Caturday with Cookiee Kawaii

Donna Salek

Anyone with a smartphone has probably heard of Cookiee Kawaii, and anyone with TikTok has most definitely heard of her. Contagious and upbeat, her track “Vibe” is firmly on the soundtrack of 2020 and has brought Jersey Club to the fore of everyone’s attention with its euphonious dreamscape and commanding lyrics. Cookiee has made it her mission to shed light on the genre, which is characterised by its bouncy pace and use of short chopped sample loops, and she’s realised this using her social media platforms where she has amassed a legion of dedicated fans – her Cookiee Monsters. Hitting viral status in the modern era is a great achievement afforded to a select few, and maintaining popularity, followers and critical acclaim following this is even more so, and Cookiee has done exactly that.

DS: Hi Cookiee! It’s a strange and overwhelming time right now – how are you feeling? Are you keeping well?
CK: I’m blessed, can’t complain. Quarantine is a little boring but I’ve been writing a lot and just working on new music – that’s been keeping me well.
DS: How did you come to naming yourself ‘Cookiee Kawaii’?
CK: My name coming about is pretty simple: I really love soft-baked chocolate chip cookies, so that’s where Cookiee came from – I just added an extra ‘e’; and ‘Kawaii’ means ‘cute’ in Japanese, and that comes from my love for anime and manga.
DS: The first time I head your track ‘Vibe’ was on TikTok where it gained traction astronomically – do you remember the moment where you found out it had gone viral?
CK: Usually, when I’m working on a new song, I listen to a ton of different instrumentals and I just begin my writing process. It doesn’t take me long to come up with something if I really like the production. I remember the exact moment I found out my song was going viral. One of my friends, Legacy, DM’d me on Instagram and told me my song was doing well on TikTok, so I instantly made an account and jumped right into promoting it. It feels great to have this opportunity because I have a huge spotlight on me and I want to bring more attention to Jersey Club music and the culture.
DS: I’ve read a lot about your passion for shining a light on the genre – how has the music scene in Jersey influenced you growing up?
Both of my parents are DJs, so I’ve been around music my whole life. My mom had first dibs on a lot of the earlier club CDs from DJ Tameil & Dj Tim Dolla, so the moment I first heard club I was instantly hooked. Growing up in Jersey, I’ve never not heard Club music, and to me, you can’t have a lit Jersey party without it!
DS: Is there any artist, in particular, you’d like to see adopt Club style?
I’d love to see everyone in the music industry get familiar with Jersey Club. The goal is to spread it so far that everyone in every genre knows what it is. I’m all for anyone wanting to do a Jersey Club song – just hit me up for the feature!
DS: You have such a great relationship with your fans, what does it mean to you? Has it been weird adjusting to having a huge following?
I love my Cookiee Monsters! It’s crazy how having such a huge following can change your social media presence, but I love and hate it at the same time. There are times where I get random trolls that wanna attack my account, but I just have a block party and cut them all out. My genuine supporters and fans are the ones that make this whole experience fun. To be honest, without them I’d probably still be stressing that people weren’t giving me credit. My growing fanbase really does stick up for me online, so I appreciate them tonnes.
DS: What would you like your legacy to be in the music industry?
I want to be known for creating great music and promoting Jersey Club! I can’t mention Jersey enough to be honest. My goal is to not only be known here but worldwide for shining a light and making a permanent stamp for the genre on the music and entertainment industry.
DS: What’s next for you? Any exciting projects in the pipeline that you can talk about?
I have a new project coming out soon – Club Soda Vol.2 – which is actually a continuation from my last project. I’m also working on a debut album, so the world can expect a lot more from me!

Click to check out Cookiee Kawaii’s playlist