Americana folk artist Ty Cooper delivers some smooth, soulful music in the form of his latest EP Fool. The EP is full of inspiration and drips with passion, and it’s evident upon first listening to his crooning vocals that it’s a piece that Ty’s put his heart and soul into. Fool is a showcase of romance and relationships, with an emphasis on the sometimes embarrassing, awkward things love can make us do. It’s brutally honest and raw, an album that evokes a smile as well as a sobering reality check. Recently Ty made the move to Nashville where he’ll certainly be sure to draw even more musical influence for future pieces. We spoke with Ty about his new release and the creative process behind its creation, as well as some dreams and aspirations he has for his own musical future.
Can you tell me a bit about your musical history and background with performing?
As a child, I had access to all kinds of different music. My parents would listen to everything from the soul music of Sam Cooke and Otis Redding to the bluegrass music of Ralph Stanley and The Osborne Brothers and everything in between. I have always enjoyed just about every type of music there is, and I think that shows up in my music. I have two brothers ten years older than me that introduced me to a ton of music that a lot of people my age never have a chance to hear: Nineties music, from R&B to rap, rock, pop, and all kinds of stuff. I have very eclectic taste in music as a result.
I saw The Temptations movie when I was kid, and that’s what really sparked an interest in performing. I would memorize the dance moves and sing and dance in the mirror until I had a respectable rendition of their performance. I didn’t start actually performing until right after high school, but I have been [performing] regularly ever since.
Where do you draw inspiration from, both for Fool and in a general sense?
Inspiration can come from all kinds of places. Usually, it comes from personal experiences or things my close friends have experienced. For Fool, it was mainly the recent relationships I had been in and how I was pretty foolish in all of them, as we all are sometimes. The EP is a story of falling in and out of love and kind of the stages of how that happens.
Who are some artists, dead or alive, that you wish you could perform with? Why them in particular?
Some artists I would love to perform with are Otis Redding, Jerry Lee Lewis, and The Avett Brothers. Otis Redding because he is a legend and has one of the greatest voices of all times, and I just wish I could have been in the building for one of his shows. Jerry Lee Lewis because, by all accounts, he was crazy on stage and anything could happen at any time, which I’m sure would guarantee for some fun. The Avett Brothers because they’ve been a favorite band of mine for many years, and I’ve seen them countless times live and they never disappoint. They were a huge influence on me when I first started playing music, and it would be amazing to share a stage with them.
I saw that you recently moved to Nashville. Was that to get more involved in the music scene Tennessee has to offer?
The move to Nashville was one I had wanted to make for a long time so I could really pursue music as a career and explore what opportunities a place like Nashville has for me. I feel like I have so much to learn about the city and the business, but I’m excited to finally take the next step and see what happens.
What are you hoping your fans will take away from Fool?
For anyone that listens to Fool, I hope I’m able to evoke an emotion in them. There’s a lot to take away from it, whether that’s happiness, sadness, or anything in between. I just want to make music that people can understand and relate to, but most of all I just want to make music that makes people happy.
What stops are you most looking forward to in your upcoming tour, and why?
The stop I’m most looking forward to is at Peach’s Grill in Yellow Springs, Ohio. I feel like I grew up as a musician at this venue. I have been going to their Tuesday Open Mic for many years, and it was a place for me to try new things and really evolve as a songwriter and performer. I have made so many great friends there, and I just feel at home on that stage. It’s a great town, and it’s very close to my hometown so I will get to see so many familiar faces that will make for a great atmosphere for a show.