in Barcelona, she has been sampled by Princess Superstar, remixed by Jimmy Edgar, rapped with Grandmaster Caz, Flight of the Conchords, toured Mexico, New York, Berlin, Portugal, London and Tokyo, lived in South Korea at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Seoul. Hansell obtained her Masters in Creative Writing from the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victory University. She has been to the PAF art residency in France and was among The Listener’s top 10 records of the year, three years in a row. Hansell was voted the Best NZ Hip Hop Artist in 2007 (as voted by student radio stations nationwide) a year after she was christened ‘Lyricist of SXSW’ by the Austin Chronicle in Texas.
Coco describes her mission statement as:
Creations on low, doer of the damn thing, Face Value 4 Money, Social Suicide Bomber, Community uplifter, Philosoflygirl, Foodini, Both Voxbox and Equalizer, A Destabilizing Decolonizing Contaminater, The Trillion Box Ticker and just another bad semantic cop patrolling the beat.