Multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, performer, busker and “Walking Jukebox“ - Jody Cooper has many guises. His own songs combine a love of melody and style experimentation borrowed from his parents record collection (The Beatles meets Kraftwerk) with his distinctive, powerful voice and lyrics that, as he puts it, “look beyond the surface, to tackle the reality of things and the uncomfortable truths they tell”.
Growing up in the eighties as an English boy in a rural Scottish town, Jody always felt he had to try harder than the next kid: “People would look at me strangely because I spoke 'funny', so I learnt to embrace that and combine it with my love of performing in order to feel accepted”. Starting with violin lessons and classroom performances at the age of six – for which he inherited the moniker 'Elton Cooper' – and later teaching himself piano, bass and guitar. “I couldn't really read music”, he remembers. “Luckily, I discovered I had a natural aptitude for picking things up simply by listening to them”. He started writing his own songs at the age of fourteen, and at sixteen he awoke one morning with a voice in his head telling him he would be a musician. From then on, music became the only thing that mattered.
After many years performing in bands as a self-employed musician, in 2006 he decided to go back to school and get a degree in music at the University of Liverpool. In 2007 he realised a long-held dream of releasing his own album entitled 'Ten a Penny' – a self-financed and self-produced project five years in the making. After a stint with 'Sense of Sound' (an a cappella group whose collaborations include Seal, Damon Albarn, Jon Bon Jovi and Imogen Heap), several releases and European tours followed ('Growing Up' and 'Free Thyself' (2012); 'The Troubadour' EP (2013)) and in 2013, after years playing for saturated British audiences and following in the footsteps of his childhood heroes The Beatles, he left the UK and relocated to Germany to pursue his music career. In 2015 he released his first download-only singles: “Silence” – inspired by the plight of the Bahá'ís in Iran – and “Immortal Friend” – a song written for his brother and occasional band colleague Robbie Cooper: an exceptional drummer who died of a rare and aggressive form of cancer in 2014.
After his first visit and concerts to the U.S. in 2016, 2017 sees the release of his most ambitious project so far, 'Serenades and Odes to a Cracked World': his first crowd-funded concept album on the themes of disintegration (part 1) and integration (part 2, release TBC). Jody states: “With everything that's happening in the world, the time has come for people to start engaging with the problems around them in an attempt to make a positive change. This album is my attempt”.
If you would like to check out any of my albums or purchase them, please follow the link below:
My hope is that you find something of yourselves in these little songs of mine. If you have any questions or comments and would like to get in touch, just drop me a line!
Tracks and playlists liked by Jody Cooper