This weeks feature artist, Hein Cooper, has just released his stunning debut album 'The Art Of Escape'. You can get a taste of it here on Unearthed and see why Richard Kingsmill is calling him "a rising folkstar worth checking out".
Tell us about your music. How did you develop your sound?
Everything starts very raw with me. An experience and a feeling. Then I bottle that with some kind of sound I feel replicates that emotion. I start with my guitar sometimes, building a loop to imagine what kind of production will work for the song. Sometimes a single chord progression on the guitar will suffice, with no extra layers. I started off playing folk music. Later on from that I became more interested in what was possible to innovate folk music and combine it with other styles. I feel like my music has developed from there into more of an experimental pop. It has become a mix of folk/groove/indie/electronic!
What’s your greatest source of inspiration for making music?
It's all about the nature of my relationships with family, nature, and my lovelife and most importantly the state of the world. Music is my way of releasing these feelings to keep me sane and to connect with other people who feel the same. It's about bringing people together through something so pure as music.
What can punters expect from a Hein Cooper live show?
Diversity! I am playing with a live band and loving it. There are moments of solitude with only my voice and guitar and other moments with full band grooves. I am aiming to take my audience on a journey with my live show.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given and who was it from?
When I finished recording my album in Montreal I flew to LA to shoot a videoclip. While I was there I stayed with a friend who took me surfing each morning at this point break. To access the beach you needed to have a key because it was private and luckily my friend had a key. So we were surfing one morning and another guy came out into the water. As I looked more closely I could see it was Chris Martin!
For the next hour my friend, Chris and I surfed this point with just the 3 of us out in the water and I was given this surreal opportunity to talk to Mr Martin about music. His advice that has stuck with me from that moment onwards was so simple and perfect. 'Just Keep Playing'.
What Australian track would you play to cheer up someone who was crying?
That's a hard question as I generally prefer hearing songs that make me cry! I'd pick something funny like one of those songs Carl Barron would sing on his live DVDs. While he plays the piano and talks about meaningless shit for 30 mins!
What Australian track would you play to someone to make them cry?
You’re the DJ at a party. The dance floor is pumping. What Australian track do you put on next?
What was the last local gig you went to? How was it?
Gideon Benson at Newtown Social Club. It was really good! A killer live band behind him and a really fresh energy and style.
Tell us about the bands or people in the NSW music community that inspire you.
There are a couple of artists that are really moving me at the moment. The first being Govs
. I think he lives in NSW. His music is so intimate and his song '16dreamin' is very beautiful. It has the authenticity that is deeply moving.
I am also a really big fan of the DMA's
and have really enjoyed watching their rise to stardom. Their music is different to everything else right now and they are owning that and making it work for them rather than against them.
And then there's my friends Tora
. I love how their environment has shaped the sound of their music. They all live near Mullumbimby and hang together writing these futuristic songs with so much depth! It sounds luscious just like Byron! Their lyrics, melodies, and productions are worldclass!
What are your plans for 2016?
I have just arrived in Montreal after finishing off the album launch dates in Australia. I'm here to tour Canada for 2 weeks and launch the record here and then off to France/Uk/Germany to do the same! It's going to be a full year of touring, I believe. And of course I will be back soon to my homeland to tour as well!
I have also started writing again. Now that my album is out I have been feeling this deep refreshing feeling with my writing. It's a new chapter of my life right now and I'm documenting every moment.