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Interview: Cooper Phillip

posted January 15, 2015, 2:13 pm by Carlita | Filed Under Music News | comment Leave a Comment


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Encountering Cooper Phillip’s beautifully simple “Silence” video, raw talent immediately hit my ears and made it clear the sky’s the limit for this Russian rising star. Listening to her impressive pipes, her voice, which won singing competitions at 11 years old, easily elevates her above the rest of aspiring sirens. Not only gifted vocally, she learned classical piano and harp, being raised in a family of accomplished classical musicians. Making the courageous decision to follow her dreams thousands of miles away from her homeland, she made her way to NY and LA, with not much else besides perseverance and a will to succeed.

A few weeks ago, I connected with Cooper who released her first EP, ‘Walk A Mile’, curious to see if there really was a diva behind her diva voice. I was delighted to find a humble, driven artist who acknowledges how personal challenges have shaped the person she is today. Check out our interview below, visit Cooper’s site and follow her on Twitter!

I know that you come from a musical family. Obviously this impacted you pursuing a career in music?

Cooper: I think so. I’ve been around music since I was two years old. My parents are classical musicians. When I started singing professionally at 10, that was the moment I decided that’s what I wanted to do with my life. It was my destiny to be a singer but before that, I wanted to be a ballerina. I started playing classical piano when I was 5 and played classical harp for 5 years. But singing is my destiny and I want to share my gift and life with the world. Music is like air to me.

You made a big decision to leave Russia at 17?

Cooper: Actually I made the decision earlier than that. I bought the plane ticket, it was a pretty fast decision and I will never regret it. It was a new life and new beginning. I decided to come visit and see the country because I was so inspired by the American classics, soul, blues and jazz music. I wanted to see the country where this music comes from. I fell in love with the culture and the environment and I felt like this is the place I want to be.

You’ve experienced a lot of struggle on your road as an artist and were sleeping in a storeroom in NY?

Cooper: Yes, it’s true. I came by myself without any financial support, with only $300 in my pocket and no parents. I was brave enough to come and follow my dream. I had to start my life from scratch and slept in the back of a restaurant. I had to go make money singing in Russian restaurants. I believe God’s energy helped me every step of the way. I’m so blessed with my friends and my friends became my family. The experience of struggle gave me confidence. I’m glad that it happened and made me stronger. NY is a part of my story and I will never forget it.

What was it about soul and R&B that drew you in?

Cooper: Back in Russia, it was difficult to access to all the brilliant American music that I’m listening to now but I started with jazz. At 10, my mom gave me an Ella Fitzgerald vinyl record. It really inspired me and I feel it in my blood. Then I listened to Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey and was impressed with their technique. When I arrived in NY, I discovered new names and now I study and grow from other new artists. You take pieces of artists you love without even knowing it.

If you couldn’t listen to 5 albums for the rest of your life, what would they be?

Cooper: I’d say Whitney Houston’s “The Bodyguard” soundtrack, Mariah Carey’s “Musicbox”, Eric Benet’s “Hurricane”, Adele “21” and Bruno Mars’ “Unorthodox Jukebox”.

Where do you go from here and what are your plans for the future?

Cooper: I am planning to sign a record deal and will be really focused on my career. Having label support makes a big difference because you’re already in the game. I would love to work with a great team who will let me create my niche. I would love to tour and sing with Usher, Eric Benet and Sam Smith. I’d love to collaborate with them and create an album finally. Hopefully it will all work out.

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