Indie-pop musician and songwriter, Courtney Cooper, has just released her recent EP, WAVES, out now. The Brooklyn-based musician evokes raw and passionate soul through her music, and was most evident in her recently released singles of “Cosmos,” “Vibes” and “Damn” featured from WAVES. Purchase WAVES on iTunes or stream on Spotify.
Having been delved into the music scene since a young girl, Cooper attended the acclaimed Berklee College of Music at age 17, and their discovered she had a passion for recording. After Berklee, she relocated to NYC to pursue her music career full-time, and then began writing and recording her own lyrics and melodies, which then would become her first full-length album, The Light, released in March 2015.
With Waves, Cooper explores themes and lyrics that push her boundaries, and found her collaborating with critically lauded artist and producer, Jacoo.
Cooper chats with us about WAVES, producing with Jacoo, her time at Berklee and our famous music favorites she gives us insight to.
You just released your anticipated new EP, after releasing a trio of singles from it. How long was the writing and recording process of Waves?
Courtney Cooper: It took about six months to write and record, and another three months to mix and master. A lot of people don’t know this, but I actually finished this project a full year ago. Everything was ready to go at the end of last August. For a lot of reasons I waited until now to release it–mostly because I wanted to space out the singles and have everything come out while it was still summer.
What about NYC draws you to create and record your music there?
Courtney:Ironically, I wrote this album as kind of a longing for LA. I spent a few years living there and moved back just in time for winter where I live on the waterfront in Brooklyn. As I was writing the album, staring out my window looking at snow falling on the East River, I daydreamt of tropical paradise. Those reveries became the songs that make up the album.
How did you meet and get involve with your producer Jacoo?
Courtney: We met on the internet! I’d been a fan of his music and reached out to him on Soundcloud. Our collaboration was virtual since he is in Norway, but he is so great and very easy to work with.
Reflecting back on your time at Berklee, what’s the most profound experience you recall during your time there?
Courtney: Being constantly surrounded by some of the most amazingly talented teachers and students was magical. I learned so much musically, and built such an incredible drive and fire within me to constantly be practicing and working to better myself. There will never be another time in my life where I am truly surrounded by people who all share the same love for music in the same way.
Do you plan to tour for this EP, or what’s next?
Courtney: Yes! I plan on doing shows in NY, LA, & hopefully some festivals. I’m also working on new music!
Who was your first concert? Do you have an overall favorite, so far?
Courtney: My first concert ever was N’Sync when I was in high school! I went to high school in Maine where the nearest mall was over 45 minutes away, so we didn’t have many opportunities to see shows there. I’ve seen a lot of concerts since then…hard to say a favorite, but Lady Gaga at MSG was amazing—she is such an incredible performer. Top of my list for favs: Gallant at Music Hall of Williamsburg, Prince at MSG, Jessie Wareat Brooklyn Steel, Fiona Apple at Bowery Ballroom, and Greenday when they played the Studio at Webster Hall.
Who or what has been the most profound impact on your music and songwriting?
Courtney: My long time music mentor Normand Kurtz. When I went to Berklee I was studying music production/engineering and vocal performance ,and never thought about songwriting. It never even occurred to me as something I could do. Normand really pushed me to give it a try and all these years later I’m still writing songs!
What was your first album on CD, cassette and/or vinyl?
Courtney: When I was younger my mom gave me her old cassette collection. I remember it so vividly—she gave me this old brown leather briefcase looking thing that held what must have been her old collection. I remember it was full, but only remember listening to one. Whitney Houston’s self-titled album with “The Greatest Love of All.”
Which five albums or artists would you not want to live without?
Michael Jackson- Bad
Michael Jackson – Thriller
Aaliyah – Aaliyah
Fiona Apple – Tidal
Lauren Hill – The Misseducation of Lauryn Hill
Do you have a guilty entertainment pleasure?
Courtney: (laughs)—totally! My guilty pleasure is watching “Dateline.” I DVR the new episodes so I don’t miss any. Also, jamming out in my car—singing at the top of my lungs—steering wheel for drums, full on dance moves…you get the idea!