He was discovered in a small bar in Sydney just two years ago by Half Moon Run‘s manager, Franz Shuller. Two years later, Hein Cooper has recorded with one of the industry’s most sort after producers, released an EP worldwide and had it remixed by one of Australia’s favourite electronic outfits. ‘The Art of Escape‘ was put together with the help of Marcus Paquin (Arcade Fire, The National, Local Natives, Hey Rosetta) and since its release just two weeks ago, has garnered support globally.
You can listen to the original version and Tora‘s chillwave interpretation of the track below.
We caught up with Hein for a chat just as he begins to secure his spot within the music industry; something that is sure to be happening sooner rather than later.
Hi there, how are you and what are you up to today?
Hi! I’m currently feeling quite jet-lagged, I’ve just finished travelling from Sydney to Montreal. I’m at Indica Records today to work on a bunch of things that are coming up during my stay here in Canada!
To those not familiar with you, how would you describe your sound?
My music is labelled as Alt-pop by most people. I would say I’m inspired mostly by folk music, Soul groove, Indie Electronic, Beatles Pop.
Can you name albums and artists that have influenced you the most?
RADIOHEAD are my absolute favourite. ‘In Rainbows‘ to be specific is my favourite album of theirs. then ‘OK Computer‘. ‘For Emma, Forever Ago‘ from Bon Iver would be there. Beck is a major influence however there is no album in particular, I love bits and peices from every album he’s created. James Blake would be there with his first record. The Beatles would absolutely be in there with ‘Revolver‘ and ‘Rubber Soul‘ and ‘Sgt. Peppers‘. Chet Faker is in there too. His album ‘Built on Glass’ is brilliant.
Which other artists are you into at the moment and why?
Father John Misty‘s last record ‘I Love You, Honeybear‘ is one. I love the way he has used a bunch of more oldschool 60’s/70s styles and fused them with his contemporary context. I also love the way he describes his experiences with love……it certainly feels real. I’m listening to King Krule as well. I appreciate his spaced out, lazy energy that his heartfelt messages violently and painfully reveals themselves through.
I’m listening to a lot of electronic music/grooves from Ben Khan. His got a great combo of indie/electronic mixed with fresh songwriting.
Radiohead has got to be mentioned again as well. I’m always listening to these guys. However it’s only really been after I finished the record that I’ve become completely obsessed with these guys’ music. So perhaps my Ep doesn’t sound too much influenced by them, but the next one could be!
What would we find under the category of “Guilty pleasures” in your music collection?
Deep Forest. Also Drake, but only some of his stuff. This def includes ‘Just Hold on, We’re going Home‘. I love that song!
The UK music scene is certainly always changing. Some might say that at the moment it’s more electronic oriented. Do you think this makes it more difficult for indie/alternative acts to get recognition than it would have done ten years ago?
10 yrs ago I was 13 yrs old. I don’t think I knew much about the industry at that time! However, I love the fact that there is a big appreciation for electronic music in the UK right now because the quality of the music is AMAZING. But, what I don’t like is that it seems like there is more of a preference to book electronic artists over Indie/alternate artists because it is less costly and more logistically simple to set up a show for an electronic artist . The artist doesn’t have to bring much more than a laptop on tour and it is much more simple to deal with a prerecorded sound being played through a massive PA than it is to deal with a band of live instruments. I think this is causing more people to lose an appreciation for how special, unique and influencial a live performance can be.
If not the popularity of electronic music, what would you say are some of the challenges indie bands face today in the music industry?
Low record sales are a killer. Huge amounts of music is being streamed or torrented. New music is instantly available for free with the option to pay, and not enough people are paying because they don’t have too. Also, there is a major popularity in music that I don’t find authentic. I think the reason for this is that too many people are being fed music rather than getting the chance to find it. I think the music that’s being spread far and wide is following a similar trend to the food industry (majority of the time). The only actual food that can be found far and wide as well is usually Fast Food. Shitty, processed food, that’s not locally produced, full of cheap ingredients (low quality for maximum profit). Indie artists sacrifice income opportunity for the purity of their music and don’t generally get the huge push of marketing support. However a lot of artists are breaking through this trend now and shining through based on the quality of their music so I’m hopeful for the future!
Where do you gather song writing inspiration?
Everywhere. Whatever it is, I go with flow and say yes to a lot of experiences, maybe too many. In particular I write about my relationships, love, home, travel. I wrote ‘The Real‘ about my struggles with living in massive cities without money.
Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when put music together?
I write the music separately to my lyrics almost always. But that’s all the information I’m giving on this question! I don’t want to give away any more secrets!
What’s the best gig you have ever done and why?
I performed recently at a festival in Western Australia called Nannup Music Festival. I didn’t have a following in the West at all. Yet still there were 60-70 people at my first show….after the show I sold half the records I bought over and was approached by a female vocalist (Rose Parker) and a female violinist (Phoebe Corke) who had performed together after my set and were incredible. They asked if they could play my second show with me the next day. I was blown away by their performance and open mind and said yes! Later that evening they learnt the songs with me during a jam with a bunch of the other artists that were at the festival.
The next day, 100 + people turned up and I played the set with girls. the vibe was incredible, something I will never forget. The people of Western Australia are incredibly passionate about music!
And the worst?
I was playing a very empty bar around 3 yrs ago with only a couple of people sitting around drinking by themselves. Some sad sad people were present.
One guy came up to me whilst I was playing. He pulled his chair right up in front of me (I wasn’t on a stage). He sat right infront of my face and stared at me blatantly. He then asked me if I would play Aerosmith. I said no. He said why not. I said I don’t know how. He said he could show me and then attemped to pull the guitar out of my hands and play the song. The security guard did nothing about this. Somebody finally complained around 10 minutes later after this guy has literally pulled the guitar out of my hands and is trying to play aerosmith (is blind drunk and dealing with a midlife crisis) and he was kicked out. This was one of the worst for sure!
If you weren’t a musician, what would you be?
Free surfer. I love surfing. It would be so awsome to travel the world surfing great waves everyday!
Do you have any particular gigs or festivals that you dream about playing?
Do you have any information regarding upcoming releases, projects or gigs in the pipeline that you would like to tell us about?
I just released my EP worldwide! I am performing at CMW 2015 in Toronto and a bunch of shows in and around Quebec (CANADA) over the next 2 weeks. I’m also playing ‘The Great Escape’ festival in the UK and ‘Liverpool Soundcity’ as well. I’m also performing in Paris in May.
For more information on Hein Cooper and to keep up to date with his gigs, click here.