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April 20, 2021

Interview with Hein Cooper ahead of Bellingen Festival

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HEIN COOPER Photo by Robin Cerutti

Hein Cooper plays Bello Winter Music

Fri 12, Sat 13, and Sunday 14 July.

With Bello Winter Music just around the corner, it’s a great time to acquaint yourself with some of the extraordinary talent coming to Bellingen. Talent like Hein Cooper.

With Bello Winter Music just around the corner, it’s a great time to acquaint yourself with some of the extraordinary talent coming to Bellingen. Talent like Hein Cooper.

Where his debut album The Art of Escape landed in the positive graces of the Australian music industry, singer/songwriter Hein Cooper found where his heart lies in touring and performing over 140 shows overseas for much of 2016 and 2017. The threads of new music began to form for Hein Cooper during his time living in Cornwall, where British coastal life provided an outlet for him to reflect and muse on the wealth of new experiences touring had brought him.

His new direction is apparent in Hear My Voice, Over Again and Fear of Missing Out, his three latest singles released in 2018. While keeping the foundations of his style present, he has begun exploring other genres such as R’n’B and electronic music. The Echo chatted to Hein in the leadup to his appearance at Bello Winter Music.

How did you get into music?  Is your family musical or did you find your way through some other means?

I didn’t really like music when I was younger because my music teacher in primary school was really nasty. Eventually I moved with my family from Sydney to the south coast and my life began again. I went to a new high school and a friend of mine was starting learning guitar and it inspired me to do the same. I’d play Jack Johnson and Pete Murray songs and then I was obsessed.

What would you say are your biggest musical influences?

I’ve listened to a bunch of different music so it’s a wide spectrum of inspiration. At the top of my list is Bon Iver, Coldplay, Dermot Kennedy, Chet Faker, Snow Patrol’s old stuff. I used to really like Ben Howard too but now not so much.

You have some really great music videos. How did the creative go for that – was it all your own creation or do you have a team to put those together?

Thank you! I’ve had some help from my friends. My first video I released for The Art of Escape was shot by my friend whom I used to live with in an apartment in Bondi. We drove around Sydney and filmed everything we could and then put it together with same green screen footage of me performing, but basically it’s usually just me and friends making these videos however possible and with the lowest budget!

The ocean features a lot in your songs and videos. Is the ocean a big part of your everyday life?

Yes it is! However I’m living in Montreal, which is far from the ocean and I miss it. I love the ocean because it feels like an escape from people and civilisation. I need a break sometimes.

Your lyrics are really very visually powerful. Has imagery always played a key role in your songwriting process or has that evolved through your career?

I think I’m not actually very good at saying what I feel about something, especially in an intimate way. I’ve gotten a lot better over time, but I’ve got a lot to learn, so I think that may be the reason I like using imagery so much, because I can say something without ever really saying it.

You’re coming to play Bello Winter Music. Have you played at the festival before? What can audiences expect from your show?

I haven’t been to Bellingen before. My friend Kim Churchill has told me a few times how beautiful it is so I’m looking forward to it! The show is a big experiment of mine; it’s just me onstage with a bunch of drum pads and my guitar and it’s always a bit of a surprise how things are gonna go. I keep the structures open so I can feel which direction to go.

Hein Cooper plays Bello Winter Music Fri 12, Sat 13, and Sunday 14 July. Tickets at www.bellowintermusic.com

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