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We also caught up with the musician himself to chat about the track, performing live and so much more!

Image: Jess Gleeson

Earlier this month, Hein Cooper made his return with his new single, Pretend. We got our hands on a lovely live video, filmed live from the happiest place on earth (ok, second happiest place on earth after Disneyland), Funland!

We also caught up with the musician to unpack the song, find out when he'll be hitting the road and what his live show will look like, The Matrix and so much more! Read our interview with Hein Cooper below and watch Pretend (Live at Funland).

Could you tell us a bit about how you began your musical journey, and your background in music?

I had a small town upbringing in coastal Southern NSW and music was honestly something that came firstly out of boredom! My friend in high school started learning some of Jack Johnson’s songs on guitar and I was so intrigued I got my own cheap guitar and started learning everything he did. I was obsessed from that point on.

Pretend marks the first taste of new music from you in two years. How did that time away influence the development of your new music?

It really helped me to have some space not because I think it’s necessarily important (if you’re in the flow then I don’t think you should stop it) but it helped in my situation because I was able to escape my kind of self imposed expectations. With everything that’s going on in the world right now I really just got to a point where I stopped caring and just did what felt right.

The track is all about escaping this world and serves as an ode to love. What prompted you to explore these themes on Pretend?

I’ve been travelling on and off for the last 10 years now, through Europe, the US and Australia and I’ve found that through this journey I’ve been able to take a step back from culture (because it’s different everywhere you go) to see what lies beneath, if there’s anything. I think that’s when life gets good and that’s what I mean when I say escaping the world. I don’t want to escape it really more I want to go deeper into it.

How did you arrive at the sonic sounds present on this single?

I love the combination of organic and inorganic sounds. I love electronic music and I love folk music. I think for this song it felt right to sit in the middle, I honestly don’t think too much about it when I’m making music, but it’s good to be in the room with all the kinds of instruments and programs/drum machines so the option is always there depending on what feels right.

This new live visual showcases your superb live vocals! When will we be seeing you return to the stage?

Thankyou! This video was shot in the morning which made it a little harder so that’s nice to hear. Hopefully August at this point!

What can audiences expect from one of your live shows?

A live band this time around! Depending on the opportunities I would love to be performing with some real energy behind me, we shall see…..

Could you tell us a bit about your creative process when writing and recording songs? Do you follow a particular formula or does each song take on its own form?

It’s something I’ve worked on for a while now so I’ve tried a few different approaches. Most of the time I’ll be walking around, just living my life and get deep into thought and if I find myself thinking of something I think it’s worthy of a being put to song I’ll either speak it into a voice memo or write it in my notes. Then I’ll come up with music to match the feeling and then go about gluing them together. Production wise as I said earlier I like to have everything around me and just go where it feels right.

Things have changed in the world over the past year, how do you feel you as an artist worked in the midst of a worldwide pandemic? Did you encounter any challenges, or did it perhaps allow you the time and space to explore a whole new sphere within your creative world?

It’s been intense. I’ve had a lot of time to think and re-evaluate myself. I take everything as it comes and try to find the positive in it and I think this has been a good chance to cut out a lot of the clutter in my life and in my art.

If Pretend was a pre-existing piece of art, which artwork would it be and why?

The film The Matrix if everyone was ‘The One’.

What else do we have to look forward from you in 2021? Will we be hearing an EP or album anytime soon?

Yes Indeed, keep your ear holes open!


Biggest influences?

Bon Iver, Glen Campbell, Thom Yorke, Ry X, Frank Ocean

Dream collaboration?

The Blaze feat me.

Album that has had the most impact on you?

In Rainbows.

How do you define your musical style in 3 words?


If you could create the soundtrack for any film, which one would it be?

Captain Fantastic.

Hannah Montana or Miley Cyrus?


Album you would listen to on repeat on a road trip?

Lanks new record Spirits Pt.2.

Last concert you went to?

Local Natives.

If you were a Spice Girl, what would your spice nickname be?


Guilty music pleasure?

Limp Bizkit.

If you could support any artist on tour, who would it be?

Probably Dermot Kennedy.

An artist you think has had the most influence on the music industry.

I’d say Aretha Franklin, she’s incredible and powerful. Her songs and their meaning are 10/10.

What advice would your current self, give your future self, for a year from now?

KFC is delicious but it’s no good for you.

The moment you knew you wanted to be a musician?

When I was a wee little traveller making my way out West looking for Gold.


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