Summer Spotlight: Kiki Cooper ’23


Printed with permission of Kiki Cooper

Singer-songwriter Kiki Cooper ’23 performs at the Hynes Convention Center pop rock jam session in Boston.

Natasha Speiss

Deep in thought, Kiki Cooper ’23 sits at her piano and distractedly taps out notes. The faint sounds of the keys echo throughout the room. When surrounded by music, Cooper said she feels at home and her creativity runs wild. Softly, she starts to sing, the rhythm and lyrics coursing through her. 

Cooper spent five weeks of her summer at a singer-songwriter intensive at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. She said the program helped her grow both as a musician and person.

“The quality of my music became a lot better because of the friendships that I made, the collaboration with other musicians and the inspiration [I received] rom the environment [at camp],” Cooper said.

Cooper said her experience at the Berklee intensive was unforgettable.

“I loved being surrounded by music constantly, even in random moments like harmonizing in the elevator,” Cooper said. “However, even the moments that weren’t related to music but helped me bond with fellow musicians, such as eating pancake bread while watching the sunset, will be memories that I will never forget.”

Cooper said her childhood was filled with music. Having started singing at age five, songwriting at eleven, and piano at twelve, Cooper said she cannot imagine her life without chords and melodies.

“Music is my everything,” Cooper said. “I know that without it, I would probably not be here right now. One song I am very proud of is called ‘Lose Myself,’ because it’s about my struggles with anxiety and it talks about mental health, which I am a big advocate for bringing awareness to.”

Cooper said she takes inspiration for her songs from her daily life, and that anything can spark a new idea.

“My process for writing music usually begins when I hear an interesting melody line in my head and start messingC around with chords to go along with it, or I see something in my everyday life that sparks a lyric idea,” Cooper said. “I use my songbook as almost a journal in [that] it’s [a way] for me to vent out whatever I’m feeling.”

Though Cooper said she usually writes love songs, she said she has been inspired by current events to try addressing new topics in her music like equal rights and sexism.

“I recently wrote a song about a woman named Sarah Everard who was kidnapped and murdered by a police officer,” Cooper said. “[Everard’s death] sparked a whole conversation with many women coming forward talking about extra steps they have to take as a woman in today’s society, which hit close to home for me.”

Cooper’s song about Everard is called “Educate your Son,” a title she said was meant to challenge society’s narrative that women should have to go out of their way to avoid violence.

“I chose that title after seeing an article that had ‘protect your daughter’ crossed out then said, ‘educate your son’ under it,” Cooper said.

Cooper’s music can be found on Soundcloud at kiki_cooper and on Instagram at kiki_cooprr.