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An interview with a rising star: Cory Cooper

by Oilvia Weinzapfel The opinions and views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the opinion of Byte and Byte’s editorial board.

Cory Cooper, an up-and-coming pop artist, is beginning to appear on radio stations of many college campuses around the country. This past semester, Cooper’s music made its way to Ball State’s WCRD. His journey in the music industry is backed by his passion for music, which is only growing stronger.

The L.A. based singer and songwriter dropped his first EP on March 8. His songs are composed of subjected balladry weaved with audibly entrancing pop beats. As a very self-motivated creator with a strong passion, Cooper is working his way into the world of music as a bold and truly unique artist.

Cooper was aware of his own talent and musical spirit at an early age. Throughout his years in schooling and his continuous education focused on the performing arts, music and singing has held his attention. Both during and after college, Cooper made tremendous efforts to establish himself as an unparalleled commercial pop artist. He is dedicated to his craft, and his dedication does not go unnoticed in his songs.

No stranger to bold actions, Cooper moved to L.A. to pursue his dream. He worked hard to find a producer that would push him forward as an artist, one that would understand his visions and push him to step out of his rhythmic comfort zone. His current producer, Dr. Ford, does just that and has helped him create his own unique style.

Cooper hopes to soon collaborate with other artists, produce more tracks, release more music videos, and start touring.

“I want to continue doing this, chasing this dream, hopefully making it a reality,” Cooper said.

Authenticity is a core value that shapes Cooper’s standout style of pop. His lyrics are driven by personal experiences and varied topics, which is something that’s becoming a rarity in today’s world of music.

Cooper says specifically with the pop genre, it’s vital to be authentic. He strives to sing about subjects that aren’t typically sung about.

Commercial pop is nothing new, but Cooper’s creative twist on an arguably mundane genre is positively offbeat. Cooper strives to make his music as unique as possible, both lyrically and melodically. He is determined to be out of the ordinary when it comes to topics of song. You won’t find many artists, especially men, who are as open and willing to express raw emotion through their lyrics. Each song is conceived from personal encounters and introspective thoughts, which serves as a creative outlet for Cooper and also generates admiration from listeners who find the topics relatable.

“I know the things that I am writing are personal to people because they can relate to it,” Cooper said.

Personal thoughts and reflections function as the backbone of Cooper’s music; the creation process behind his songs start with an idea, and the permanent lyrics and rhythms are formed afterward. This method allows him and Ford to compose melodies that musically complement the idea; however, they can also be unconventional. In some songs, such as “Drove my Heart Away,” the topic deals with heartbreak, but it’s a very up-tempo track. It’s rather typical for generally sad topics to be paired with slow instrumentals, but Cooper’s willingness to be different serves his listeners well in this case. It’s almost hard to wallow in self-pity when you’re listening to bright and lively sounds.

The energy and power in his songs are entirely of his own creation, but Cooper did have a few role models that influenced his artistry.

“I think it’s really important for an artist to listen to everything, not just the genre that they are performing in,” Cooper said. 

Cooper grew up listening to musical idols from many different genres. He draws a lot of influence specifically from Reba McEntire, Prince, Tina Turner, and Meatloaf. With such a diversified background in music, Cooper allows these artists to guide his own music and mindset. His fascination with Reba’s ability to sing about a wide array of topics caught Cooper’s attention, and one can find that reflection in many of Cooper’s own songs. Tina Turner and Meatloaf inspired Cooper to push past any power boundaries with his voice and performances. In the music industry as a whole, fortune favors the bold. Risks must be taken to stand out, which is something indirectly taught to Cooper by Prince. Prince’s ability to be daring with his style and music inspired Cooper to do the same.

Cooper’s first, self-titled EP embodies a journey of personal experience and epitomizes a unique style of commercial pop. His music is backed by his bold visions, which is a prevalent characteristic in both the lyricism and instrumentation of each track. With his inspiration from others and his personal motivation, we can expect nothing but more authentic and passion-driven music from him in the near future.

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