When Cooper Phillip owned up to her mistakes, something interesting happened: her connection with other people intensified. Originally from Russia, the pop star grew up feeling like she wasn’t “capable of admitting that I made a mistake,” she says. “It was one of the hardest lessons for me that I’ve learned in the past couple of years.”
She funnels such a life lesson directly into her new song “Head Over Heels,” a sticky jam co-written with Evgeny Babitsky and Mike McGregor nearly seven years ago. Writing “this song definitely formed me and made me realize many things,” she says. Most prominently, Phillip’s “communication and understanding of others” shifted, allowing her to nurture the relationships and friendships that matter to her most.
The singer-songwriter pairs her introspective lyrics with synth-painted production and evokes an indelible sense of “mood,” so much so it entices the listener into an almost otherworldly place and time. “I always want to make sure that when people hear my songs they can feel that they are going into a different dimension,” she explains. “I definitely want to set up a fun, inspirational, and bright mood. I think [during these] times especially we’re missing positivity the most.”
Phillip released her first single “Silence” in 2014. Looking back, it was a vital moment to her career, solidifying her as a promising new pop act, and instilled within her even more life lessons. “I learned to accept the challenges in front of me and meet them head on as opposed to trying to find the easy path,” she offers. “This has not only brought the right people into my life, but has made the successes even that much more satisfying.”
Years before making a splash in the pop space, Phillip started her career singing jazz music. It all began with an Ella Fitzgerald album she received on her 12th birthday. “When I heard it for the first time, I truly felt like I’d heard it many many times before,” she recalls. “I felt connected to the genre right away. I am a big fan of classical music, and I believe it’s fundamental knowledge for every single musician.”
Her roots also lie in an early adoration of such ‘90s pop divas as Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey, and that influence is certainly prevalent at the heart of her growing songbook. Truth be told, her entire backstory is quite a “unique” one that allows her to fly where she will ─ but she’s often been faced with ostracism and felt she needed to cover up her origin. “I was told many times that it’s a negative fact,” being born in Russia, she says, “but my whole perspective on this has changed over the years in the United States where I found people are really interested in my story and want to talk to me. I believe you have to stay true to who you are no matter what.”
“Head Over Heels” samples Phillip’s forthcoming record, centering around “our choices and how often we wait on things to happen for us instead of taking action,” she teases. “This is a theme for most of my new music.”