Hi Cooper, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
VENTS! Good to hear from ya…I’m always good!
Can you tell us more about the story behind your track ¨Move¨?
Move was a song that came together fairly quickly and is reflective of a lot of younger people in their early 20s who I typically find myself hanging around. Initially I just had the guitar lick to it and always really liked it and grooved to it. It was fun and I knew I wanted a topic to match that feel. Eventually I found that inspiration to bring the song to life in that feel good vibe I’d always wanted it to be. Though I drew from personal experience in writing it, the lyrics are applicable to a lot of situations, so I think everyone can relate to it and interpret it in their own way. It could be talking about a guy or girl that’s caught your eye, or just someone who livens the night. Less literally it also relates to yoga, which is personal for me because it is something I’ve become very involved with over the past few years and has become more than an exercise and really a family and community for me.
Did any event in particular inspire the song?
A good friend was visiting one weekend, so we went out with all my buddies and, let’s just say we made some pretty good memories. Like so many other times hanging out with my friends, those memories have turned into funny stories that we tell to this day, and reflecting back on those times always brings back a shake of the head, a smile, or a laugh. Since almost everyone has had that experience and it’s personal to me, it was something that I wanted to express musically in a lighthearted way.
The single comes off your new EP Cooper – I am guessing as the title implicates, this would be a personal record?
It’s personal in a couple of different ways. All of the songs are very close to me and draw inspiration from myself, family and friends. On top of that I feel that my artistry is always evolving along with my views on life, love and purpose. I am always experiencing something new and I am constantly inspired by the incessant changes in life. This EP is a chance to release some of the experiences and feelings I’ve had in the last few years. This EP is me and it’s the foundation of what my music is now and where it is going in the near future. In that regard, I feel the most straightforward title to represent that is ‘Cooper’.
On what particular aspects of your life were you inspired to write the lyrics on this EP?
Over the past few years I have transitioned to living on my own, and this aspect alone has generated the ingredients for most of my lyrics. Honestly, the lyrics on this EP are mostly about all my reflections on life and the lives of those close to me. It’s so much more real when you’re drawing from a personal place, and that’s really where I went for this EP since I haven’t gone there before. There was a lot that I wanted to reflect on and talk about that I didn’t get to as much in my debut EP, so I wanted to express that here. I view my songs as journal entries – some are more personal than others, but all are reflections of my experiences. This EP is a result of living my life, recognizing different emotions that we are feeling each day, and communicating these through experiences that people can relate to having throughout their own personal journey.
How was the recording and writing process?
The Recording process has been slightly different than in the past. I had recorded a demo of ‘Move’ down in Nashville and brought it out to LA to show my mix engineer and we ended up talking about what to do production wise with it. With the direction I was intending to go, I decided to keep the vocal track I recorded, but produced the rest with Ryan McDermott (of G.O.O.D. Music) and Craig Bauer to build more depth to the tune while keeping the acoustic guitar and vocals as the central piece. The goal was to keep a ‘singer/songwriter’ style but with a more exciting production behind a simple sweet acoustic tune. The other songs on the project will follow this style as well.
All the songs on the EP were written in a very honest way. You cannot force a song. Sometimes songs come together really quick and other times you have to let them simmer to really understand what is best for the song. A lot of times the songs I am most proud of are the songs that I have written when I sat down, never intending to write a song, but for whatever reason there were things in me that needed to be said. There is not always a specific time when they come out. I love to start with a great guitar lick or progression and wait for the right inspiration to find me that matches the vibe of the guitar and then let the song pour out. That is just what happened on a few of the tracks.
What was it like to work with Ryan McDermott and how did that relationship develop?
Working with Ryan has been great, a bit different than projects in the past but our process is allowing us to produce some great tunes. I was living in LA at the time and playing a track at the studio for Craig, the mix engineer, and Ryan happened to be in the studio that day as well. He sat in while I played the ‘Move’ demo and really liked it, then one thing led to another and now here we are.
How much did they get to influence the EP?
Ryan has been able to see my vision of where I want these songs to go from the beginning, while adding his own unique creative sounds, and that has resulted in a really sweet sound. I am a singer/songwriter at heart and Ryan has some heavy influences in hip/hop, which has allowed us to really take this song and the EP to a unique place. Craig also brought several years of amazing experience to the table, which helped me navigate the business side of the industry, and he wouldn’t let the song leave his studio until it was perfect and fit my vision.
Any plans to hit the road?
On top of my music career I am also attending University of Michigan. Throughout this year I am completing the EP and performing regionally with plans to take my songs on the road for a spring/summer tour right after a couple exams!
What else is happening next in Cooper Anstett’s world?
I’ll always be writing new songs and will be working to get more of my material down in the studio with new collaborations to continue to diversify my sound! With plans to take my tunes on the road this summer, I will also be focusing on putting together an exciting live show and perfecting it.