Courtney Cooper drops new single 'Vibes', breaks down her songwriting process and upcoming album
The Brooklyn based singer/songwriter talks about being inspired by the weather, spinning reveries into songs, outlines her creative process and breaks down her upcoming album.
Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Courtney Cooper is the next rising star of the new class of leftwing pop singers.
Having attended the prestigious Berklee College of Music at 17, Courtney discovered her passion for recording and made the move to New York to pursue music as a full-time career.
She released her first full length album, 'The Light', in 2015 and since then she has been working hard to hone her craft, creating a new body of work even more personal than the last. Her new album 'W A V E S' is scheduled to drop later in the fall of 2018. Having already previewed the album with the heavily space-rock influenced lead single 'Cosmos', today (June 1), Courtney follows it up with the release of the second single from the album, titled 'Vibes'. You can stream the song below.
Courtney’s follow up album 'WAVES' reaches new heights with collaborations from Jacoo -- a highly appraised Norwegian artist and producer -- and an artful blend of soul-infused indie & pop sounds. Each track leaves a breath of fresh air & the listener wanting more.
I had the chance to chat with Courtney via email to discuss her upcoming album, a breakdown of what's to come, her collaborations, current musical leanings, her songwriting process and more. Read the full interview below:
Your new album ‘W A V E S’ is set to drop in a couple of months. Sonically and thematically, how is it different from 2015’s ‘The Light’?
Courtney Cooper: Since "The Light," I've grown so much – not only as an artist, but as a person. When I was writing The Light, I was literally just finding myself...finding my own ‘light’ and growing into myself. I was still dealing with some darkness and insecurities. Writing “Waves” has been such an incredible journey. The album is a true reflection of me finding internal peace with myself and as an artist. Where I've been more pop in the past, “Waves” has a bit more soulful, chill and R&B vibes.
I was living in LA for 3 years and moved back to NYC 2 years ago. When I started writing Waves, it was what seemed like the longest winter ever. As it snowed, I daydreamed of California's beautiful coastline and amazing weather. Those daydreams became the songs you hear on the album. Also, the title is a bit of a play on words since the vibrations that are perceived as music are called sound waves.
It’s been a full 3 years since your last album and that’s a pretty considerable gap. What did we miss in the years in-between?
Courtney Cooper: Funnily enough, I actually sat on this album completely finished for an entire year before deciding to release it. I started writing again almost immediately after “The Light” was released and I finished writing 'Waves' in about six months. As an independent artist, I self-funded this album, so the time in between was mostly spent working to make money to make the album come to life.
The album name is also stylized in a particular manner with spaces in between. Is that intentional? What’s the story there?
The ocean, which the album is inspired by, is such a huge body of water, and likewise, this album feels like such a hugely intimate part of my life. I just thought it warranted space, but in actuality, it won’t read that way upon release due to formatting requirements.
The lead single from the album, ‘Cosmos’ has a lot going on with the spacey atmospheric sound layered underneath your vocals. Can you tell us about the songwriting process for the track?
The first time I heard the instrumental, I was about halfway done writing the album and felt such an immediate connection to it. The song basically wrote itself. I literally played the track and sang the verse and hook in 10 minutes.
You’re also set to preview three more singles from ‘W A V E S’: ‘Vibes’, ‘Damn’ and ‘Paradise’, all dropping in the next couple of months. Can you give us a quick breakdown of the three tracks?
'Vibes' is a super mellow chill song that really just makes me feel happy like a beautiful summer day.
'Damn' is kind of my musical baby from the album. I feel almost like I had an out of body experience writing it, but at the same time feel the most connected with this song. If there was ever a song that really embodied me at this particular time in my life, I'd say it's definitely 'Damn.' 'Paradise' is also a favorite, but in a different way that's hard to describe.
'Paradise' is the one I feel that collectively ties all the songs together in a cohesive way.
You’ve collaborated with Norwegian producer Jacoo on the new album. What was it like working with him in the studio?
Jacoo is such an amazingly talented producer! He's only 22 and has such an amazing ear. His tracks are so fluid and tell intricate stories. He had already laid such an incredible foundation with the instrumental – I just embellished what was already there. Since he’s in Norway, our collab was done over the internet, but he has been such a pleasure to work with! We're currently in talks of another collab! Coming soon...
What kind of music are you usually listening to these days? Could you give us a playlist of what you’re currently into?
Right now is such an exciting time for musicians! Spotify has totally changed the game of how people are listening to music and I'm constantly finding new amazingly talented artists. Some of my current favs are H.E.R., Leo Kalyan, Sinead Harnett, Charlotte OC, Bishop Briggs, Jessie Ware, RY X, SG Lewis, Alina Baraz, Gallant, & Shy Girls.
Any contemporary artists who you think would perfectly fit your sound and would like to collaborate with?
I'd love to collab with Gallant, SG Lewis, or RY X. I'm also a big fan of producers Stint & Grades and would love to work with either of them as well!
Will you be touring in support of the upcoming album?
Yes, absolutely! I'll be kicking off in Brooklyn this summer.