Cooper Lower is original, thought-provoking and meticulous. With heart-cracking vocals, the Warrnambool-based soulful acoustic muso brings soul and vitality into everything he creates.
This March long weekend, Cooper will be just one of the artists heading to the glorious seaside village of Port Fairy for the 43rd Port Fairy Folk Festival, joining an event that attracts thousands of music lovers each year.
“I am so stoked about it; I’m not really over it yet,” Cooper laughs. Performing on the festival fringe for the past three years in a row, Cooper secured his slot on the lineup after being named Port Fairy Folk Festival’s Emerging Artist of 2018 back in March.
“I’m certainly overwhelmed by it, but I’m ready,” Cooper says. “That’s the craziest part; I feel like I’m ready. I’ve spent the past four years crafting a live show that’s actually ready for some of those listeners and Port Fairy does have some of the best listeners in the world at that festival. I really want to spend the next couple of months crafting something that’s worthy for those ears. I think I have it somewhere in me.”
Influenced by the likes of John Butler, Ed Sheeran and Lewis Watson, the soulful acoustic muso takes you on a journey with his music, especially in his most recent EP Mysteries of Midnight, which was released early this year. From the beginning to the end, you’re transported into another place which almost leads you to believe Lower polished his sets as part of the vibrant busking scene in Byron Bay.
Armed with the tracks from this EP, along with his back catalogue of originals, Port Fairy will be the perfect stage to showcase Lower’s obvious technical abilities and musical finesse, from his good sense of rhythm and melody to his polished song structure.
“I’m also writing new material with this new vision that I have for the acoustic music I’m producing,” Cooper says. Performing since he was just 16 years old, the now 20 year old has new perspective since returning from capturing the hearts and minds of strangers with his music throughout North America and Europe for the past six months.
“A lot has happened in the last six months in terms of creativity and vision and drive,” he explains. “I’ve always had this community around me, particularly in Warrnambool, that no matter what I was trying, they’ve always stood 100 per cent behind me. Now, I feel like I’m 100 per cent behind me and I’m ready to destroy the world a little bit.
“I don’t have stadium based aspirations,” he continues. “For now, I’m focusing on capitalising on the skills I’ve been building the last six to nine months, and trying to bridge the gap between the niche style of percussive guitar, and music that you can really connect with. Sometimes if you’re seeing hands fly everywhere it can be a spectacle of course, but I want to make it so it’s conceivable and you connect with it, while still serving the song. That’s been my motto for the past four months; it doesn’t matter what you can do on guitar, just serve the song and make sure that people can connect to the music. That’s the thing I’m most passionate about.”
Port Fairy Folk Festival will be going down from Friday March 8 until Monday March 11, 2019. Buy your tickets via portfairyfolkfestival.com