Musician Cooper Phillip joins us on Close-up Culture to talk about her new single Speak In Tongues, her classical music roots and her journey from Russia to LA.
Q: What inspired ‘Speak In Tongues’ and led you to this dreamy sound?
I always write about my emotions in a moment. It was a very bright and dreamy day when I wrote the lyrics for Speak in Tongues, so it just reflects my feelings on that day. I’m inspired by real people and real emotions when I write.
In the song, I was describing the freedom of love. True love that has no limits, no expectations and no fear.
Q: Can you tell us about your collaboration with Max Matluck and Alessandro Calemme on the song?
A: We wrote the song on three chords that Alessandro put together. The melodies started running through my mind and we were jamming with Max for 20 mins. That’s how we wrote the song. It was my first ever session with Max – and the first work for this project.
Q: How much fun was it making the music video with Alexey Figurov?
A: It was amazing. I got a chance to produce the video and organize everything from top to bottom. I loved this new experience and now I know everything about video production (laughs).
Q: You come from a small town in Russia and a family of classical musicians. How has this upbringing shaped you as an artist?
A: I love classical music so much. In my opinion, it is the greatest foundation for a musician. I admire people who don’t just sing but play, compose and understand music. I grew up in Classical Ballet and Opera House, it was an amazing experience.
Q: I was also fascinated to learn about your love for Ella Fitzgerald. What did you learn from her music and do you wish to emulate her in any way?
A: I love Ella. Her improvisation is genius and learning from her gave me this freedom of music phrase and mentality. I had a strong feeling when I heard her album for the first time, it was like I had heard it many times before.
Q: Your story is one of sacrifice and strength, not only from you but also those around you. Did you ever have doubts along the way?
A: No, I try to stay as busy as possible to be focused and not to let myself think anything negative or doubt myself. Of course, we all do have those moments but we need to stop thinking and just start doing.
Q: Are these struggles reflected in your song-writing and music?
A: Absolutely. I believe you have to tell your story. The audience can feel your pain or happiness, and read your emotions from stage. So as an artist you have to be very sincere.
Q: LA is a unique place, but I imagine it is particular alien to someone from your background. How have you adapted to the lifestyle?
A: I love merging with different cultures. It is very easy going over here. The LA lifestyle is super awesome and not hard to adapt to.
Q: In the future, what countries would you love to visit and perform in?
A: Brazil, Korea, Japan and Canada
Q: I have just gotten out of a screening of the film ‘A Star Is Born’ and have the intense journeys musicians can go on fresh in my mind. What path do you hope to take in your career?
A: I want to take my own path. I’m not expecting anything and every person has unique path. I believe you don’t need to compare to yourself anybody else – just experience it your own way. That’s a beauty of your path.
Q: Lastly, do you have a message to your fans and those who continue to support your work?
A: I’m very grateful. I feel the support and love of everyone of you. It means so much and I love you back.