Ross Cooper. Photo by Jody Domingue.6 Questions With Ross Cooper

Welcome to “6 Questions With…,” a series of interviews with emerging artists, musicians, and bands focusing on the music scene and how they live within it. It started as a quick, fun project, but has quickly gained serious interest, so it has become a permanent fixture here on Indie Minded. Over time, the questions may change, but the sentiment will stay the same. This is a way for independent artists to be discovered by new fans on a global scale.

Within in each post, you will find all of their social media links, and also either a link to their music, or the ability to stream at least one of their tracks or videos, depending on the availability.

We hope you enjoy this series, and if you know anyone that might be interested in being part of it, please have them reach out to us for more information.

Next in the hot seat is Nashville-based indie Americana singer Ross Cooper. We have not had the privilege of featuring Ross here on the pages of Indie Minded, so we are thrilled to bring you this short interview. Sit back and enjoy! This is what is great about this series – the discovery of new music.

For those who may not be familiar, please tell us about your music: the type of music you play, where you are from, and how you got started?

I grew up in Lubbock, TX.  I first learned music by sitting on my mom’s piano bench and watching her play.  She taught me a few things, and I took lessons. It wasn’t much later that I wanted to play guitar, and the rest is history.

As far as the music I play goes, I tell folks it’s Alternative Western…I know that doesn’t clear it up much.  But for the songs that are a little more rocking, they’re probably going to be in a minor key and they might be shuffled.  I’ve always gravitated toward darker-sounding stuff, and I think my music reflects that.  On the rock side, I love bands like Calexico and Tom Waits, and on the songwriter side, I love Guy Clark, Ryan Adams, etc.  In my head, it all sounds like where I’m from.

As an artist, how do you define success?

That’s a tricky question.  For me, success as an artist would allow me to support a family on about 20 acres of land outside of town, have a few horses, and only come to town when I had to.  So I’d define success by being able to support a family completely through music…or by selling out the Ryman Auditorium for a few nights in a row.

What do you find to be your greatest struggle when it comes to the music business?

It changes every day, but I’d say for most artists like me there’s always a struggle with giving an audience a reason to care.  It’s not enough just being a good singer/songwriter anymore because there’s so much music out there that’s great.  You have to be constantly working and constantly moving.

If you could only play ONE of your songs for the rest of your career, which one would it be?

It’d be a hell of a lot easier to pick someone else’s song!  If I had to pick one, it’d be a toss-up between “I Rode The Wild Horses” and “Old Crow Whiskey and a Cornbread Moon.”

What do you think is the most realistic goal you can achieve as an artist/band? What do you hope to achieve?

I think the most realistic goal is to build.  Going out and playing a market then coming back six weeks later and doing it again.  Building fans by working.  That’s the goal for the year–to build as many fans as possible and to have a reason to get back in the studio and make more music.

Outside of music, what do you like to do that you feel contributes to the creativity that you tap into for your music?

I cook and build knives. I try to learn how to cook as many different types of food as I can. I like that it can be fast-paced.  It’s a lot of thinking without thinking.  And I got into knife-building about a year ago; it’s a blast.  Every knife I’ve built has been different in some way.

Website | Facebook | @RossCooperMusic

Kelly Murphy
Owner, writer, and editor of Indie Minded; Social Media Marketing & Relationship Consulting via Indie Minded Media; Be sure to give me a follow on Twitter @IndieMurphy or @IndieMindedMedia