TIDAL Rising: JP Cooper
Self-taught singer-songwriter JP Cooper is an artist you want on your radar.
Hailing from the UK city of Manchester, the up-and-comer has worked to polish his craft through his involvement both with the city’s indie rock scene and as a part of the Manchester Sing Out Gospel Choir.
Influenced by the likes of Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder and Björk, Cooper’s impressive vocal repertoire is something to behold. In 2015, he headlined four sold out shows in London and was subsequently hailed as the “Future Sound of 2015” by BBC Radio One’s Zane Lowe.
Perhaps best known for his appearance on Jonas Blue’s platinum single “Perfect Strangers,” Cooper just released “September Song,” a brand new single of his own. The emotional ballad is reminiscent of a young love that was lost summers ago and is sonically beautiful.
Be sure to be on the lookout for his upcoming debut studio album, but check out “September Song” in the mean time and read our Rising Q&A to get to know this up-and-comer a little better.
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Who is JP Cooper? Can you please introduce yourself?
I’m a singer-songwriter from Manchester. I signed to Island records two years ago and am just about to release my debut album.
Tell us a little about your most recent release. What do we get?
My most recent release is a track named “September Song”, it’s a nostalgic walk down memory lane to a time when life was much simpler and your biggest concerns were being unable to see your high school crush for the whole of the summer holidays. It’s an innocent take on young romance and is mainly based around a simple piano and vocal.
Who were your musical heroes growing up?
My first love was the grunge scene so my heroes were Eddie Vedder and Chris Cornell. From this I delved a little more into the blues and soul elements that I found in grunge music and discovered artists such as Aretha Franklin, Donny Hathaway, Otis Redding and Stevie Wonder. I also had a huge romance with the music from Lauryn Hill, Ben Harper, Counting Crows and Bjork.
When and how did you first get into music?
I would say a lot of it was down to the Manchester band Oasis. As a result of their fame, every single house in Manchester had a guitar lying around during the ’90s. My friends got quite into guitar music as a result of this and I found a passion that I may well have never discovered if it wasn’t for this.
Name an album, artist or experience that changed your perspective on music?
The biggest and most influential experience for me would have to be joining a Gospel Choir. If it weren’t for that I wouldn’t have been forced to focus on the qualities that were unique to me. I realized very quickly that I was never going to be the best singer, It made me focus a lot more on expression and writing rather than being a technically perfect vocalist.
What’s the best new song you recently discovered?
It’s hard to pick one song but the album that has grabbed me the most lately has been Malibu by Anderson .Paak.
Can you share a fun fact about you or your music?
I’m completely untrained as far as music theory goes. I’ve written hundreds of songs and I couldn’t tell you the names of any of the chords I use.
What’s your favorite activity besides music?
I’m a big fan of table tennis… I’m not particularly good but I love it.
What’s coming next for you?
Everything’s leading towards my debut album so I’m preparing for what I am hoping will be an incredibly busy year. There is gonna be a whole lot of touring and hopefully I’ll get to see plenty of smiling faces in lots of different countries.
Looking one year ahead, where would you like to see yourself?
The main thing for me has always been growth as a writer, of course I want the record to be a success but what excites me the most is the opportunity to continue to get better at what I do. The excitement for me has always and will always be the next song. I’d like to see myself collaborating and working with some of my heroes, it’s never seemed beyond the realms of possibility for me, I’m a constantly hopeful person.
And finally, if your music was a food what would it be?
It would be bangers and mash with gravy on a cold day after walking home in the rain.
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