Lina Cooper is a rising indie-pop artist whose storytelling takes the listener on a lyrical journey
Lina Cooper is a 21-year-old indie-pop singer/songwriter from Ukraine attending Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA, double-majoring in Contemporary Writing and Production & Songwriting with a minor in Conducting. She is an energetic rising talent who loves the East Coast's fast pace. You can see Lina performing live on radio stations, recording in music studios, and frequently gigging in various venues in the Boston area, boldly stepping on stage in her favorite color yellow, exuding warmth and vitality with her unique voice and broad vocal range, mesmerizing the audience and taking them along on a lyrical journey.
Growing up surrounded by music
Born in the Ukraine as Polina Bondarenko, she shortened her name to Lina Cooper. Lina is short for Polina and Cooper is a literal translation of her last name (“a maker or repairer of casks and barrels”). Lina is a Valentine’s baby and grew up in a house filled with the love of music; her mother played the piano and liked to listen to jazz and classical music, her grandfather liked to listen to ABBA and Queen, and her father’s choice was Soviet rock-n-roll and blues. All these different genres influenced Lina to create her own style, combining classical and contemporary music with a pop/indie/alternative/rock flair. Her close friend had an accurate description of her music, "any possible genre in pop clothing".
Learning Classical and Contemporary Guitar
Lina’s musical talents began to emerge at the very young age of 9 when she would sit at the family piano and read a manual her mom wrote on how to sight read. She then started creating her own melodies and began to write poems to match. Noticing her unique and budding songwriting abilities, her supportive family enrolled her in a music school at age 10. Lina began guitar lessons and learned both classical and contemporary guitar, and within a year she performed her originals at school events and posted recordings online. Although being taught classic guitar and piano, Lina is self-taught in sight reading, songwriting, and vocals.
As a teenager, she was accepted into a music boarding school and majored in music theory while continuing to sing and hone her classical guitar skills. Back in the Ukraine, she and a classmate collaborated and started working on music together and released many original songs, including “The Door to Your Heart”, “Blue”, “Devil Inside You”, and more. Her songwriting inspiration comes from her everyday life experiences and emotions. She uses these “bottled” feelings to feed her art. While remaining an “A” student at school, and a need to continue to fuel her growing musical desires, she started busking on the streets and performing her original songs at small events.
Berklee College of Music - “love at first sight”
When Lina was 15 years old, she traveled to Boston, MA to spend part of her summer at a 5-week Berklee College of Music summer program. She instantly loved the “college experience” of living in a dorm and the vibrancy of the city of Boston, and decided this is where she wanted to attend college. After a couple of more years of schooling in the Ukraine, Lina applied to only one college, Berklee College of Music, and was accepted. She thought it had to be a mistake, so she watched the mail every day for a week to see if she would get an “oops, we didn’t mean to send you that acceptance letter”. It never came and in 2016 at the young age of 17, she excitedly moved to Boston to attend Berklee and major in songwriting. As she started learning more of what Berklee had to offer, she decided to leap beyond just a songwriting focus and added arranging, producing and conducting to her studies. Her college experience has taught her a lot about the music business and production, and she has really enjoyed learning about arranging and conducting using Logic or ProTools software.
First official release of original “A Good Year”
In the past year, Lina has been keeping busy with recording new material, announcing her first officially released original “A Good Year” that she wrote and sang with friend and alternative singer/songwriter Misha Bogomolov, and performing with her band on the radio, at cozy house shows, and local Boston-area music venues including the Middle East, Plough and Stars, Cafe 939, Mad Music Mill, Article 24, ONCE Ballroom, Loretta’s Last Call, Lansdowne Pub, Midway Cafe, The Lily pad, and more. She loves to hear the crowd singing along with her, and enjoying themselves at her shows. In her own words, she “lives to perform and make her music impactful”.
Current album project "Damned" to be released in 2020
Lina’s current project expected to be released in 2020 is her debut album, “Damned”, with arranger, producer and composer Mike Thompson. She is very excited about this album. It is a relationship-themed concept. Musically, it is a mixture of electronic, pop, orchestral and alternative music and includes a lot of instruments such as tuba, trumpet, flute, oboe, clarinet, cello, harp, electric guitar and more. Lyrically, it tells the entire story of a personal relationship she was recently in, taking us on a journey from how they fell in love, the relationship becoming deeper and more emotional, a fight and the drama that ensued, and the breakup. Lina invites us into her personal experiences not only with her lyrics, but by using snippets of saved voice memos of her partner’s voice (with his permission, of course) to create some very unique tracks.
On the back burner is album “Colors”
She also has an older album project called “Colors” that she had been working on with Berklee alumni/producer Jared Dalton Kane, and plans to complete soon. Lina loves observing the lives of people outside her inner circle, and translating them into a tapestry of songs both reflective and anthemic. Her songs capture subtle and memorable activities happening around her that others may not see in the same light and focus. There is an unforced style about her singing with its rich, wholesome, yet impressive range, that will keep you listening to her lyrics on repeat.
Lina’s long-term goals / life after college
Lina’s long-term goal is to have an opportunity to share her music with millions of people, play big stages, be able to make music for a living, and inspire people around the world. Shorter term plans include moving to NYC with her current Berklee roommates/musicians and making a living off of performing, writing, producing, and arranging music for herself and other artists.
“Lina’s emotional and relatable lyrics, combined with her broad vocal range enable her to get the attention of her audience, making them stop, listen, and travel along with her on her storytelling journey on life’s interesting routines and experiences.” - Artist on the Move
You can listen to her music on Spotify.
Instagram - https://instagram.com/lina_cooper/
Website - http://www.linacooper.com
Written by Marcia J. Macres for Artists on the Move