Interview with Dion Cooper: a rising star!

By The Gigstarter Team on 20-07-2022 |

In 2021, Dion Cooper (former Gigstarter artist) released his debut EP 'Too Young Too Dumb' which included the single 'Fire' that was featured on 18 international Spotify lists and garnered nearly a million streams within a few months. "A really nice kickstarter to introduce new audiences to my songs!" In addition, he toured all over the Netherlands in the fall of 2021 as Duncan Laurence's support act, performing at the Netherlands' most iconic pop venues, such as Paradiso and Tivoli Vredenburg. On the dutch radio it was Giel Beelen who first gave him a chance with the general public. It's not surprising that big names in the music industry recognize Cooper's potential, he seems to have what it takes to perform on the big stages of this world.

Dion Cooper's beginnings

"It started when I was 15 and started playing guitar. Practicing countless hours a day, countless years in a row I lost myself in it. 3 years later I started singing. In those first years I always wrote music, but never very seriously. The classic story of 'never finishing a song'. I actually only really started as an 'artist' in 2020 when the lockdown just kicked in. All the gigs that were in the calendar were cancelled overnight. I thought to my self, 'My months are going to look very different now and what am I going to do with that?' Every musician and writer has this. I started approaching people I know, but also don't know, with 'let's just start making stuff during this time.' That became the main focus and that's how I was able to release 10 songs under my own stage name during the lockdown".


Dion shows off his wall in his room with all the pictures of artists, aka his "inspiration wall. "It mostly has artists on it that are busy right now, Shawn Mendes, John Mayer... All guys that are popular right now and releasing a lot of stuff. It was only last year that I made the shift with the question: who are they all actually inspired by? This also made me go back to my own upbringing which mainly consisted of Toto, The Police and Earth, Wind and Fire. At first I did think 'I wanna be just like Harry Styles' but then I realized that he also gets his inspiration from other bands and predecessors. For my upcoming work, I just dove more into that as well".

"There's a reason why there's not one specific person on the wall and why it's just full of multiple examples. I think my biggest inspiration is something I got from the past, something I grew up with, and that was mainly Toto. That's not necessarily reflected in the work that I've released, but in the upcoming work it will be heard more".

@itsdioncooper one of my all time favs! such a sweet tune 💙 #billwithers #justthetwoofus #dioncooper #acousticcover #fyp ♬ original sound - Dion Cooper


"I always work a bit with the philosophy of 'become so good that they can't ignore you'. Being so busy with your songs, your sound and your voice that at a certain moment people can't ignore you anymore. Managements, labels but also other artists, and secretly that is perhaps even the coolest because they are also in the music industry as 'creators'. On the one hand, I took the plunge and sent messages to people I thought were awesome, then I sat in the studio with Alain Clark and recently with Jett Rebel. Douwe Bob even sent me a message once with 'hey I like you let's sit together'".

"Duncan Laurence (Eurovision winner 2019) I've actually known for a few years now. We ended up in a session by accident and in 2 hours wrote a song that we were all SO happy with. From there we wrote a whole bunch of songs together and he was so excited that he soon called me asking if I wanted to sign to his fund at Sony ATV. Oh yeah, and if I wanted to be his support act for the Dutch and European tour. Hell yeah! That moment was really cool. So I can test the songs we have now in front of an audience. I don't have to fill the halls myself because someone else does that, that's the cool thing about being a support act. Of course he is also a friend of mine. That is really magical. So you can pull each other into it a little bit".


"What I find really cool about music is the impact you can have with a song or with who you are as an artist. I have experienced that myself by being a fan of artists and songs. I think music is the nicest way to share a feeling of some kind of happiness or joy with people. The dream is to do that as big as possible without going under. I aim for Ed Sheeran fame but I don't know if I want that in the end. Of course, that's only for a super select group of artists, so I'm not going to let my happiness depend on that. I would love to perform in a sold out Ziggo Dome and at Dutch festivals, but I would also love to have touch points in other countries. For example, a song that goes through Europe. My aspirations are to have as big an impact as possible and as wide a range as possible. If I can do everything I want to do along the way, feel good and have the right people around me, then the pace doesn't matter to me".

"With the tour, for the first time I really got to see how special the relationship is from fan to artist. That was so cool to experience. That, relatively small impact was already very special. If that can become even bigger and more beautiful I will go for it".

Dion x Gigstarter

"I've been on Gigstarter for a few years now. I ended up there through a friend. A tenner a month, no hassle and you can invoice yourself, that is very nice and very clear. You do not have to deal with an intermediary who charges a percentage. It's cool that you can pick up your phone and suddenly have a booking. That has always attracted me to the platform".

Dion his latest release

The most memorable Gigstarter gig

"This was for a company; the Behavior Change Group. That was a really fun crowd. Everyone was sitting quietly eating and basically out of the blue everyone is up and the whole field is dancing. I'm always armed with a guitar and a PA and that's it. To get everyone to go along with that is very cool. In addition, there are often requests for wedding ceremonies. Then you have the fun of choosing exactly the right songs. And if you then know how to bring them well, it really comes through and you create such a special moment".

The golden tip

"First thing that comes to mind is that basically everything is a people business. People like to do business with people they like. I make it a sport to respond in a fun and enthusiastic way and preferably to call or facetime whenever possible. What I often do is in my messages a kind of, that they have the idea of 'oh here we do nothing to do this dude is professional' that I indicate 'normally I do this and this and I suggest this way to do, normally this works very well and I would recommend that we look at it, we can always keep a kind of slack and improvise' and very much put to them firstly what fun that they do and fat that I may be part of it and how do we fill it so that you find it totally amazing. I often get a message back with thanks for your enthusiastic message. So that's a big thing so just being nice and human actually".

"You're not talking to a company but to a person, and that person has plenty of choice so it comes back to that earlier philosophy; be so good that people can't ignore you".

We at Gigstarter would like to thank Dion for this super fun interview and his valuable tips for our artists. We wish him all the best to reach his dreams!

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Tags: dion cooper, duncan laurence, alain clark, tour, music, live music, artist, interview, album, release