Recording Connection graduate Alexa Cooper
(Vancouver, BC) has never been one to shy from a challenge or hard work. Over the past two years since she completed her externship it’s paid off for her in spades. From going on tour with A$AP Rocky, to working with artists like Lauryn Hill, Common, Alicia Keys, Emeli Sandé, Nicki Minaj, Jay-Z and Beyoncé, Alexa is proof-positive that a having a great work ethic and great attitude can get you far, fast.
Having heard that Alexa had some more exciting stuff on the horizon, we recently reached out to her to get the full scoop. Turns out she’s got a lot going on!
So you’re still with VER, now we hear you landed a new job as a production manager with Promosa Management. Could you tell us more about that?
So it’s been really incredible. I’ve been setting up a lot of really big profile shows. We do FVDED In The Park in Vancouver, we do Bumbershoot, Center of Gravity, basically all the major festivals all over Canada, and then a few in the States, like Sasquatch! Music Festival.
How’d the production manager job come about?
“I was living down in San Diego and commuting to L.A. almost every day, and got to go on tour with A$AP Rocky
, as you guys know, and it led to the other opportunities I had with Dillon Francis and then Beyoncé, and I just kind of felt this calling to come back up to Vancouver. When I got here I was almost immediately hired fulltime as a production manager for one of the local companies up here… I was fortunate enough to be picked specifically. They even had a meeting about me before it happened and then reached out to me to ask me if I wanted to take the position.”
Regarding your upcoming album, what’s the inspiration behind it? And, how much of it are you recording and mixing yourself?
“It’s intended to inspire a sense of freedom, joy, and expansion. I want to create a space where people can feel okay with being who they truly are and step into the highest version of themselves. Whether that’s through feeling an emotion that needs to be felt, letting loose and dancing, getting down with the not so pretty nitty gritty of life, or through appreciating the moment…I want to move people…
Since I do have the training from school to be able to do a lot of stuff myself, I’m doing what I can at my little home studio. Then I’ve got the engineers in the studio that I helped build from the ground up [to help]… because there are things that I’m not able to track at home, like a full drum set… And then I also want to bring in some artists to also co-create on my tracks. I have a rolodex of insanely talented people, and I want to get them involved as well.”
Great. So could you tell us about this song and the music video we’ve been hearing about?
“Work sent me to Burning Man last year, and I got to do my first lighting design job. And actually Skrillex showed up and I got to operate lights for Skrillex, which was wild. I had gotten back from Burning Man and felt really raw and inspired, and had a new renewed faith in myself and in humanity, and this song started to come out. So it’s my first song and video that I’m doing that is more emotional and has more feeling to it.”
We know you’ve worked with stars like Beyoncé and other major talent. Has seeing them in action changed or informed what you do as an artist?
“I’d say absolutely, on multiple different levels. One big thing is seeing the drive and how much work behind the scenes they’re actually doing, because they see this big stage performance and it was like, they come on, it’s magic, and there was so much work that went behind that. And we kind of know that. It’s different when you see it, though. So just seeing Beyoncé in complete rehearsal mode where she’s barely talking to anybody, she’s just fully concentrated on what she’s doing to make sure she’s getting everything right, it was an incredible moment. Same with everybody else who came out, and also as far as for me, my goal is I want to be a performer and tour myself. So seeing the behind the scenes and actually seeing what lighting fixtures they’re using, what audio systems they’re using, and all of those details that actually make the show has been massively beneficial.”
Do you have any advice for DIY artists including those who’ve graduated Recording Connection and know how to engineer and produce their own tracks, what can they do to take things to the next level?
“I know for me it’s been a journey of kind of working through my own self-worth and feeling like I deserve it…It’s just a matter of actually doing it, because we always have these big ideas in our heads of the things that we want, and then we can get so convoluted and clouded with our self-doubt and self-worth when it’s like, action is what creates results. Thoughts absolutely matter and they’re going to absolutely help, and it’s also important to back up those thoughts and dreams with effective action, because those two combined can become an unstoppable force. It’s just a matter of first getting clear on what you actually want, which can be the biggest challenge for everybody. At the end of the day, what do you
find the most joy in doing?”
You seem to have mastered being artistic as well as pragmatic in your approach. How do you make it work for you?
“I think a big part of it for me is letting go of needing things to happen my way exactly, because there are formulas for success out there that have been used time and time again, like song structure, for example. I never really wrote good song structure until my last song that I put out. Everyone who’s heard it is just like, ‘Who wrote that?’ and I’m like, that’s a great sign if people are asking who wrote that. So I think it’s absolutely being creative, and then it’s also being open to other ideas and other formulas that are successful, and not being cookie-cutter and all that. It’s like creating something new out of something that already works.”
* * * * *