Former Disney star Coco Jones has rebranded herself into a first-time Grammy nominee in five categories, including best new artist.
However, the 26-year-old is learning to dream even bigger.
“I think I’ve just challenged myself to new heights, like internally since being nominated,” Jones told Reuters.
She began her career as a recurring guest star on Disney’s musical sketch comedy “So Random!” and in the network’s TV movie “Let It Shine” in 2012.
In a 2020 YouTube video, Jones revealed the discrimination she has faced as a dark-skinned Black woman in both the acting and music industries after leaving Disney.
When her video went viral, she felt inspired to post more singing videos to reignite her acting and music careers.
“Rebranding is tough. I think the part that you have to overcome is, one, the timing, because it’s definitely not going to be in the timing that’s ideal to you in that moment in time,” Jones said.
“So, I am grateful for all of my Disney past. But who I am now, I want to low-key outshine my younger self, but love her though.”
Jones released her debut EP “What I Didn’t Tell You” in 2022 which included the song that would become a hit, “ICU.”
While she is proud of the song’s popularity, which was her first No. 1 single on Billboard’s Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop chart, Jones is not looking to be a one-hit wonder.
“I want multiple songs to stand the test of time,” she said.
She also stars as the well-known fashion diva Hilary Banks in the 2022 remake of “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” on the Peacock streaming service, in which she portrays a darker-skinned iteration of the original character.
The Tennessee native may be unsure of how to prepare for the Grammys on Feb. 4 in Los Angeles, but is controlling what she can while keeping her eyes on one particular prize.
“I think best new artist would be the most shocking because I think best new artist is outside of genre, and so the competition is stiff for that award,” she added.