Kolby Cooper Opens Up About Finding His Sound And Staying True To Himself

“I wrote all my favorite songs over the past year and I can’t wait for people to hear them,” the singer shared.


Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

August 4, 2023


4:22 pm

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Kolby Cooper; Photo by Gabriel Muniz

It’s been nearly one year since rising star Kolby Cooper released his label debut albumBoy From Anderson County To The Moon. Since then, Cooper has been spending plenty of time in writing sessions working on what he believes to be some of his “favorite” songs yet. The first taste of his highly-anticipated new music is the just-released “Kill Me.”

During a recent interview with Country Now, Cooper opened up about his new song as well as all the personal growth he’s achieved in the past year and the new era of music he’s stepping into. 

Kolby Cooper - Kill Me
Kolby Cooper – Kill Me

For Cooper, a large part of this journey of self-exploration involves finding a sound that best fits this chapter of his life, whether that be soulful country tracks, hard-hitting rock anthems or a mix of both in a way that satisfies his ear in the recording studio. 

“I started doing this when I was 18 and I think no one really knows what they want at 18 and that goes for everybody, including me,” he began. “I knew that I loved making music and I loved the music I was making, but I knew that I wanted it to be something a little different and a little bigger. I’m 24 now and it’s been a constant process of each album coming out, each EP coming out, each song coming out, I felt like I was getting closer and closer to what I really wanted. Then finally, over the past year, I feel like I just finally unlocked it, I guess for lack of a better term. I wrote all my favorite songs over the past year and I can’t wait for people to hear them.”

On top of playing his older songs in front of fans, Cooper and his band have also gotten the chance to showcase some new tunes like his latest anthem, “Kill Me.” 


YouTube video

Released on July 21, the addiction-fueled narrative marks the Texas native’s first piece of new music since his label-debut album, and it represents a shift in his sound that’s unlike anything he’s released before. 

“With ‘Kill Me,’ it’s my favorite song I’ve put out,” Cooper admitted. “That happens a lot for artists, but genuinely I can say that just as a listener of my stuff, it’s my favorite stuff we’ve ever put out. It’s my favorite song we’ve ever put out lyrically, musically, all of that. It’s just really what I’ve been gunning for.”

Co-written by Kolby Cooper with Michael Whitworth and producer Andrew Baylis, the song greets listeners with a dose of heart-pounding truth in regard to battling an addiction as strong as love. The up-tempo instrumentals and fiery lyrics fuel the storyline that lies underneath the sharp title. 

“We wrote a little more geared towards like a love that’s bad for you and addiction stuff. It’s really more about just addiction in general ’cause you know, everybody struggles with some sort of addiction to something, whether it be your phone or love or money or drugs or anything. I think that when we were sitting down writing it, all three of us definitely struggle with some of our own and we were like, obviously, we’re not alone in this. Like these three dudes in this one room all share similar problems so I’m sure a lot more people outside of this room feel the same way. And we just kind of wrote it hoping to help a few people maybe.”

While further discussing the creative process behind the song, Cooper explained that getting together to work with Whitworth is like writing with friends in high school, back in the good old days. 

“Overall, I just feel like we go in there and we make the music first and then we kind of figure the vibe out,” he told Country Now. “We just kind of start writing and then we figure out the hook and it’s kind of a backwards way of writing compared to the way some people write, but it’s so fun. It feels so innocent and it’s just so cool the way that you really get to create something special when you do it like that.”

In terms of what he’s got brewing next, Cooper explained that he has enough songs written to make as many as four new albums, however, he’s not going to rush into putting out another full-length collection just yet. 

“I’m trying to be as picky as I can. Like I told somebody the other day, I wanna put sh*t up that means something to me ’cause I’ve always done that. And the older you get, the more you really figure out the things in life that mean a lot to you or the things in life that you think matter to people. That’s what I wanna focus on is putting out songs that mean a lot to me first, which in turn I think will help a lot to other people.”

He continued, “We got a few more songs recorded already, and I think we probably have like five that aren’t recorded that I know for sure that I want to cut. So I think we’re at like nine or or eight maybe and once we get to 13 or so, then we’ll talk about an album.”

The rising star is also currently in the midst of his headlining tour. In the past, he’s opened for artists like Jelly Roll and Koe Wetzel and now he’s getting to put the lessons he’s learned on those runs into practice with his own shows. 

Cooper shared that one of the biggest things he’s taken away from watching these established artists in their element is to always stay true to himself both on and off the stage. 

“I’ve always strived to be as real as I can be on stage. At all times, I am myself and I think they just reaffirmed that obviously, that’s the move,” he explained before adding, “It’s definitely more inspiring to see someone genuinely be who they are rather than be an act when they’re on stage and be a completely different person off stage. So continue to be yourself and that’s what I’m doing.”

Kolby Cooper’s next round of shows will kick off August 25 in Corpus Christi, TX and continue with performances through September in Nebraska, Arkansas and Kansas. 

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Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.