STORY WRITTEN BY BRIAN BINGAMAN
@brianbingaman on Twitter
Meet David Cooper.
Eager to share his faith and his music, which features elements of neo-soul, gospel and alternative rock, a free release party for Cooper’s debut full-length album, “David’s Heart, Vol. 1,” is set for 9 p.m. March 18 at the musician’s alma mater, the University of Valley Forge. The party place is the Kremples Theater, 1401 Charlestown Road, Phoenixville. Dress to impress, the artist’s website says it’s a black tie event. Register at www.david-cooper-music.com/events.
Cooper has a degree in music production from the school, and minored in business management. He has also toured three years with the traveling ministry teams from the university. He took some time out of preparing for a trip to Italy to answer some questions by email.
Tell me about the album, and the single “Family Affair.”
The album is (titled) “David’s Heart, Vol. 1.” I named it that for a few reasons. On one hand, my music and art are an extension of who I am as a person. So in sharing that with you all with this project, in a lot of ways, I feel like I am sharing my heart with you. On the other hand, I really, really tried to be deep in thinking of an album title and everything I came up felt just like that; I was trying to be deep. I feel that the music will speak for itself. The Volume 1 aspect of it simply implies that there is more to come. It goes without saying that my heart is deeper than the content of one album, so you’ll have to stick around to learn more.
“Family Affair” comes from the angle of a person being “re-born.” When a person makes a decision to put their faith in Jesus, they’ve been adopted (in the spiritual sense) into a family of believers. “Family Affair” mirrors that concept by using a family reunion, or affair, as an analogy of the type of family they’ve been adopted into. “Welcome to the family, you’ve just been grafted in the family tree …”
Will the album include any of the songs you have posted to Soundcloud (https://soundcloud.com/davidcoopermusic)?
I have all-new, fresh music to share with you all on this project. The songs on Soundcloud can be referred to as the appetizer before the main course. Elements from the songs on Soundcloud will be all throughout the album, but there will be all new material.
You say classical is among the genres of music you dabble in. In what songs does that show up, and how?
I grew up learning cello. This experience has birthed in me a love for orchestral music, specifically strings. It surfaces in a few of the songs, specifically in my more anthem-driven songs — “Beyond The Veil” and “Restore Me.” These songs, in particular, give the songs a dimension of life and animation that without it, it would lack.
Tell me specifically about your ministry experiences, and how it informs your music.
I’ve had the awesome opportunity to travel with traveling ministry bands from University of Valley Forge. We travel primarily during the summer and play at different youth camps, churches and conventions. I’ve grown a lot as a man of faith myself, and I believe it influences the mindset behind every song that I write. As far as how it informs my music, ministry as taught me the value of service and what it truly means to be a servant. Ministry has taught me, even as an artist now, that I have a responsibility with this gift of music. It is my responsibility to steward it right and to make songs that touch people where they are.
You say on your website that you seek to touch on things we all go through, but are afraid to talk about. What are some examples of that?
I feel that in the age of political correctness, or simply out of a desire to be as diplomatic as possible, it has made it difficult to talk at length about things we all go through. Take heartbreak, for example. Now in a general sense we can pull up thousands of songs that talk about how “they left, now I’m empty inside.” What I don’t find are songs that talk about what happens when you compromise everything you are as a person to be with someone — making them your “God” in a sense — and when superman/superwoman is weighed and found wanting, what you do with this “crashed universe” feeling you’re left with?
I’m not looking to re-invent the wheel, just looking to pull the covers back further on issues we go through, but dance around.
Where else will we be able to see you perform after this event at U. of Valley Forge on the 18th?
My team is putting the finishing touches on an early summer tour. Once all the details are ironed out, we will be updating the website. You can see all the upcoming dates and locations at www.david-cooper-music.com.
Tell me about the other performers at the release party.
I picked all of these artists intentionally. They are all good friends of mine, who inspire in more ways than some. My friend Brandon David (GK) has a really fun, yet raw, delivery coupled with an old-school hip-hop flow. His message is one of hope coming from a dark place. My friend Caleb (Abel) is New York hip-hop personified! His energy and passion alone is an inspiration to me, coupled with his heart to push a message of faith and victory to all those who’d hear.
Connor Roy is like my kid brother. He has an awesome acoustic, new age, folky style about him. His voice is slightly on the soulful edge, providing a really cool, unique sound. Finally, my bro from another mo’, Shaatir Monroe (Shati TNG) is poetic, soulful, melodic hip-hop. Everything from his production to his lyrics always inspires me. I’m honored to share the stage with these awesome artists.
What else should we know about you, besides what’s on the website?
Honestly, aside from the music, I’m a pure geek. While I love sports (primarily basketball and football), I love Marvel and DC Comics movies. I’m in the middle of re-watching the “Dragon Ball Z” series, and love to dialogue about them.
I enjoy hanging out with family and friends, and just doing life with the people I care the most about, and who care about me.