Cooper and Eleanor make up the singer-songwriting duo, She’s Alaska, an acoustic pop group based out of Nashville, TN. I was drawn to their story perhaps because they reminded me of my days as part of a music duo with my sister in the band Sweet Rosebud. Both Cooper and Eleanor are college students at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU), and I could relate to their new found journey of songwriting, staying up late nights with coffee to write lyrics or record and balancing music with studies.
I had only been in Nashville a week or two when I crossed paths with Cooper at the Blue Bird Cafe – we were both there to perform, and as we waited for the open mic to begin, we struck up a conversation on songwriting. As Cooper described his music, I could hear passion in his voice, and after he performed his song “Samson” I was struck by the simple acoustic folk melody, and the lyrics that beautifully explored love and loss in a mature, sacred, and solemn way. Cooper was inspired to write the song as a tribute to his grandparents after his grandfather was diagnosed with cancer. “(The song “Samson” is) a farewell, and it’s a thank you…a wish that she (Cooper’s Grandmother) can move on after…that there’s life after him…there’s love after him.”
Not long after starting his studies at MTSU, Cooper found a friend in Eleanor, a fellow singer-songwriter who started writing music at eleven years old – it’s as though she had music written in her DNA. Both light heartedly described the origin of their band name as the perfect marriage of Cooper’s desire to have a possessive pronoun and Eleanor’s desire to incorporate a State name. And so, “She’s Alaska” was born. Cooper and Eleanor are young talented singer-songwriters and students, and I’m excited to hear their story as it continues to unfold. To hear more of their music, visit She’s Alaska on Soundcloud here.