‘The character feedback is often more important than the musical feedback. I have too many friend who get lost in the attention and think they’re rockstars, it doesn’t make sense to me.’ — Cooper Lower, August 2018
As I write this, Cooper has most likely completed another magnificent performance on the forecourt of the National Portrait Gallery in London.
On Wednesday night, he captivated the hearts and minds of Londoners and travellers alike. Businesspeople, students and tourists stopped and stared.
Meet the nineteen year-old Aussie-born acoustic guitarist and musical performer.
The story of how I met Cooper starts with a series of fortunate coincidences.
Before I explain why Cooper stuck out, I’ll explain how I came across this mature teenager.
The clock strikes 5:30pm at my internship in West Kensington and I have dinner plans an hour later in Leicester Square.
I’m overwhelmed by the workload I have outside my internship and wanted to visit a quiet place where I could transcribe interviews for my dissertation.
I’m processing the possibilities of cancelling my dinner plans and trying to expedite the endless transcribing bane.
My journey to Leicester Square required taking the Picadilly line from Earls Courts about eight stops.
Along the way, I had the options of Hyde Park Corner and Green Park to alight as I had time before I met my friend.
As fortune would have it, time was running fast and I was in a position where I wasn’t going to make the trip worthwhile. So I stayed on to Leicester Square.
I got off, looked at the clock and had over twenty minutes to kill.
I walked around, trying to clear my head, watching the people around me and weighing up responsibilities.
I strolled onto the uppermost part of Trafalgar Square and walked past a symphony of percussion and guitar. All being made by a man with an acoustic guitar.
I stood and listened, forgot my worries and felt relaxed.
It made for a better conversation with my friend later and I felt at ease.
The day I met Cooper, I had a resurgence of perspective.
I distinctly remember thinking that this kid must be in his early twenties.
He sounded American at first, then South African — I guess Australian makes sense.
Then he announced he was nineteen.
I wasn’t shocked. I was glad.
A man of his calibre, honest opinion and introspection shows up in London; thousand of miles away from home and plays a crowd that are kneeling at his feet.
I noticed as the crowds drew larger, he intensified his performance. Making an effort to connect the musically-uneducated (like myself) with the creation. He eloquently demonstrated the use of foot pedals to play a loop of a beat or chord that he recorded moments before.
It’s hard for me to describe exactly how it works, it’s one of those moments where you have to be there.
The thought of making an impact on people, through his love of music, must be an exhilarating feeling.
It matters not how successful he becomes in music, but more about the lessons he learns from his experiences.
People his age are at university, and enjoying themselves to the fullest degree.
He just had to travel across the world to embrace those same sentiments.
No-one can make any predictions as to his global impact, although anyone who watches him perform can make their own assumptions.
I feel that the need to support creatives is needed more than ever.
There are so little places to hold attention — while that might not be your outwardly aim— it is always the ambition to make something of what you put in front of people.
His music is soft, almost slow and sleepy.
He has the capability to perform hip-hop and intersect the distinction between high notes and his own flair.
I don’t have much to tell him, because he lives the life that he wants to and is happy. He’s lonely, for sure. But he’s happy with what he brings to people.
Age is only a number.
He is younger than me. But he is achieving on scales I have yet to comprehend.
The way he carries himself proves his character is strong.
It’s now what stops him from being the man he wants to be which will be the test.
Something I battle with and I’m sure everyone will too.
Meet Cooper Lower
Be sure to support Cooper by listening to his music or following his socials: