Cooper Phillip is the protégé of the American Dream. Leaving Russia to pursue her dreams in the USA at 19 years old, she comes from a musically inclined family, shaping her dreams and motivations to conquer the music industry internationally. Now, Cooper is determined to be an inspiration to Russian girls globally, sharing and expanding her knowledge as a vocal coach. She is respectively, empowering them to chase their dreams by honing her experiences, whilst additionally celebrating the release of her latest single “Head Over Heels”.
Here is what happened when we sat down with Cooper:
Congratulations on your latest release, Head Over Heels, tell us a little bit more about the track.
I collaborated with an amazing co-writer in LA, Michael McGregor, it was originally written in 2014, I put it out in an EP, but I wasn’t too satisfied with it at the time. I then erased this EP from the internet, but I noticed I was getting a strong reaction to this song, so I reproduced it.
I love the song, it’s a hard song to sing, it has a massive range, and a lot of big riffs, it’s amazing.
How are you finding everything?
Well, it is definitely really tough times right now, I have just been creating music and I am also a vocal coach. I give around 6-9 lessons every day. I’m really passionate about vocal technique, I created my own method.
But my main thing is recording right now and creating music. I just recorded a 15-track album during quarantine, so it’s been productive for me. It’s been nice to stay home and create.
I saw on your Instagram you did a masterclass for young singers in Russia, could you tell us a bit more about that?
I’m just sharing my own methods, for my Russian audience, I have a lot of students from there. It is definitely really interesting for me to share my experience of the American lifestyle/mentality through my experience of singing. It is a very different mentality there in Russia, and the world I am coming from is so different.
Mostly what I teach is breathing fundamentals, riffs, and runs. I’m really inspired by Mariah Carey and soul singers.
How has the reaction been? Do you think students are able to grasp that sacrifice of moving from their home country to pursue their dreams?
The Russian world is really inspired by Beyoncé, Mariah, and the whole era of divas in the 90s, especially the style of singing. When I was younger, I was looking up to all these gospel and soul artists but we were lacking so much information in Russia, we didn’t have internet in the early ’00s, so we just didn’t know. CD’s were expensive, and even then, it was a very limited selection, so it was very valuable to be able to buy a CD.
I was always inspired by Western culture, and for many artists like myself, it is their dream to be able to go to America or the UK.
Why was it important for you to move from Russia to the USA?
I don’t think I was able to express myself; we did not have anything like The Voice. Everywhere I went people were like “why are you singing these English songs? Sing in Russian.” And I didn’t love Russian pop culture, I wasn’t fascinated by it and I wanted something different.
So, I had to start from scratch, I was 19 years old, I was really brave, and I went to America and sang in a Russian bar to make money. I travelled all over Russia and won over 60 contests to get my green card for the USA. And now, to Russians I guess, I’m an inspiration because it shows it is possible.
What is success to you?
One teacher told me once that success is three things; curiosity, flexibility, meaning you have to be able to adapt and learn, and the final, acting with positive intention.
Having seen two different music scenes, Russia and the USA, what would you say is the most challenging thing about being in the industry?
People want to be a part of a train that is already moving, they don’t want to start it or help it keep going. It is definitely very challenging to be a part of this business, to get to the place where you get big and get noticed, you need help from everywhere and you constantly have to be the best.
When I first came to the USA, people thought they could use me, but I learned you have to learn and understand the industry. It is a really interesting time to be an artist.
Are you proud of where you have come?
I am proud and I am happy, I think I could achieve much more with the state of mind I have today because of all the experiences I had ten years ago. It changed me in a better way, you can always get bigger and better, so I have never stopped learning. All the negatives and good things I have are my achievements and have made me, me.
What is next for you?
I want to release an album and push it where way more people can find it, I’m still learning to do it all digitally. I want to grow as a vocal coach, teach and keep learning.