Country newcomer Cooper Alan’s name first made its rounds after his original song “New Normal” racked up millions of streams and went viral on TikTok. Just like many musicians, Cooper found a space on the app where he can be creative and at the same time connect with his fans. And little did he know that that avenue was what was going to be the key to opening so many doors of opportunities. Now, his name is ringing bells everywhere he goes, and he is more than just the guy that he was before.
Let’s get to know him even better and relive with us his journey – from his humble beginnings to being one of country music’s most promising artists.
Before the Fame: Who is Cooper Alan?
Born and raised in North Carolina, Cooper Alan has been playing music most of his life. Ever since he was young, music was something that his family liked and enjoyed though he was the only one who could actually play, and one way they actually bonded with each other. In fact, Cooper was just five when he attended his first concert. It was a Tom Petty show, and in a confession, he laughingly said that he slept the whole time. Nevertheless, that experience definitely ignited a spark in him.
He learned his first instrument, the trumpet, then at 11, he switched gears and genres. He dropped the trumpet and picked a guitar instead, mainly because he figured the girls thought it was way cooler. According to his guitar teacher, Mike Bennett of B String Guitars in Winston Salem, Cooper was a quick learner and would easily get three or four songs in just a day. Two years later, he had his own band. And through all those years, he had gone through a lot of different phases and finally found comfort most in country music.
At 15, he visited Nashville and took part in the GRAMMY camp. He then started cultivating not only his songwriting but also performing, which admittedly was his true passion. In an interview with Country Swag, Cooper shared that he was most inspired by the entertainers that he had seen live, and these people more than the music influenced him to pursue a career in country music.
After high school, he attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he earned a hands-on education in live performing. He knew he wanted to really learn more about the art and cut his teeth through it. He played in the college bar scene, and after some time, he was even hired by local entertainment venues to do gigs. He also interned in New York, where he first met hit songwriter, producer, and artist developer Victoria Shaw. They had breakfast together, and while Shaw definitely saw his potential, she advised him to finish college before making a move to Nashville.
And two days before he officially graduated college, he emailed Shaw saying that he would be in Nashville and had already booked a gig.
The Internet Success: “New Normal”
Things worked out well – he inked a deal with Fabulicious Music Publishing and AvaRu Production company and even aligned with SESAC – until the pandemic happened, and everything just came to a temporary time freeze. No one knew when it’s going to end, and for people like Cooper Alan, who lives through performing, it was definitely a challenging time.
That was when he discovered TikTok through his girlfriend. At that time, he was brainstorming for ways to still be creative and connect to his fans as well. His girlfriend mentioned getting on the app, but he was hesitant at first since his first impression of it was a space created for kids dancing. When he started digging through it and had his first video go viral, that was the moment it really hit him.
Then the next thing he knew, his covers and even casual videos were racking up millions in views. Soon enough, his original songs were also creating traction and attracting overwhelming attention. “New Normal,” which TikTok heard first in snippets, easily earned three million likes. When he officially released the song, it became an instant hit, landing at number one on the iTunes country chart, sixth in all genres, and also became a viral song used by many as a background song on TikTok. As an independent artist, it was definitely a big success for him, and it was just amazing at the same time that people are finding him and enjoying the music he makes.
Cooper Alan Goes Mainstream: #cantdancechallenge
After the unprecedented success of his singles on TikTok, Cooper took the opportunity to expand his horizons. Aside from just performing, he created his own publishing company with his mentor and legendary songwriter Victoria Shaw, which they called “Cooped Up” records. For the country musician, working with Shaw was a no-brainer. She has been with him since the start, and he considers him his champion the whole time.
And now he’s back on tour again and just finished the first leg of In Real Tour with Alexandra Kay and Thomas Mac. But don’t worry, there are still tour dates left for this month. Or you can vibe with his freshest release, “Can’t Dance,” and take on the #cantdancechallenge on TikTok.