“I remember the night as if it were yesterday…”
I’d been asked to host a live recording by the producers of the project. That night, there was a slight delay in the program and I’d been given instructions to moderate the time wisely. The opening guests, Tracy & Natrice Stingley (more on them later) masterfully performed yet, the couple had left enough space on the program for something unexpected to happen. The whisper in my ear was: “Call on Heather Cooper” – a name I’d never heard before.
After doing as I was asked, a modest, unassuming young lady left her seat and walked to the platform. Judging by the look on her face, she was taken completely by surprise. Several moments later, this soft, clear voice seemed to arrest the entire atmosphere. Many, including myself, were astonished. This young lady took us from watching her to worshipping Him in a matter of minutes. Although she raised her voice like a trumpet, it was less about her vocals and more about the atmosphere she created.
As the photo on the left shows, her simple black ensemble became a garment of praise and her shy look became the Trojan Horse in which she would hide a fire and passion for God. Afterward, I asked her to remain on the platform with me and admonished those who were music leaders to obtain her information for their future events. As she returned to her seat, I knew that I had not seen the last of Heather Cooper. I was right.
It’s no surprise to me that her gifts have elevated her to Worship Leader and positioned her to minister alongside Vashawn Mitchell, Mary Mary, Fred Hammond, Tye Tribett, Todd Dulaney and the list goes on. Pastor Jamal Bryant and Dr. Cindy Trimm are among this country’s premier preachers who have had the benefit of an atmosphere set by Ms. Cooper in conferences nationwide. This is a clear indication of the caliber of gifting she has. Many of you have never heard of her which is an indication of the humility she has as well.
“I just don’t want to exist, I want to be in tune!“
That is her motto and it’s evident when she stands before her audience that she has no agenda, only an assignment. Part of that assignment was to express her passion for Christ and develop her gift as a songwriter. Cooper has done so in personal time and service to the music ministry at her local assembly, The Rock Church in Gary, Indiana.
In this business, you have to have the right arsenal – both natural and spiritual – Ms. Cooper seems aptly equipped. I cannot stress to aspiring artists the importance of a good support team. Every artist featured in this series has one and this is probably why Cooper – as well as others I write about – have excelled. Her entire family is musically inclined and in addition to singing, she is a pianist. Those around her give the push she needs to launch out into uncharted waters.
In October of 2013, she braved those waters and released her debut single,
“I Worship Only You”
You will have to go to a digital retailer to obtain the rest of the song, but I can tell you it evolves into a beautiful sonance filled with clever independent harmonies and solid vocal placement. The worship inside her cries out in every sustained note. This is a perfect song to include in a worship service.
Once you step out on faith, you become emboldened to make more steps. In 2014, Heather partnered with producer Jamel Kimbrough of Keyemup Music to release her second single, titled “You Are My God”
With a strong, wholehearted delivery that has hints of Kierra Sheard, Brit Nicole or Maurette Brown – Clark, I cannot help but imagine her standing in an arena with thousands of hands lifted every time I hear her music. For those who must have a worship artist in your personal library, this one is definitely a worthy candidate. Her musical union with Kimbrough has led to plans on releasing a full album within the next six months, featuring more of her original songs of praise and worship. I believe it will be a must-have for the worshipper.
I look forward to the development of Ms. Cooper as an artist and a worshipper. She has all the right elements for success: rich musical heritage, good grounding and a strong connection to sound biblical teaching. She won’t flaunt her accomplishments, she will just rise quietly like a sun on the horizon as you appreciate her fervid love for God. In a constant rotation of cookie-cutter vocalists that are touted before us, She seems to be a refreshing alternative.
Heather Reneé Cooper is pure, untainted and sincere in her love for God and for music. I would proudly rank her among this exclusive list; an Artist You Should Know.
In this video, one can witness Heather’s down-to-earth demeanor and I think it is the best testament to her raw talent.. Doing what she does best in her most comfortable environment, here is a worship medley as performed by Heather Cooper.