#INTERVIEW Hein Cooper charms The Drake Underground

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Australian born singer-songwriter Hein Cooper returned to Toronto once again on June 24 to play an intimate show at The Drake Underground. Cooper released his first ever EP back in April. 

Cooper’s set was beautiful and captivating.  He performed his songs from his EP including “The Art of Escape” and managed to keep the whole crowd mesmerized. We chatted Cooper after his performance on his latest EP and about life on the road.

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So this your second time in Toronto? How do you feel being back once again?
It’s actually my third time. I’ve done two Canadian Music Weeks. But I feel jetlagged and tired but good at the same time.

Why should people to listen to you?
Because I have mixed folk music with electronic music and also incorporated soul and I feel like that’s something quite fresh right now.

You released your EP in April. For the people who’ve never heard it, what can you tell us about it?
My EP is collective, it’s diverse. I have a one take song that’s on acoustic guitar with me singing and that’s really stripped back folk song. Then I mixed that with much more for a miminalistic electronic vibe at the same time with a couple of the other tracks. So it’s like a mixture of electronic music with folk and soul. I love pop music, but I don’t love cheesy lyrics. So i feel like I’ve got a millenic poppy kind of vibe, with more thought in what I’m actually saying.

You are a songwriter and you just mentioned you’re not into cheesy lyrics. So when it comes to a performance as a viewer, what’s most important? Music, lyrics, or atmosphere?
I would say I focus on all three of those things and mixing them all together. I want it to be atmospheric, I want it to have a vibe and feeling to it. But at the same time I want it to be focusing on what the message of the song is saying through lyrics and also have the diversity and constant interest in good melodic, good melodies tying the whole show together. I don’t think one’s more important that the other actually, I feel like they’re all hand in hand.

You’re originally from Australia, but you’re here in Canada now. What would you say is the major difference between the two music scenes?
I feel like there’s a couple of differences. The radio is a bit different from here to Australia. I think that’s one of the really lucky thing we have in Australia, we have a nation wide station, Triple J, they basically play new music if they like it. If it doesn’t have a following on a major radio station that has a huge amount of listeners. I don’t think you guys have that here. At the same time, I feel like if you’re trying to build an audience here, it’s actually easier because more people are going to see live music. So there’s like pros and cons of both here and in Australia.

When did you first start singing/songwriting?
When I was 14. Pretty much as soon as I learned playing guitar.

So from back then and till now, do you find a lot has changed?
I would say the quality has gone up since I was 14. I’ve always loved it and I feel like it’s the same feeling I get now that I got when I was 14. And I wrote something for the first time. just complete exciting and self expression. Just feeling that light feeling having released all of my emotions.

Is there a particular song on your EP that really stands out to you?
For me, the song that actually stands out to me most is the single “The Art of Escape” just because it’s really from quieter soft spot. I wrote that song when I was feeling very confused about the world, and broken down by the world but still hopeful.

How do you go The Xtra Mile?
That’s a really good question. Honestly, I go the Xtra Mile by not drinking coffee. I stop drinking coffee and I feel like it’s given me so much more energy through out the day. Eating healthy. Don’t drink coffee and by eating healthy.

What else can fans expect in the future?
I’ve got an album coming out either at the end of this year or at some point next year. I’ve already finished it but we’re pushing it back just because we’re letting the EP go where it needs to at the moment. And expect something that is very diverse again, not one thing, not another. But a combination of a lot of different feelings. I’ve gone for something really broad and I haven’t confined myself to one style.

Check out Hein Cooper’s single for “The Art of Escape” below!

MichelleM

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