With a larger-than-life attitude, unexpected alter egos, confidence that is out of this world, and respect for his 16 bars, Coopay is an artist who knows his worth before he’s told. Tanana, Sounds and Coop are three-part specials that make up the artist known as Coopay, who started out his hustle in the ‘Motswako’ streets of Mafikeng.
“Music’s our job, so we need to be cooking in the studio, no matter how it sounds. Sometimes you don’t need a process – if you’re born with it then it comes easy, all you need is a beat and a mic.” ~ Coopay
Alter egos: Tanana is Coopay’s youngest alter ego. A coloured family adopted him, which makes him the Maftown Mexican whose sound is African trap. Tanana is Coopay’s view on the youth of today, being scared, and following everything and everyone, instead of creating their own ways.
Then there’s the funky, smooth, ladies’ man and neo soul side of Coopay and that is Sounds. Sounds is his oldest alter ego, he’s mature and wears his heart on his sleeve.
Coopay is from a Christian background and he was raised by both his father (who’s a black belt in karate) and mother (who has shared the acting stage with Gibson Kente).
Coopay is the first-born of four children, all of whom are artistically gifted. His parents are both academics, and hold masters’ degrees. They told him that he should study first and be famous later. Today Coopay is in his third year at AFDA.
“The best memory I have about growing up is taking the tape recorder my sister bought me and going to my school playgrounds, recording the girls singing while I rapped… ha ha ha… I’ve always had the prettiest girls…” ~ Coopay
Following Jay Z and Kanye West as the closing act for the Coachella International Festival.
“Music is expressing life with all the boring parts cut out.” ~ Coopay
“I was between the age of 4 and 5 years old, so the pastor decided to tell me to say yo… yeah, yo… yeah… while the older boys rapped. I knew in my heart that all I wanted to do in my life was be on stage, performing and screaming. Now, 18 years later, I’m still doing the same thing.” ~ Coopay
Coopay’s biggest highlight was organising the BBMG Tour across four cities, with 16 of his creative friends, including Khuli Chana and Ifani.
Coopay is inspired by artists who are able to shape the mindset of where music is at any given moment, such as Kendrick, Drake, Kanye and J Cole. When it comes to storytelling and lyrical dynamics, it has to be Jay Z.
Coopay sees himself in competition with them, even though he looks up to them. “Brenda Fassie and Boomshaka go without saying, they are South African music.” ~ Coopay
“I want my music to be consumed like water…” ~ Coopay