Today we are sitting down with indie artist Crystal Cooper.
For those of you who are not familiar with the gospel music industry, Crystal is an up and coming star.
Crystal Cooper, a 21-year-old from Vilsia, CA, was raised in a household bubbling with musical influence and talent. Growing up, Crystal was never far from music’s warm embrace. She began singing in church at a very early age and by the end of high school had mastered the guitar and written several original songs.
Now living in Louisiana, Crystal's father, Bishop Shaun Cooper, and mother, First Lady Teresa Cooper, are founders of New Creation Family Church in Shreveport. Crystal has been the praise and worship leader at New Creation for the past four years and works with the youth and dance ministries.
Crystal’s music draws influence from a broad spectrum. She’s received praise for her unfaltering musical ambition and several comparisons to contemporary artists like Corinne Bailey Rae and CeCe Winans. Her positive lyrics and upbeat live shows inspire listeners and motivates their spirits. As a recent graduate of Louisiana Baptist University, Crystal has wrapped up her album, Acceptable, and is now poised to take her music to the next level.
Gospel singer/songwriter Crystal Cooper stopped by to kick it with us here at Hey Shae!
Crystal recently released her 1st CD entitled, Acceptable, and is quickly becoming an internet sensation.
HS!: Hi Crystal, thank you so much for joining us here on Hey Shae! Please tell us how you ended up choosing music as a career.
HS!: Have you always wanted to become a gospel singer?
CC: First, thank you for this opportunity, Shae. I’m fine, thank you.
HS: No problem. Thank you for taking the time to speak to us. Crystal, tell us how you ended up choosing music as a career. Have you always wanted to become a gospel singer?
CC: Well at a young age, I’ve always loved music. My father plays the saxophone and writes music my mother sings and my bro plays the drums. So I kind of didn’t have a choice but to love music. I’ve always wanted to sing gospel music but I love old music so I’ve always wanted to do a big band or jazz cd. LOL
HS!: With your roots being the church, have you felt any undue pressure to measure up to a certain standard?
CC: Yes and no. I have a problem when people label gossip music to one type of style and measure me based on that. However, at times there is no pressure because my parents have always taught me to be myself and be comfortable with myself.
HS!: Many people get the feeling that gospel music can be a bit 'preachy.' Your music seems more accessible. Do you feel God has been able to use you and your music to speak the unsaved?
CC: Yes! I know God has been able to use my music to speak to the unsaved. That is why I do what I do not to just touch one type of people but all. I love to sing in a crowd that does not know God because it is a spiritual battle that I know God can move. In addition, my life style can speak to the unsaved. I am a college graduate I know what it is like being in school trying to live right. Not only am I doing my music, I am letting God use me.
HS!: How has writing, singing, and touring strengthened your faith?
CC: All three have strengthened my faith in a big way. With writing, my relationship with God has grown because I have to take time out and hear from God. It is easy to write a song, but I write to express the beauty of God, not just sum words put together. When I sing the songs it just adds more desperation to it, and it tells my experiences. I showcase MY faith in God in my music. Touring strengthened my faith also because I have faith that everyone will be touch somehow some way with the music. I don’t perform, I worship.
HS!: On your latest single, why the title “Acceptable”? Does the title significantly project any meaning to you?
CC: Wow, this project means a lot. “Acceptable” was the second song I wrote in my room. I was praying and telling God I want my life to be pleasing unto you. Then I read it in Psalms and that was it. I just picked up my guitar and being singing the word ‘acceptable’. When I was finished, I ran to my parents and they help me finish it. We were all excited. That song is what I want my life to be. I want to be pleasing unto the Lord. That song is my heart!
HS!: What was the inspiration behind Just “Just One Word”?
I was longing to hear him because all the other times I missed it. I told God It doesn’t have to be a long word or a sentence, just please speak one word. And he did speak to me! He gave me the whole song that night and every time I feel like God Is so far away I just sing this song and hear his voice every time.
HS!: That is amazing! Are you signed with a label?
CC: No, I am not signed…yet. I am an India artist. But I am looking
HS!: Your songs seem so heartfelt and deep. When you're writing a song, what inspires you?
CC: Everything inspires me because God made it. I love to imagine myself in a different situation to write a song. Or most of them I was in that place at one time. I love to just open up my heart and say how I’m really feeling.
HS!: Is there any song you have written that you are particularly fond of hearing or performing?
CC: Well to be honest I love singing all of them LOL. I really can’t give one because they are like my babies because I wrote all of them. It’s kind of like a parent and their children; you don’t have a favorite child. But people seem to request “Just One Word.”
HS!: If you had the opportunity to collaborate with any one singer who would it be and why?
CC: Ok producer Rodney Jenkins “DarkChild” he’s a beast, Cece Winans I love her, and India Irie she’s awesome.
HS!: What things do you enjoy in your free time?
CC: I love to watch movies, play games, hang out with my family, and cook. Oh and I love shoes!
HS!: Name three characteristics you believe it takes to make a successful artist.
CC: A true relationship with God, Humility, and integrity.
HS!: What can we expect from you in the future?
CC: I plan to do much more. I’m writing new music, performing in concerts, and I am up for whatever else God has in store. The sky is the limit.
HS!: I like to ask this question of people because I have found their answers quite interesting. Have you ever wanted to do a 'do-over' in life? If so, why, and what was it you wanted to do-over?
CC: There are a lot of choices I made that I would have liked to change, but I don’t want any do-over. Everything good or bad made me who I am it made me stronger in my faith, made me trust God more, and keep going no matter what. So no do-over, just keep it moving. LOL
I want to thank you Crystal for your time and your positive energy. You were fun to talk to and I enjoyed you and your music very much. Good luck and God bless in your future endeavors!