Sally Cooper is an unusually well seasoned performer for someone so young. She has been a musician for as long as she can remember. You may have seen her performing on Dancing with the Stars and The X-Factor. Her debut album Golden has just been released and she covers pop and rock greats like Led Zeplin, The Doors and Pink Floyd. Sally took the time to speak with classikON about her life with music before the release.
You are not a traditional classical musician, what made you go down this “less travelled” path?
I love so many different genres of music and it was exciting for me when I discovered that the beautiful sounds of the violin worked with them all, be it the luscious tones with the sensual soul music to the absolute other extreme of the crazy electric guitar-esque runs with the rock and roll music. The transition was very organic for me as opportunities arose in my early twenties to step outside my core classical music box and fully embrace this amazing world of gorgeous sounds and music making.
Who introduced you to classical music?
The first musical instrument I played was the flageolet. This was purely because my best friend at the time began playing, and being devastated at the thought of missing out I begged my parents to allow me to begin lessons too. The violin followed shortly afterwards.
Did you always want to be a musician?
I cannot remember NOT being a musician. My music is my life and soul. It has always brought me true happiness. I love being a musician. I am grateful to be a musician.
If you weren’t a musician, what would you most likely be?
I think I would still be working somewhere in the entertainment field. I love being on stage and performing too much for that not to be the case!
Of all of your musical accomplishments so far, what are your top 3?
Performing my first solo concerto with orchestra when I was 9. It was in Queensland and I played the Saint-Saëns violin concerto. It was an amazing experience. Actually, playing solo concertos with orchestra in general…. One of the best feelings in the world!
>>> Here is a recording of Saint-Saëns violin concerto on SoundCloud
Making it to the grand final of the Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition when I was 11 years old. I will never forget the hard work and dedication poured into preparing and delivering all the repertoire for that competition. I remember the excitement and the true sense of achievement.
Performing on stage alongside true musical geniuses. Tommy Emmanuel, Harry Connick Jnr, Michael Buble to name a few, and mostly the incredible experience of working so closely and often with Guy Sebastian. I should be so lucky.
Who is your favourite living composer?
Mmm, that’s a difficult question… My favourite classical composers of all time have all passed on, my very favourite being Tchaikovsky.
Who are your style icons?
I absolutely love Beyonce’s fashion and style.
Who were the classical music influences on your upcoming album?
One of the major classical music influences on my upcoming record is Yo Yo Ma’s recording of Gabriel’s Oboe. His version is so beautiful it makes my heart cry. It’s simply exquisite, and is the reason I chose to include it in the track list.
Who were the ‘other’ musical influences on your album?
The original artists/bands of most of the tracks on my album are all absolutely magnificent musicians and I’ve done my very best to honour their musical creation while adding my musical flavour. The producer of this album, Dorian West, has also been a great musical influence to me and every step of the journey in creating this record.
You can get Sally’s album Golden via getmusic and instore.