Julia Cooper to Release First Single

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Julia Cooper, the Poland, Ohio, native who reached a national audience last year when she was a contestant on “The Voice,” will release her first single Nov. 29.

Titled “Sugar Rush,” the song is a short – just two minutes long – but spritely confection that shows off Cooper’s vocal agility and jazz-R&B style. A video for the song will be released the same day as the song.

“Sugar Rush” is the first of two or three new tunes that Cooper will release in coming months, all of which will then be packaged as a four-song EP later next year.

Cooper’s run on “The Voice,” the NBC singing competition, ended late last year. She spent much of this year in Los Angeles, writing and recording new material with her producer, Gabriel Reese.

As the title implies, “Sugar Rush” is short and sweet, and packs a lot in. It begins with the sound of a piece of candy being unwrapped, then bounces along with a tingling keyboard and background vocal harmonies dubbed in by Cooper.

It ends before the flavor runs out.

The song showcases what makes Cooper unique. It also stays true to her musical roots while holding appeal to a wide range of listeners.

“I grew up singing jazz and listening to Motown,” Cooper said. “That’s always been my vision. The question was, how to do it in a way that makes a lot of people like it.”

It took some trial and error. Cooper and Reese “made a bunch of songs that weren’t great, then we hit on this one,” she said. She brought it to Cooper and the two fleshed it out.

“It started with making a love song with candy references, because I think that is cute, and it just blossomed from there,” she said. “We made it as universal as possible while sticking to my roots.”

The short length is part of a strategy occasionally employed by new artists, Cooper said. “Sugar Rush” will certainly leave listeners wanting more.

“Sugar Rush” will be available through Apple Music, which contacted Cooper after she teased the song on her social media accounts and received a great response. The artist is signed to Good Boy Records, an imprint of Virgin.

Cooper’s coach on “The Voice” was pop superstar John Legend. While she no longer has contact with the show’s producers, Cooper said she has been getting guidance from Legend through email exchanges.

Cooper is still in Los Angeles, but will return to the Mahoning Valley in December to sing in a benefit show for Toys for Tots at Birdfish Brewing in Columbiana.

Pictured: Julia Cooper

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.