Who Is Cooper Alan? The Story Behind His Journey to Country Music
Country music artist, Cooper Alan joins us to chat about tour, his viral success on TikTok, taking ownership of your music and more. Learn more in the interview below.
Cooper Alan starts off our conversation with explaining how he came to love country music. “I’ve gone through all the phases of loving different genres. Country has always been the most dominant,” Alan began. “Music was always something my family enjoyed and liked, but I’m the only one that plays. We would always go to concerts and share music with each other – it was a way we bonded with each other.”
Alan attended his first concert, Tom Petty, when he was five years old. “I slept through the whole show,” he laughed. Even though he wasn’t awake, it ignited a spark. He learned his first instrument in elementary school and second in middle school – the trumpet and guitar respectively. “I started playing guitar in 6th grade because I figured girls probably thought it was cooler than a trumpet. I started my first band in 8th grade and played through all of high school and college. My music taste always comes back to country music.”
He started cultivating his songwriting when he was a teenager, but it’s really performing his music that is his true passion. “I’ve been most inspired by the entertainers that I’ve seen live. Live performing is my thing… so concerts have inspired me probably even more than music has.”
After high school, Alan went to UNC Chapel Hill for undergrad, and he received not only a college education, but he received a hands-on education in live performing and entertaining. “Some people can move to Nashville when they’re 16 or 18, and be totally fine, but I just kinda needed to learn how to entertain a little more and kind of cut my teeth – it was probably the most valuable part of college.”
The Turning Point:
When the world paused in March 2020, it gave Alan a moment to brainstorm new ways of reaching fans and being creative. “I couldn’t play shows, so I had to find something to do. My girlfriend mentioned that I should get on TikTok, and I thought it was just kids dancing!” Alan recalled laughing. “I started digging in and studying the app and had my first video go viral and that’s when it really hit me.”
Over a year after starting TikTok, Alan’s singles have racked up millions of streams, and he has even signed and created a publishing company with his mentor, legendary songwriter Victoria Shaw, called “Cooped Up” records. “‘New Normal’ started going viral on TikTok and people started to care about my original music. Victoria and I had an opportunity to treat this like a real business and record company and that’s what we decided to do. We’ve worked together since I’ve gotten to Nashville, so she’s been my champion this whole time, so it was a no-brainer.”
Alan has recently finished the first leg of his In Real Life tour with artists Alexandra Kay and Thomas Mac, as they’re currently making their way across the country. “It’s been so wild and awesome to be on tour. Before COVID, I couldn’t go play a show where people would come and be there for my original music and be there to see me… it was the first time I really experienced any of that. It’s a really special feeling.”
As for what’s next for Alan, new music and tour dates are already starting to come to fruition. He is coming to the New York area this Saturday night at Mulchay’s, grab tickets here, and will continue down the east coast before heading South to Texas and Louisiana. He’s an artist you won’t want to miss out on.
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Cooper Alan’s music is available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released tunes on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.