There’s a simple beauty to country music. It’s only three-chords-and-the-truth, after all, so greatness comes from authenticity. But for an artist like Cooper Alan, that can lead in some daring directions.
A rising star with the spirit of a true entertainer, a penchant for outside-the-box thinking and a growing, self-built audience, he’s an artist willing to take country where others have never dreamed – and fans love him for it. Whether it’s a deeply personal, step-by-step romantic saga, or an off-the-wall party anthem, Alan’s music is already some of country’s most fearless work, and he’s just getting started.
“An audience can tell when you’re not being authentic to yourself,” the North Carolina native says. “So for me, I’ve gotta be willing to always go with my gut musically, wherever that takes me.”
A native of Winston-Salem, that willingness has already led to success, with the independent artist racking up more than 100 million Spotify streams, a massive social media presence with more than 8 million TikTok followers, and a touring footprint that sold over 40,000 tickets to his headlining shows in 2022 alone. It all stems from an ability to meet fans where they are – a creative renegade freely mixing musical styles, with boundless energy, sharp writing and often, a sense of humor. But don’t be mistaken, there’s nothing gimmicky about it.
To Alan, what was true and authentic included topical standouts like his clever 2019 breakout, “Climate Change,” and the tender “New Normal,” which came out in 2020 as the pandemic raged.
“New Normal” pulled in 70,000 Spotify streams on its first day, with TikTok fans recording dance clips and digging into his back catalog. The sly “Colt 45 Country Remix” followed suit, reimagining the Afroman classic with countrified lyrics and a cheshire grin, and both tracks have now been streamed more than 20 million times on Spotify alone.
Meanwhile, Alan’s TikTok audience exploded, as the born entertainer has sought to create a two-way relationship with fans, both onstage and on social media. For him, it’s always been about taking this ride along with the people listening – creating music they can see themselves in and be proud to love. And now he’s pushing forward.
Forming Cooped Up Records with Shaw, his team now includes mangers Chris Kappy, Jarrod Holley and Walker Newberry, plus booking by the WME agency’s Morgan Kenney. And as his shows continue getting bigger (and wilder), the left-of-center hits keep coming.
“It’s OK to do something nobody else has really done,” he says. “It might piss some people off, but at least I’m trying something different and cool.”
He’s keeping it going in 2023, letting loose on the haters with tracks like “This Ain’t Country” – and also planning to prove once and for all, he’s more than they think. A heavy hitting rap-rock kissoff to all those who dismiss Alan’s wild side, “This Ain’t Country” will be followed by a series of tunes telling the real-life story behind his upcoming wedding, as the emerging star taps timeless country romance.
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