Kolby Cooper is riding the fast-track to success. He went from recording his first EP at 18 years old using the money he collected from his high school graduation to releasing his label debut album, Boy From Anderson County To The Moon.
The 23-year-old co-wrote each song on this 13-track project that features songs such as his debut radio single, “Excuses.” This track was carried over from his dynamic EP that’s dedicated to his family at home, Boy From Anderson County. The second half of the project encompasses the added title, “To The Moon” which celebrates his “road family” and explores living life to the fullest with the ones closest to you.
“To The Moon” was named after Cooper’s YouTube series that gives insight into some of his greatest adventures that come from the simplest moments. The inspiration for the song came as a result of Cooper’s way of life. He strives to take advantage of every opportunity that is presented to him while making an effort to treat people right in the process.
The combined titles are each featured as the final two tracks on the record, bringing the whole project full circle in the end. Cooper and his bandmates even made the decision to get tattoos to represent how they hold “To The Moon” very close to their hearts.
“’Boy From Anderson County’ is a song that I wrote for my wife, she’s been my best friend since fourth grade. We’ve had this beautiful relationship and I finally wrote a song just for her. I knew that I wanted to name the album after it, but then once we wrote ‘To The Moon,’ me and all the guys in the band, we got these tattoos,” he told Country Now. “ So that song also means so much to me.”
He dubs this project some of his “favorite music” he’s created because of how deeply personal he let himself get in the writing process. Cooper represents the small town of Texas that raised him and the journey he’s currently on with the world at his hands.
The evolution of his struggles becomes evident throughout each pronounced strum of his guitar, but it’s his impressive vocals that dominate the scene and paint a picture of perseverance at its strongest. With each track, listeners are swept into the rollercoaster that is Cooper’s ongoing trek. It’s taken years for some of these songs to make it out of the studio, but it was well worth the wait.
“When you’re making an album, you don’t make a song on Tuesday and then the whole album comes out the next week, it’s a whole process. Like ‘Stars Fall Down’ we wrote in January of 2020, before COVID even hit or anything. So it’s so crazy that some of these songs I’ve lived with for so long and I’ve loved for so long. It’s very surreal to finally have them out and to have them to where people can listen to ’em and see people connect to the songs and all that. So it’s really cool.”
The leading track off the collection, “Are We On Fire,” teases the narrative of a relationship that is barely holding up as it’s running on the gas that’s fueling its toxic fires. Kicking things off with this song was intentional in the way of the acoustic guitar and realization in the lyrics that slowly builds into an “electric” anthem which gives Cooper chills each time he hears it.
“I’m a big fan of albums and I’m a big fan of full, complete projects. When I listen to an album, I wanna feel like a I’m on a roller coaster, I wanna feel all the emotions, I wanna feel the highs and the lows of the album and ‘Are We On Fire,’ since we wrote it, it has been my favorite.”
He added, “when we wrote the song, we just had an acoustic work tape, but I could hear in my head how it was gonna sound when it was done. Then once we got in the studio and got it put together, I was like, ‘yes, this is exactly how I thought it was gonna sound.’ I knew that it was gonna be the perfect way to lead the album off.”
Another track on the project, “Stars Fall Down,” takes things in a different direction. The passion that he sings about in this song is true as he delivers a love letter to his daughters, encouraging them to always “shoot for the sky” and to get back up again regardless of the outcome.
“So when you take aim baby, shoot for the sky / and if you miss it’ll be alright / I’m gonna love you no matter what / ‘cause that’s just what a daddy does / Don’t be scared if you burn bright that you’ll burn out / and baby keep on shining, ‘cause even stars fall down,” he sings in the chorus.
Kolby currently is a girl dad of two, but he recently announced that he and his wife Jillian have another baby on the way.
“I’m very excited. I’m a little nervous, but excited to have our third and probably final baby. We’ll see.”
Maintaining dad life and artist life has proved to be a challenge as expected, but Cooper can happily say he feels a bit of relief at this stage in his career. After touring professionally full-time for four years, he and his team have finally found a good balance of being out on the road and being home.
“We’re playing as much as we want to and we’re at home as much as we want to be. So it’s like, we’re finally finding that happy medium, but it’s taken so long to get there.”
Losing his dad and then becoming one himself has given Cooper a whole new appreciation for life and the great meaning each day holds. He was originally on the track to work in the nursing field after finishing school, but instead he followed his true passion with support from his mom and wife. This weekend, he will reach a new level of success when he makes his Grand Ole Opry debut.
“If you’d asked me five years ago when I graduated, what I’d be doing in five years, I would’ve told you that I would be a nurse and hopefully still playing music in some capacity. So for me to be making my Opry debut and releasing our major label debut album and all this stuff, it’s just crazy and very surreal.”
Although he’s just getting started in his career, Cooper explained that he feels “very blessed” to be where he’s at.
Following his Opry debut, Kolby Cooper will take the stage in Pasadena, TX on Sept. 23.