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JP Cooper: "I lost to SpongeBob SquarePants in a half marathon"

Musician JP Cooper on his second album, founding his own brewery and his favourite outfits in this latest Life / Style

JP Cooper

It's good to keep busy but JP Cooper has his fingers in numerous pies – or should that be pint glasses. 

As well as recording his second album, the musician is preparing to launch Grey Skies Brew Co – a brewery founded with his mates – and converting a Mercedes into a musical tour bus. 

Music, beer and travelling – talk about living the dream. 

However it sounds like he's rubbish at running – or the person in the SpongeBob outfit was really, really fast. 

Either way, Cooper won't need to go far to drown his sorrows. 

Read our interview – and check out his new EP 'Too Close' at the bottom of the page. 

Life

What upcoming project(s) are you most excited about?

Ah I do love a project... I have a few on the go at the minute. Of course, the main focus is finishing my second album.

We’re into the final stages now and it’s sounding wonderful so I’m very excited to get that out into the world.

I’m also about to launch “Grey Skies Brew Co” which is a brewery that I’ve started with a few friends.

We’ve been perfecting a handful of beers over the last year or so and we’re almost ready to launch. It’s a real passion project and between us we’ve done our fair share of (ongoing) market research.

Closer to home, I just purchased an extra-long wheelbase Mercedes Sprinter which I’m currently converting into a music/adventure bus with the intention of seeking out musical communities at the edges of society and telling their stories whilst of course doing a whole lot of writing and exploring along the way.

Between the music, the booze and the adventuring there’s a whole lot to be excited about. 

What is your proudest professional accomplishment?

That’s a tough one. I don’t know if I can put it down to one particular thing.

I guess I’m proud of the way that fans that I have met speak of me. I’m proud that they think kindly of me as a regular guy, not just the fella that sings the songs. 

If you could change one thing about your career, what would it be?

I would have allowed myself to fully celebrate every success and break through.

Up until now I’ve lived with the mindset of “ok, job done, what’s next”. From now on its my intention to allow myself the time to really experience what I do. 

What do you hope to achieve that you haven’t yet?

Balance... no matter what heights you reach, without finding balance between your working life and your personal life, it’s hard to really find fulfilment. I hope to achieve a life that my music can be a by-product of.. not the opposite way around. 

Tell us something nobody knows about you…

I once got beaten by SpongeBob SquarePants in a half marathon.

JP Cooper

Style

What’s your favourite item of clothing – and what does it mean to you?

It has to be a vintage sanforized coverall with chain stitch detail that I found…

It's by the Cleveland Overall company that were most active between the 30s and 50s. It’s in perfect condition.

It means a lot to me because it feels like a bit of a one off. It’s got a real working-class history to it and it transports me back to an era that I’m fascinated with.

Favourite accessory – watch / jewellery / etc – and why is it special to you?

A couple of years ago I was asked to perform at an event for the Luxury watch and clock manufacturer Vacheron Constantin. 

Vacheron are one of the oldest watchmakers in the world and their level of craftsmanship is awe inspiring. They gave me one of their watches as a gift... 

Now, at first, I felt kind of uncomfortable owning such a watch but after giving it some thought it now serves as a constant reminder that I've worked hard enough to work alongside such a prestigious company. It’s something I’m very proud to own. 

What items do you take on holiday and why?

Wherever I go I pack my GoPro and a lightweight fishing setup.

I love nothing more than being on the water or at the water's edge. It's the closest thing to meditation for me.

And I’m always game for a little adventure so it’s good to have the GoPro handy.

What’s next on your shopping list?

I’m considering buying a packraft... it’s a very lightweight yet robust raft that you can fit in your backpack or on your bicycle but can also carry your bicycle on across water once it’s been inflated.

I’m just a big kid. 

What would you buy if money was no object?

I’d buy some land with planning permission to build a bunch of different structures on it. I have a bit of a pipe dream to open up a getaway retreat for artists/musicians that want to escape the madness of the industry for a little while.

Of course, it would have to have a body of water on the land or running through it and of course there would be a Grey Skies Brew Co taproom on site.

For more info, see JP Cooper

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