Castanets to country music: meet Megan Cooper

Her father is a musician and was always playing piano and guitar around the family home. She herself started learning piano aged six but was never interested in music as a career path. Perhaps that explains why her ‘day’ job is one of business analyst. But she did end up at the College of Country Music and she also trained to be a flamenco dancer, so I’m taking a safe guess and saying music is in her blood. Let me introduce you to Megan Cooper, a Brisbane lass with a passion for castanets and nerdy numbers who’s preparing for her first performance at Gympie Music Muster next month –quite excitedly, might I add.
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Can you tell me about your experience recording your debut album Ghost Choirs & Kings

Now I can say with confidence how ridiculously proud I am of the album. But I think I went through the entire spectrum of emotions throughout the process of recording. I remember being pretty manic in the lead up – especially as the album was partly crowdfunded, so I felt I had more than just myself to answer to. I’m a list maker and I constantly going over the song list for the studio, thinking about things from every angle, was it complete? Was it enough? Was I enough? At the end of the first day of recording, I think we’d knocked over three or four songs that day, I had a moment where I was overcome with emotion due to how incredible the songs sounded under the guidance of producer Michael Muchow and the other musicians on the album – and shocked at how natural and comfortable I felt in the studio. Making music for me is this fabulous, horrible, addictive, delicious roller coaster that leaves you wrapped up in a momentary satisfied little bundle of happy, until the next creative decision needs to be made. But then I’ve also been accused of being an overthinker J

I’ve been following your Facebook page and it seems that the Gympie Muster is a big deal for you … Have you been to many Musters as a punter before being on the lineup yourself? 

I’ve been to the Muster about 5 times. It’s an iconic event. It’s the place where I decided to get serious about music. The first time I was there I was volunteering for a radio station and doing a lot of behind the scenes work. The last time I was there I entered in the talent quest. Best not discuss the results though. I left determined to become a songwriter – and as daggy as it sounds I knew I had something in side of me, so I went away, honed my craft, studied my passion to the point of obsession at times, and now I’m playing there as an artist. So yeah it’s a big deal for me!

What can Gympie audiences expect from your set? 

Love songs, jailsongs and floodsongs. My approach to gigs: just cos you singing the occasional sad song, doesn’t mean you can’t have a good time. Most of the songs will be from the new album, with the odd nod to some of my favourites like Willie Nelson and Dolly Parton. And there will be lots of sweet, sweet harmonies courtesy of the lads in my band The Pretty Pennies.

So, what’s next for Megan Cooper? Do you have to choose between the business analyst path and the country musician path? 

Aaah I see you’ve done your research! Yes, numbers nerd by day. Most artists have day jobs. I’m lucky that mine allows me to be creative as possible outside of the daily grind. And I may or may not have a songwriting notepad that sits on my desk everyday just incase the muse stops by. I know its possible to do both. The plan is to introduce my music to as many people as possible. There’s a film clip in the works, a tour in the planning stages, new songs being written and the next big gig to think about. But if I had to make a choice… 9 times out of 10 I think we all know which I would choose.

 

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The Gympie Music Muster is Australia’s largest charitable music and camping festival. It goes down 28-31 August just outside Gympie. Tickets at muster.com.au.

 

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