Catching Up With JP Cooper

On Wednesday night I had the amazing opportunity to head down to a gig at The Athena in Leicester to see JP Cooper perform live. I've been a fan of this man for a while now and whenever his songs come on, I can't help but sing along. He adds a whole new sense of meaning to his music and I was very excited to see how he would perform live.

I got to the event to interview Tom and Claire from Capital FM and managed to catch his soundcheck. During his soundcheck, JP performed Birthday, which is a track that you may recognise from Fifty Shades Darker, and I think I fell in love. From what I had heard at that point, I was blown away.

When it got to the actual performance, we were informed that the drummer wasn't present and so we'd get a stripped back show. I love these kinds of performances and I tell you what, everyone needs to witness this guy live. He is insane! Sipping on his mango juice throughout the night, JP Cooper gave an effortless show that got the crown in a trance.

I managed to get backstage during his final song and bumped into his manager. I requested for a few minute just to chat to JP for you lot and he very kindly accepted my request. Since I had to be quick, I ran al the way to the back of the venue to grab my questions and then up 10 flights of stairs to the dressing room. I was a sweaty mess when I got there but that didn't matter. Here's what we had a chat about.

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You’ve just released your album and had a wonderful reaction from the crowd this evening, can you tell me a bit more about it and what inspired it? 
Yeah, the record is called ‘Raised under Grey Skies’ which is kind of a tip of the hat to my Manchester upbringing but it’s also a kind of a metaphor to anybody who’s been not necessarily dealt the best hand of cards in life but have made the best of it. 

It’s a positive thing for me, it says a lot about my life. The record, you know, people say your entire life to write your first album, there’s a lot of focus on my family life growing up, a lot relationships that I have had throughout that. Some of the songs have been around for a long time some are really, really new, but it’s an album that will make you smile, it will make you dance, it will make you cry, there will probably be a few babies made to it as well! There are a lot of different emotions on there and I would like to think that there is one song on there that anybody from any walk of life could enjoy, so that’s ‘Raised under Grey Skies’.


What inspired you to start writing music? 
I always loved writing, even when I was a little kid, I remember in primary school when you used to be able to make up your own stories, I loved that! So writing was always a thing, music came a little later, that was really just growing up in Manchester. I was a teenager in the late 90’s so bands like Oasis were all over the place. Every teenager in Manchester had a cheap guitar around the house, so it was really something that I stumbled upon. It rains a lot up there so we stayed in and played guitars, that’s what my group of friends did and I just fell in love with it. By the time I was 16 that’s all I cared about! 


You are doing a European tour, where are you looking forward to visiting most? 
Obviously I am looking forward to seeing all the places, and Europe is the dream come true. When you are younger you think, 'Wow I get to travel and see things.' 

I am really excited about doing a couple of shows in Spain because Spain is one of those places that you don’t often see people playing there unless it’s like festivals in the summer. It’s the first shows we have done there. Just to be out and about in Paris is a great show, Amsterdam they always snap up the tickets out there, so they are really, really cool. But, yeah Spain will be interesting this year, I am looking forward to that. 

Where are you looking forward to visit then in terms of tourism? 
I am trying to think where there is on my tour that I have not spent a lot of time. We start off in Scandinavia so this time of year it’s always beautiful out there, just as far as the colours and things go. Hopefully all the leaves won’t have come off the trees, this time of year though it’s absolutely stunning. So I am excited about Helsinki, Stockholm, Oh yeah we are playing the Czech Republic, I have never been there so that will be really cool as well. 


What’s your favourite song to perform? 
I am quite enjoying performing ‘Birthday’ even though it’s not on the album, I have been enjoying playing that with the band, with the drums and everything. Off the album, ‘Change’ is always a bit of a party so I love that. 


What do you enjoy most about performing? 
It’s the human connection, I think that you spend a lot of time in studios all by yourself, with very small amount of people, locked away. You see there are huge amounts of people listening to your music but until you actually get out and see smiles on people faces, the tears in people’s eyes and see that real human reaction, that’s what we are here for you know. 


Do you prefer the more intimate gigs then? 
I am looking forward to going to Europe as we are doing smaller venues. Here in the UK I am know here more than most other places. I mean in Holland I am pretty well known, but some venues are still quite small so I am excited to get into some of them and blow the roof. 

You have worked with some amazing people like Stormzy and Jonas Blue. Who has been your favourite to collaborate with? 
I think that’s a good question, you know all people are quite different, these collaborations all happen in a short space in time. The Stormzy track was written in four hours, the Jonas Blue one was done over FaceTime and a lot of the other ones I have done have been very, very quick. 

The cool thing is finding producers and writers that you work well with because you spend a lot of time with them so I have a few disciples in that world that I work with. So I can’t say any one person that’s been great, luckily they have all been amazing people and I have been lucky to work with them. 


Finally do you have a message for you fans? 
I send a message of Hope you know that the album finds a place in their hearts, that they can have a relationship with it and it can be a soundtrack to a part of their lives. That’s all I hope for really. Come and see my show if not already, sometime soon.

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JP Cooper is such a lovely man and deserves only the best. I've been loving his album, Raised Under Grey Skies, if you haven't heard it yet, you can do here.

Until next time...


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1 comment

  1. Wow! Loved this post, so glad you got to meet JP Cooper. He really is amazing!

    Abby x

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