December 2, 2022

In the chair with Christopher Cofoni | Daily news alerts

NAME: Christophe Cofoni

AGE: I was born on 06/27/1976 so I turned 46 last month.

OCCUPATION: Professional musician (www.cofoni.com) and owner of TriAction Toys LLC (www.triactiontoys.com).

RESIDENCE: Westward since March 2021.

BORN, RAISED AND GROWN IN: I was born in Westerly, I lived here until I was 5, then moved to St. Louis, Missouri, then to San Diego, CA, where I lived until 1990 (when I was 15), moved to Mystic and went to Stonington High School, then received a full “talent-based scholarship” to attend Hartt School of Music, where I was a double major in performance voice and music business.

RIGHT NOW, I AM IN THE MIDDLE OF: Playing with my band, The Mystic Prophets, and growing my toy making business, which will launch new items that I hope to feature in a live puppet show on a major streaming platform.

MY MOST PROUD ACHIEVEMENTS: Working with Norah Jones on her first two Grammy-winning platinum albums and handling recording details while working at EMI/Blue Note Records – and of course, being the father of three amazing children.

TOP ON MY BUCKET LIST: Opening for a major artist with my band and performing in front of thousands of people at once.

I ALWAYS TAKE: A Boglin! These are scary puppets from the 1980s that I brought back (along with Tim Clarke) in 2021. I take them everywhere I go to scare and entertain people. We sold 130,000 in 2021 alone.

WHAT I WANTED TO BE WHEN I GROW UP: A professional opera singer! I even tried it briefly from 1996-97 in Germany while studying at the Mannheim Musikhochschule.

MY HEROES ARE: Teachers who take the time to mentor children, like Dr. Michelle Holt did with me at Stonington High School. Without her, I would never have discovered my gift.

FAVORITE AUTHORS: Edgar Allan Poe and Ernest Hemingway.

BOOKS ON MY NIGHT TABLE: Sheet music for things I’m working on, usually classical music, which I hope to play again in 2023.

THE THREE BEST SONGS ON MY PLAYLIST: “Big Hard Sun” by Eddie Vedder, “Gasoline” by Audioslave and “Sunday Morning Coming Down” by Johnny Cash.

THE LAST THREE SONGS I ASKED ALEXA/PANDORA/SPOTIFY TO PLAY: “Numb” by Gary Clark Jr., “San Francisco Bay Blues” by Eric Clapton and “Wicked Games” by Chris Issac.

THREE ALL-TIME FAVORITE FILMS: “History of the World, Part 1”, “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” and “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective”.

FAVORITE TV SHOWS: “Ozark”, “Stranger Things” and “Forensic Files”.

FAVORITE RADIO STATION/SHOWS/PODCAST: Howard Stern, Lithium on Sirius XM.

TOP COMFORT FOOD: Mexican food all day. I could eat Mexican food for all three meals for the rest of my life.

SOCIAL MEDIA SITES I MAINLY USE: Facebook and Instagram.

FEATURES I ADMIRE THE MOST: Discipline. Whatever the profession, when you find people who have reached the top, they are disciplined people. It’s not easy to stay focused in this world we live in.

CRAZY ANIMAL: People who don’t honor their word.

FAVORITE QUOTE: “It’s good to be the king.” —Mel Brooks

MY FAVORITE ON OUR LITTLE CORNER OF THE WORLD: Amazing ocean and fishing.

IMPOSSIBLE TO LIVE WITHOUT: Music! All music!

LITTLE KNOWN FACT ABOUT ME: I speak decent German, having lived there for a year.

THE BEST ADVICE I EVER RECEIVED: “Everyone is too busy worrying about themselves to worry about you.” — my grandmother, Pearl Tapley

THE ADVICE I WOULD LIKE TO GIVE: Find your passion and feed it with hard work!

IF I RULE THE WORLD I WOULD BE: Add more art and music! History books record who won wars, but who created art and music? It feels like there’s less and less support for the arts and more pressure just to make money and own more stuff.

IF I WIN THE LOTTERY, THE FIRST THING I DO IS: Plan a year-long trip around the world to learn the languages, cultures, and folk music of the areas I visit while I figure out what to do with the rest of the money and how to give back to the community and support the arts.

I DRIVE TO: 10 year old black Volvo SUV with 190,000 miles. All the memories with my children relate to this car so I hope to drive it for at least 15 years. I will miss it when I have to move on because of all those memories.

I WANT TO DRIVE A: Most likely one of those old Volvos, the two-seaters, like a Volvo P1800 from the 1960s.

ALWAYS IN MY FRIDGE: Pickles and various beers.

IF I COULD INVITE SOMEONE SPECIAL TO JOIN ME FOR DINNER AND CONVERSATION, I WOULD INVITE: Mel Brooks, the greatest comedy writer to ever walk the earth, hands down. It may be hard to convince him but once you do… “You can’t do anything Torquemada!”

— Interview arranged and edited by Nancy Burns-Fusaro