Bringing A Fresh Brew To Music At The Coffee Cellar
This week the social media team caught up with Sophia Koop, an aspiring singer-songwriter from Macgregor in Brisbane as a preview to the live ‘Music at the Coffee Cellar’ gig on the Gold Coast campus.
So tell us about the Music at the Coffee Cellar gig on Tuesday, 19 May.
This is my first live gig on campus as a first year student at the Queensland Conservatorium at Griffith Uni. So I’m excited but I’m also kind of nervous as I am still only 17 and fresh out of high school.
I haven’t really gigged properly before. It’s mostly been school performances and stuff, but now I’m starting to stretch myself, get out in public and build up my experience and practice.
For me it’s about learning the ropes in the music industry and how to become a better performer, by performing in front of crowds and gaining in confidence. It’s the only way to understand what people want to see and hear.
How long is your first live set going to be?
They’ve given us a 30 minute set, so I should get to play about 7 or 8 songs. It depends how long they go on for, but sometimes I just get lost in the music and the song and I jam on for awhile.
Will you be performing your own songs?
The majority of the music on Tuesday at the Coffee Cellar will be my own work. The staff at the Con prefer that and encourage us to use this as a showcase to for our own original songs, but it helps to have a few covers ready as well. You find that audiences respond well to a couple of well-chosen and performed covers, because they are familiar with them even when we give it a little of our own styling.
I’ve been to quite a few gigs lately to support my friends, so I have seen the kind of music that people respond well and it has given me a god idea of what I should perform.
What is your style and who are your influences?
I’m solo performer who plays piano and sings, so when people ask me that I usually say that I’m a mix of RnB, Soul and Pop. I get inspired by artists like Jessie J and in particular her vocal technicality.
What other gigs have you got going on right now?
I’ve had a few other small gigs lately and have been performing in the Uni Battles for Griffith, but I’m trying to get out and do more public shows. It’s hard at my age though as I can’t play the licensed bars and clubs yet. I’m going to do some busking to help build up my confidence and experience. You’ve got to grab every opportunity you can.
How has the Bachelor of Popular Music helped you?
Studying this degree has really made me step up my game, because you’re in an environment where everyone’s a musician and we’re all trying to make something out of our music.
It’s made me work a lot harder on my singing, to stand out, be different and to get noticed in a way.
It’s also helped me to develop my independence. As there is no one there to push you the way they do in high school, you know, like get your assignments done. We have great lecturers and tutors who are really supportive, but it’s up to me now to get things done if I want to succeed and to make good choices about what I want to do.
Do they teach strategies on how best to perform?
We have vocal workshops every week which teach us performance, stage presence and how to improve our vocal techniques. It’s been really good and it helps you to grow as a singer.
What else have you got lined up this year?
My goal for this year is to write more music and to get better at the technical side of of performing. I’m also looking in to doing some shows at The Loft on Chevron Island and I plan to do a lot of busking.