Saturday, May 23, 2015

Cooper Streegan-Hagen and Something Else's Artist Highlight

Cooper Streegan-Hagen is an inspired 23-year-old musician from Southern California. He is a graduate from Cerritos College and is transferring to Cal State Long Beach in the Fall. He divides most of his time between church, his girlfriend and Tiger, his 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard Reissue Guitar.

Cooper’s electric blues-rock musical journey began four years ago. Interestingly enough his musical journey actually started when he was much younger but he only took lessons for a couple of months before quitting his formal instruction. It wasn’t until he was 19 years old that he started to get serious about his music. Cooper was prompted on his musical path by a very important person in his life that was influential to his music. He lost this dear person in a car crash but before he died he told Cooper that he should never stop playing his music.  Cooper has this to say, “It's on this journey and from that death that I have been grateful enough to discover the music I love today like B.B. King and Mark Knopfler. These heroes that came before me have helped me shape my sound in so many ways it's hard for me to imagine my music and playing without their tremendous inspiration. My love for blues, classic rock, and jazz music goes very deep. I am not technical in my playing by any means or musically sound theory wise, but it is the sound I hear in those types of music that echo with my soul both in the bad times and the good times. There are no regrets in my life about where I am or where I am going, but I trust in God that he will always provide blessings for me when I seek them. He has blessed me in so many ways”.

Cooper is an example of courage and living with an open heart as he has never shared his music with an audience nor has he ever performed in front of a crowd yet when he heard about Ke-ola’s story he put all doubts and fears aside to come to the aid of another. He will be sharing 4 of his songs at our Arts Open House and Ke-ola Rehab Fundraiser on May 31st. He attributes a great deal of gratitude to his close friend, Evan and his father Mike, not only for agreeing to play in his band “Something Else” but for their generous support of his music. Cooper says, “My band members Evan and his dad Mike are the best artists I know at their craft. We all go to the same church as well so it was easy for me to choose them because we have played at my church's worship ministry together. Evan's dad is a superb musician who is far more talented than I am in many ways. He is someone I look up to guitar playing wise at least. Evan is a great drummer and probably the most passionate drummer I know, and although he isn't formally trained like I am he knows how to keep a beat in almost any style. I feel so very privileged for them to be playing with me for this event as none of this could have been possible without their support”.

About Tiger: “The guitar I sling around my shoulders is a 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard Reissue which I have named "Tiger" because of the flame on the wood. It is my only and favorite guitar thus far as I feel it is the perfect tool for the music I like to play. When I plug it straight into my Marshall amplifiers I get a sound that is pure musical bliss to my ears. Nothing makes me happier then the sound of my guitar through my Marshalls, and they help deliver a wide tonal palette for me to express myself through my music. I have a huge grin right now writing about the sound that comes out of this combination because I am very fortunate to have what I have in Tiger. Tiger just always wants to sing for me, and Tiger inspires me to take my time and listen to what I am playing rather than rush though by playing quickly.”

Cooper chose the stage name "Something Else" because of his father. His dad thought it would be a good name because he believes Cooper is “something else” when he gets into trouble…especially when he plays at night, “I can't play very loud often either as my family gets annoyed by all the loud sounds and ruckus I make sometimes when I am playing guitar at night by myself”.

He dreams of someday being able to play with his musical heroes not from of place of arrogance but from a place of undying gratitude.

“There are things in a person's life that shape who they are, music is one of those things for me. It has shaped my life in important ways and it means so very much to me. I hope my story will inspire others to hold fast to their dreams and to pursue their passions.” ~ Cooper

Arts Open House and Ke-ola Rehab Fundraiser event on Facebook.

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"In the Flow Studios is a grassroots organization dedicated to empowering the arts, the artist and worthy causes."

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