High note

Carbonear res­i­dent Matthew Cooper named first Sing NL win­ner

The Compass - - Front Page - BY CHRIS LEWIS

“Words can’t de­scribe it … Ev­ery­one who par­tic­i­pated was so great, and it’s just an amaz­ing feel­ing to hear your name called as the win­ner for some­thing like that.”

Matthew Cooper, 2017 Sing NL com­pe­ti­tion win­ner

The first ever Sing NL com­pe­ti­tion came to an end last week, after weeks of re­hearsals and com­pe­ti­tions.

On Satur­day, May 20, Matthew Cooper stood along­side other ea­ger fi­nal­ists, await­ing to hear who would be named win­ner of the 2017 Sing NL com­pe­ti­tion. When Cooper’s name was called, he told The Compass it was an over­whelm­ing feel­ing.

“Words can’t de­scribe it,” he said. “Ev­ery­one who par­tic­i­pated was so great, and it’s just an amaz­ing feel­ing to hear your name called as the win­ner for some­thing like that.”

Cooper, 19, is cur­rently study­ing mu­sic at Memo­rial Univer­sity. He’d like to pur­sue a de­gree in per­for­mance and mu­sic, hop­ing to one day per­form full time, or work as a pro­fes­sor, teach­ing other up-and-com­ing mu­si­cians.

Cooper has, in the past, par­tic­i­pated in mu­si­cal events such as the Ki­wa­nis Mu­sic Fes­ti­val, and has re­ceived mul­ti­ple mu­sic awards.

Sing NL was a mu­sic com­pe­ti­tion hosted by The Tele­gram, where con­tes­tants per­formed in front of judges and live au­di­ences, ex­hibit­ing their tal­ents on-stage in a Cana­dian Ido­lesque set of com­pe­ti­tions.

This year was the first for Sing NL, which will con­tinue to be an an­nual com­pe­ti­tion.

Open au­di­tions for Sing NL were held on March 18, with qual­i­fy­ing rounds all through­out the re­main­der of March and April. The semi-fi­nals and fi­nale were held on May 5 and 20h re­spec­tively.

Cooper says he’s been a singer for most of his life, hav­ing taken voice lessons at an early age, and main­tain­ing his love of mu­sic and per­for­mance his en­tire life.

So­cial me­dia has played a vi­tal role in Cooper’s mu­sic ca­reer thus far as well, as he main­tains a Face­book page for his mu­sic. There, he posts videos of him­self singing. Cooper added that his mother, Sher­rie Ann, of­ten posts videos to her own Face­book, which gar­ner a lot of at­ten­tion after be­ing shared by friends and fam­ily.

Although Cooper says his true pas­sion lies in clas­si­cal mu­sic, his love of mu­sic and per­for­mance be­gan with the singer Adele, and her song Rolling in the Deep.

“I’m more of a clas­si­cal singer my­self, that’s what I love to do, it al­ways has been,” ex­plained Cooper. “But Adele is what re­ally got me into singing, and she’s been a huge in­spi­ra­tion to me from the start.”

Cooper went on to ex­plain that he does not let his love of clas­si­cal mu­sic act as a bar­rier to his tal­ents, and he’ll of­ten wan­der into the pop and coun­try gen­res as well, which he says is much more pop­u­lar among peo­ple these days com­pared to clas­si­cal.

“As I’ve grown mu­si­cally, so have my tastes,” ex­plained Cooper. “I’ll al­ways love Adele, but I also ad­mire peo­ple like An­drea Bo­celli and Jonas Kauf­mann.”

Sing NL was more than just a com­pe­ti­tion to Cooper. He said the ex­pe­ri­ence was a chance for him to learn and im­prove not only as a singer, but as a per­former as well.

“There are things I learned to do in that com­pe­ti­tion that I don’t re­ally know if I’d have learned any­where else,” said Cooper. “For most of my other per­for­mances, I’ve stood still, and sung. That’s the way it is, and in some cases, that’s the rule. Stand and de­liver. But dur­ing Sing NL I learned to be more care­free with my move­ments, I got to re­ally get a feel for the stage – I wasn’t stuck in one spot or one po­si­tion, I could move and re­ally make it a per­for­mance, and not just a song. That’s some­thing I’ll al­ways carry with me now.”

As a win­ner of Sing NL, Cooper will re­ceive a mul­ti­tude of prizes, in­clud­ing a two-song demo pro­fes­sion­ally recorded by ei­ther David Fitz­patrick or Peter Daniel New­man, a mu­sic video pro­duced by Up Sky Down Films, a pro­fes­sional pho­to­shoot, a so­cial me­dia pack­age, a month of pri­vate vo­cal train­ing with Sing NL judge Zack Werner, a con­sul­ta­tion meet­ing with en­ter­tain­ment lawyer Greg Stephens, a me­dia con­sul­ta­tion with Caleigh Rykiss, sev­eral per­for­mances at places like The Rock­house and Rocket Bak­ery, a rep­re­sen­ta­tion agree­ment with Ra­dioac­tive Tal­ent from New York for pub­lish­ing and rep­re­sen­ta­tion in film, tele­vi­sion and com­mer­cials, an EFK pack­age, and an in­ter­view as well as a per­for­mance on NL NOW.

Noth­ing has been set in stone re­gard­ing any of the prizes just yet, but Cooper said he is look­ing for­ward to what his win will bring him.

Cooper won in the adult cat­e­gory of the com­pe­ti­tion, while the youth cat­e­gory was won by Rachel Cousins of St. John’s.

Rod­ney Slade of Vic­to­ria placed third in the com­pe­ti­tion.

“There are things I learned to do in that com­pe­ti­tion that I don’t re­ally know if I’d have learned any­where else.” Matthew Cooper

KEITH GOSSE/THE TELE­GRAM

Matthew Cooper per­form­ing dur­ing the fi­nale of Sing NL 2017.

KEITH GOOSE/THE TELE­GRAM

Cooper and his grand­mother after the win­ners were an­nounced.

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