THE NEW ALBUM
This festive season, Collette Cooper provides an alternative take on the familiar
deluge of yuletide projects with Darkside Of Christmas. Reflecting the current
political and social environment caused by the impact of national and global events,
Darkside Of Christmas takes a more poignant approach to the seasonal album,
aiming to recognise the recent difficulties that have been felt by many around the
world, touching on themes of love, loss and empathy, tied together with wry wit,
edgy humour and outstanding musicianship.
Collette has a totally individual, unmistakable voice quality which is powerful, husky
and above all soulful and tells a story with honesty and full of emotion which can
take you from heartbreak to heaven.
While the theme may at first appear saturnine, Darkside Of Christmas’ ultimate
sentiment is an uplifting feeling of spirituality and hope, laced with a devil-may-care
party spirit designed to unify those who feel that the hour of ‘forced fun’ is upon
them. Songs such as ‘Run Santa Baby’, sees old Saint Nick feeling the pinch of
frostbite, while Cooper’s rendition of ‘What A Wonderful World’ sails over the
sound of an old honky-tonk piano with the odd broken key, conjuring the essence of
a singalong around the fire after a few too many glasses of Christmas spirit.
A more personal sentiment is projected on the original track ‘Another Day’ – is
dedicated to Collette’s best friend Clare Bonham, who unexpectedly passed away in
March 2020 (the last time they spent time together was New Year’s Day 2020),
while the classic jazz standard ‘It Ain’t Necessarily So’ is given a unique treatment
with the addition of the melody from ‘Carol Of The Bells’.
Cooper recruited good friend, Richard Harwood, the principle cellist in the Royal
Philharmonic Orchestra (the impact of his unrivalled bowmanship is most intensely
felt on their version of ‘Silent Night’). Notable jazz musicians such as Andy Davies,
Kevin Davy (trumpets), Liam Stevens and James Pearson (piano) greatly enhance the
recoding with both their individual and collective dexterity and flair, while the
mellifluous tones of The Kings Voices Gospel Choir add vibrancy and warmth.
The final jewel in the crown is the addition of legendary British actor Ray Winstone,
who introduces the album by reciting an original poem by Collette Cooper, setting
the tone for what is to come.
Primarily recorded at Abbey Road and Dean Street Studios, with original artwork by
the acclaimed photographer Rankin, Darkside Of Christmas is a distinctive and
stylish work, destined to indulge all of this years’ Scrooges and maybe a few Tiny
Tim’s for good measure!
Available for special edition CD released on 18th November
Streaming on all major platforms soon
Collette Cooper is a multi-talented singer, writer, performer and critically acclaimed artist signed to the independent label Thelonious Punk Records championed by BBC Introducing, BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 6 Music, Soho Radio and Jazz FM. Her inspirations go back as far as Bessie Smith, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Nina Simone, Kurt Weill, Billie Holiday and Mozart.
Collette is difficult to fit into any box – she has a unique sound of her own.
Her music is eclectic with dramatic, dark, and sometimes theatrical tones, with a strong blues, soul and jazz influence. Her truly unique style and visually captivating performance is electrifying with her raw, emotional honesty and leaves the audience enchanted and wanting more with her raspy, inimitable, hauntingly, powerful, unique vocals.
Her unmistakable, distinctive vocal style is often described as ‘Janis Joplin channelling Edith Piaf with a sprinkling of Esther Phillips’. Her original work is timeless yet fresh, and her versions of covers are unlike anything else you’ve ever heard. Totally reimagined. The covers become her own. Collette plays at all major venues in and around London with sold outperformances including The Jazz Café, The Blues Kitchen, The 100 Club, The Roundhouse, The Piano Bar Soho, amongst many other legendary venues.
During lockdown, Collette wrote and directed a short film called "Keep Fighting" to raise awareness for the NHS. Encouraging people to donate to a charity close to their hearts and receiving an award nomination from The Intensive Care Society. Starring Maxine Peake, Samantha Morton, Vinette Robinson, Gemma Arterton, Anna Friel, Pippa Bennett Warner, Dame Emma Thompson, Kathryn Drysdale, Rosie Jones, Elarica Johnson, Sienna Miller, Olivia Coleman, Karen Bryson, Alan Carr, Nathalie Emmanuel, Rita Ora, Laura Whitmore and many more great names.
Alongside her musical and acting career, Collette is also an activist. She currently has a piece of her artwork in The Now Exhibition curated By Leah Wood. An exhibition bringing awareness to the current climate and helping raise money for Drop4Drop charity. Collette has performed with and for Samuel L Jackson’s charity "One For The Boys" at Abbey
Road Studios, London and recently performed for Vivienne Westwood’s Cool Earth charity in an effort to save the planet. Collette is a proud ambassador for the Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy Charity. She recently performed at a gala night in their honour at the Grosvenor House Hotel alongside KT Tunstall and Texas. Most recently, she performed at Night for Ukraine at The Roundhouse alongside Bob Geldof, Chrissie Hynde and Imelda May. Collette is also a proud ambassador for the Wild at Heart Foundation, a London-based dog rescue charity. Collette recently, successfully premiered her one woman play, which she has written and stars in "Tomorrow May Be My Last" at the legendary, Old Red Lion, theatre. The Janis Joplin story alongside an incredible live band. With multiple 5-star reviews and award nominations, they are ready to hit the West End with a bang in 2023.
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‘Collette has the most extraordinary voice, it gives me goose-bumps! Someone I’ve fallen for, oozing sass and attitude. Wow what a voice ’ - Chris Hawkins, BBC Radio 6 Music.
‘A voice that's incomparable! CC your music is amazing! I love it! I listened and immediately loved the sound.' – Huey Morgan, BBC Radio 2 and 6 Music
‘Just lovely’ – Claudia Winkleman, BBC Radio 2.
‘Wow, what a voice’ – Sara Cox BBC Radio 2.
‘The imitable Collette Cooper. Superb. Wow - what a voice” We will be hearing a lot more from her”’ - Jonathan Ross
‘I am Collette’s biggest fan. Her music is some of the best music I’ve heard. I love her
voice, so unique as is her music. Love it! What a voice!’ - Nick Grimshaw, BBC Radio 1
‘Best birthday ever was when Collette sang with her band,’ - Sheridan Smith
'A voice like chocolate' - Liane Carroll
'Unique vocals of Miss Cooper, a lady who has the ability to deliver the complete gamut of emotions from just one line of a song. A rare talent.' - Tony Minvielle, JazzFM
'Collette is magnificent, the authentic yet historical vocal delivery is outstanding. Collette's voice sounds like a catalog of my favorite vocalist from Bessie Smith to Edif Piaf yet completely original. No fat or bullshit, just solid, on point, and on time. Brilliant! The best I've heard in years - outstanding work!' - Michael Williams, Radio Broadcaster & TV Much Music ★★★★★
'Dripping with poise and charisma, Cooper commands attention with mere presence alone, the fact that she’s such a talented singer just places a seal on her performance. Whether recorded in the studio or in front of a live audience, Collette Cooper is an artist with an authentic and unpretentious sound that needs to be added to your music collection. We’d also strongly recommend seeing her live for the full experience, she’s an elegant and emotive delight' - Hedd Magazine ★★★★★
Sisters in the Shadows Podcast
From Bessie Smith, Big Mama Thorton, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Clora Bryant, All-Female Orchestras and Janis Joplin up to Norah Jones, Amy Winehouse, Nubya Garcia, Laura Jurd and Brittany Howard, woman have always played a vital - and often overlooked - role in the evolution of Blues and Jazz.
In this new podcast series, Sisters In The Shadows - Women In Blues And Jazz, musician and actor Collette Cooper (herself heavily influenced by those iconic names) explores the careers of female artists from the earliest days to the present time to mark over a century of Blues and Jazz.
In this new podcast from Pod People Productions, Collette talks to artists and broadcasters such as Soweto Kinch, Huey Morgan, Cherise Adams-Burnett, Camilla George and many more about their favourite Blues and Jazz Divas and Composers, where they first discovered them, who are their influences and why they’ll never be forgotten.
In aid of Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy Charity which Collette a proud ambassador for. Produced by the award-winning team at Podpeople Productions
Tomorrow May Be My Last
Our first theatre piece Janis - Tomorrow May Be My Last is the story of the first queen of rock. Written and performed by Collette Cooper.
Musical Directors, Mike Hanson, Jack Parry
Janis is a one-woman play, driven by her music, performed with an incredible live band (TSP Band), and set in a festival and backstage in her dressing room in the late ’60s. Janis is an emotionally charged production that captures her funny energetic personality while exploring the dangerous path of excess her free spirit took her down.
Collette portrays an iconic artist by delving deeply into the inner turmoil that drove and ultimately destroyed her. It tells the story as raw and honest as her voice, as gut-wrenching as her music, and as vivid as her memory.
The show features some of her best-loved songs and also debuts an original track, ‘Tomorrow May Be My Last’ written by Collette Cooper and Mike Hanson, which has had multiple plays on BBC 6 Music and BBC Radio London.
Tomorrow May Be My Last directed by Collette Cooper. Produced by Thelonious Punk Productions
"‘Tomorrow May Be My Last is simply electrifying! Collette Cooper doesn’t just play Janis Joplin – she becomes her before our very eyes! It’s a brilliant script – brilliant because it feels unscripted."
- The Reviews Hub
“Tomorrow May Be My Last is a musical, anecdotal and devastatingly emotional journey through the life and career of Janis Joplin. The feel-good factor is off the scale!” - The Spy In The Stalls
“‘There were some moments of supreme artistic largesse. Don’t be surprised if it moves on and becomes a huge West End hit.” - Blues and Soul Magazine
“Cooper captures the raucous, charismatic & defiant spirit of Joplin in a tour de force performance” - CNJ
“This piece is written with honesty and integrity, speaking from the heart of the era and from Janis Joplin herself. Expect to be immersed in the birth of the age of Aquarius – come dressed for the occasion! Collette Cooper (Janis Joplin) has you in her grasp from the moment she takes the stage” - Fairy Powered Productions
“Cooper is outstanding- You see Janis stripped bare and this was so well done that I felt tears hover before I was once again transported into the fabulous world of Janis on stage" - Angrybaby
"Collette Coopers performance was electrifying” - Fad Magazine