Jo Cooper is an Australia, Sydney based singer and songwriter who is well versed in the arts of contemporary pop sounds. Jo has recently released an original single titled “Gasoline”. Which talks about enduring and embracing the hardships and obstacles life throws at us and managing to use that hardship to our advantage and grow, rather than letting it be our downfall. We had a few questions and answers with her where she talks about her creative process, inspirations and about the release. Below are exclusive details on Jo Cooper and her new release.
What’s the story behind JO COOPER?
JO COOPER, my music is about my real-life experiences, inspirations, and many times a call to action for change, so putting my name to my music is important because my music is extremely personal.
When did you decide to pursue music as a career?
I’ve always known that I wanted to be a singer and write music that could change the world, since I was a young girl. My North African parents didn’t really support that choice, they wanted me to be a lawyer. I believe if you are gifted with music, it is in your DNA, that call never leaves you. It was always going to happen.
How would you describe the music you typically create?
Most of my music is intended to start a conversation, inspire, and make a difference. I want people to really feel deeply when they listen to my lyrics, melody, and music. Then there are my dance tracks because I love to dance, you can’t help but be happy when you’re dancing, there is a certain freedom that comes with dancing and a good beat.
Who (living or dead) inspires you as an artist and why?
Whitney Houston, she felt every note, word, and melody as she sang, and her vocals still blow me away. To sing is to feel and communicate and I think she did that so well.
What’s your creative process like?
It is never the same process, I’ve had lyrics come first, melodies first, it really depends on what I am feeling and what the situation is. Most of the time inspiration hits me when I’m walking or driving. There are circumstances that really move me, no doubt it will inspire a new song.
What feelings or reactions do you hope to arouse in people who listen to your music? Are you surprised by the reactions you get?
To feel hopeful, inspired and never alone. Yes, sometimes the reactions blow me away. My song ‘Don’t Turn Back’ is about an abusive relationship, not long after I released it, someone reached out to me and said it was the song they needed to hear that gave them the courage to leave an abusive marriage. That really stayed with me and always reminds me of the power of music.
What is the best advice you’ve been given in relation to music?
Don’t write music that you think people want to hear, write music that you need to hear.
Do you have any hobbies or interests outside of music?
I LOVE DOGS. I’m very passionate about social justice and combating Adult Bullying and abuse.
What has been the high point of your career so far?
I was lucky enough to spend an afternoon in London with Mike Moran who was a close friend and collaborator of Freddie Mercury, who I love.
I had received an email from Mike about my album Wildfire, he had given me the most wonderful feedback of each song and pointed out that he loved my vocals on my song titled ‘Broken’. It was surreal and I wasn’t sure at first if the email was real. It obviously was and I was very moved by his words, we had a great time, an extremely lovely human being and we are still in touch. Funnily enough, my photo of us popped up on my Facebook memories today.
Which musician would you like to collaborate with?
So many to be honest, I’d love to work with Sia, she is a brilliant songwriter, Jacob Banks, I’d love to sing with him and Beyonce to name a few.
If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?
That it truly be about the music and that independent artists were not overlooked for not being signed to a major label.
What is the release “Gasoline” about?
“GASOLINE” is about embracing the fireballs that life throws at us, letting the fire ignite you to stand up and keep fighting, rather than suffocating you.
Who and how many people worked on it?
Two of us. Jean Paul Fung and I.
What are you working on next? Any future plans or projects in the pipeline that we should look out for?
My next song, titled ‘What If’ is a lot lighter and uplifting. It is about each of us embracing our differences. I’m excited to release it, it’s very different to Gasoline.
If you had one message to give to your fans, what would it be?
Believe in the Power of your Voice to create change in a monumental way, we all have that power. Don’t wait until something is popular before you speak up.