…you don’t have to do everything right away. Focus on one thing at a time. I feel like at first I had my mind focused on some things that didn’t really matter at the stage in my career that I was at. The most important thing is getting the music out there for people to hear. The rest will follow!
I had the pleasure of interviewing Nicolas McCoppin. Boasting over 40K followers on Instagram, NYC based Nicolas McCoppin is considered a rising figure in the LGBTQ community as the next major pop artist to watch. McCoppin uses his platform and music to encourage others to unapologetically be themselves and creates an accepting electro-pop musical space that many are regarding as the “next Charlie XCX”.
Hailed by VEVO as “Bound To Be a Hit”, his single “Ur Love” released worldwide at #25 on the “Incoming Pop” playlist among the likes of Katy Perry, Christina Aguilera, Niall Horan, and Chloe MK. In just a short amount of time, McCoppin has garnered over 100,000 Spotify streams between his 2 debut singles and is eager to release his first full-length project this summer, with his next single releasing in June.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
Thank you guys so much for having me! I grew up in a small town right outside of New York City. So I always had easy access to the city. I was always super involved in music as a kid. I had a YouTube channel that I made when I was 10! I would post cover songs a few times a week on there. I also did theater growing up! I came out as gay in my freshman year of high school! I wasn’t really ready when it happened so that was tough on me. Things got kinda rough being in a small town after that so I actually did Sophomore-Senior year of high school online! That was the best thing to happen to me. I started working, going to the city all the time and it gave me the ability to focus on making music.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
I’ve been singing ever since I could speak. My parents always tell me the story of when I was 2 or 3 I would always sing “Landslide” by Stevie Nicks in the car haha! As I mentioned before I had a YouTube channel that I uploaded on a few times a week. It would be just me and my phone singing my favorite songs. No editing or anything! That has to be from like 2010–2015. I did theater all the time as a kid. I loved it. It gave me an outlet to sing in front of audiences in the small town I grew up in. I also got my first vocal coach around that time. I think I was 12 or 13 years old. That was so major for me. I got to really train and learn vocal technique at such a young age. I started going to the city all the time and performing everywhere I could. Through my YouTube channel I got to perform at the YouTube Space NYC a few times when I was like 16–17. That was the coolest experience for me. I felt like it was one of the first times I was surrounded by passionate like-minded people. I always knew this was what I wanted to do. Then it just became a matter of how I can get there.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
The most interesting part for me by far has been learning the ins-and-outs of everything on the technical end. When I first started making serious music, I had no idea how many different steps went into creating a song. Working on my first song “Stuck”, was when I really started to learn. I remember back then I didn’t know the difference between mixing and mastering and why they were so important haha! I’ve also worked with some incredible songwriters who have co-written music with me. I’ve definitely picked up a lot of tricks along the way and I think my skills have greatly improved because of it.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
One of them is actually a story from the beginning of this year! Back in January, I was preparing for my show at Piano’s NYC. I was working with a live drummer for the first time. We did a super long rehearsal like 4–5 days before the show in a small soundproof room. I never realized how loud drums in person are! I was singing at full volume for like 3 hours and I woke up the next day with absolutely no voice! My throat was in so much pain and I could only whisper. I freaked out because I had my show in just a few days. I scrammed and drove an hour to the only ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat doctor) that had an opening. He did the thing where he put the tubes up my nose to look at my vocal cords to make sure there was no permanent damage. He basically told me I blew my voice out from the rehearsal. He put me on vocal rest until the show date and steroids to get my voice back. I was so nervous at this point. I stayed quiet for days, steamed my voice, drank throat coat tea up until a few hours before the show. Thankfully my voice came back at like 85% I’d say! I was able to pull through my entire set at Piano’s. Lesson learned here is never sing full volume at ANY rehearsal before a big show haha!
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
I’m currently working on my debut EP! It’s been over two years in the making. It’s coming to some of the final stages now! I have the next new single coming out early June that I’m so excited about! This project is like my baby and I’ve never been so proud of anything like this before. I’ve worked with such an incredible team of collaborators that helped bring this idea that I had in my head to life. I don’t want to give too much away but it’s a concept project. Every song on the EP ties into the bigger picture. I’m so excited to share it with the world. I can’t wait for everyone to hear the new single!
We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?
Diversity is so crucial. Speaking from personal experience, there’s nothing worse than watching a TV show or movie and finding out the gay characters are not actually gay. There’s so much incredible LGBTQ+ talent in the world and I wish they’d be given a bigger opportunity sometimes. Back last fall I worked on the music video for my single “Ur Love”. There was a male love interest of mine portrayed in the video. My team and I actually put out a casting call for the role. We had over 200 submissions! It was so crazy. I’d say like 80% of the entries were straight guys. It was so important for me to cast a gay male for the role. I feel like I would be doing the community such a dis-service if I didn’t. We casted David Granados for the role! He was so much fun to work with and completely got the vision for the video!
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
Hmm. I’m not sure if I can come up with 5 because I feel like I’m still just getting started haha! But something I wish someone told me back when I was first starting out, would have to be that you don’t have to do everything right away. Focus on one thing at a time. I feel like at first I had my mind focused on some things that didn’t really matter at the stage in my career that I was at. The most important thing is getting the music out there for people to hear. The rest will follow!
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
The biggest piece of advice I can offer anyone wanting to break into the music industry has to be to make sure you’re in it for the right reasons. I’ve seen so many people come and go because they just wanted to try it because it’s trendy, for the money or something like that. Make sure the passion is there and that you truly love what you’re doing. If you don’t love it, it’s going to come across to the audience that way. An audience will respond to a passionate musician.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
One movement that I’ve always been passionate about is the LGBTQ+ movement. Ever since I came out in high school it’s something that I’ve been so involved in. I’ll never forget my first pride. It was like the first time in my life that I was surrounded by so much of my community at once. I actually got to march in the parade one year! I marched with MAC Cosmetics and I got to bring all my friends with me! It was literally one of the best times ever. It’s so important for me to be involved and to be an advocate whenever I can. I also realize that I myself have privilege within the community. As a white gay man I try and advocate for my trans brothers and sisters, espescially my Trans POC brothers and sisters as much as I can.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I’m so grateful for the group of producers I’ve found along the way. Specifically Nick Trapani and POSSESSIVE. I feel like I’ve created some of my best music with them. Every time I bring them an idea either in just lyrics or iPhone voice memos, they help me bring it to life. Nick executive produced my EP and he solo produced around more than half of the songs. I’m so excited for everyone to hear all of the music we’ve made once it’s finally out!
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
It would have to be “Everything happens for a reason” and “If something doesn’t work out, it means there’s something bigger and better out there”. Those have really resonated with me in not only my music career so far but just my life in general. They tell you that you get a million “No’s” in this industry before you get a “Yes”. I’ve definitely had my fair share of “No’s” haha! They just motivate me more to keep working hard. I know there’s always something bigger out there!
Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂
This is a hard one! I’d have to say Ariana Grande. She’s someone who I grew up idolizing and has inspired me from the beginning. I’ve seen like every single one of her tours multiple times haha! She has the biggest drive and work ethic I’ve seen from most people in music these days. I’d love to get her advice on vocals, writing and just life in general!
How can our readers follow you online?
All of my social media platforms are under @NicolasMcCoppin and you can find my music on all digital streaming platforms just under my name “Nicolas McCoppin”.
Also my website: https://nicolasmccoppin.com
This was very meaningful, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!
Thank you guys so much for having me!