Multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, performer, busker and 'walking jukebox' – Jody Cooper has many guises. Having performed in front of audiences since before he could remember, you could say music was a career Jody was destined to follow. “I was always performing,” Jody says, “but I never considered music as a career.” All that changed when, at the age of 16, he awoke suddenly with a voice in his head telling him he would be a musician. “It was like I was being called!”, he remembers. “From then on I knew exactly who I was and what I wanted to be.” Jody's music style reflects the many and varied influences along the way – from the pop-rock of The Beatles to the audio canvases of Mike Oldfield – all wrapped up in a powerfully soulful voice, a melodic sensibility and thought-provoking lyrics drawn from life experiences as well as being a Bahá'í.
In 2007 he realised a long-held dream with his self-produced début album Ten a Penny, and since then there have been many highlights, including graduating with a music degree, three Semi-Finalist statuses in the prestigious UK Songwriting Contest, and joining the acclaimed Sense of Sound Singers – a group whose collaborations include artists such as Massive Attack, Damon Albarn, Jon Bon Jovi and Brian Eno. “It was an amazing feeling singing and being part of such a big, organic, creative and vibrant music group” Jody states. “There was no room for egos. Everyone had their part to play in bringing the music together.”
2012 saw the release of two new albums – Growing Up and the Bahá'í-inspired Free Thyself (both recorded in six weeks and released on the same day!) – and a living-room concert tour of Germany to promote them. In 2013 he released his first EP entitled The Troubadour, and made the big change of relocating from Liverpool to Leipzig in Germany. “It was a difficult decision,” he says, “but I realised if I wanted my career to move forward then I was going to have to do something drastic about it.”
2015 marked the release of Jody's first single Silence, finishing fourth place by public vote in the international Sennheiser competition 'Be D1 and Only', performed at Berlin Messe's I.F.A trade show and released his first charity single Immortal Friend for Marie Curie in honour of his brother Robbie, who died of a rare form of cancer in 2014. "It was the hardest song I've ever had to write," he reflects, "but I felt compelled to put into words how I was feeling."
2016 witnessed Jody's first concerts in the U.S. and the start of his biggest project to-date: a concept double-album about the themes of integration and disintegration, the first half to be released in spring 2017. "As a human being, when you look at the world around you and what's going on, it's easy to become down, angry or feel powerless," he says. "As a Bahá'í, however, I know that all of these forces that try to bring humanity down are a necessary step in our collective evolution towards a new and united vision of ourselves."
Jody is a firm believer in knowing your own identity and staying true to it. As he puts it: "Always be yourself...because if you can't be that, what can you be?"