Growing up in West Canada, artist and producer Coolmowee was constantly surrounded by music. His mother was an extremely accomplished music teacher who taught him piano and singing at a young age. From there, Coolmowee would go on to study drums and bass, and by the age of 15, he was composing his own pieces.
His travel and global experience is extensive, as he shipped to California to join a cover band, assumed drum duties for a band that played across Beijing, then off to Oslo, Norway, before going back to Asia to live in Indonesia and Thailand. The man has seen some airplanes in his day.
Now back on his native turf, his main focus is putting out new music. He’s released seventeen singles since 2020, and his newest single, “Searching For Love,” hit airwaves on February 11th of this year.
We had the chance to ask some questions about his journey, the new single, and much more.
Can you give us the backstory on the artist known as Coolmowee?
I grew up in a musical home in Western Canada, and was so fortunate to be taught piano and singing from a young age by my mother, who was a very successful music teacher. I also went on to study drums and electric bass guitar, and started composing and songwriting at the age of 15, experimenting with various genres.
I would jam with some of my mother’s students that were taking guitar. In junior high and senior high school, the name “Coolmowee” stuck as I was composing synth music at the time. Once entering the workforce, I eventually moved to California and started my first “serious” band, Maury and the Eels, playing 60s, 70s and 90’s classic rock. I also lived in China for a while and joined a band as drummer and sometimes singer focusing on modern 2000 music at the time. We played for crowds of hundreds sometimes!
Then later, I got back to the piano, where I composed a lot of songs using my favorite music writing tool… I am now back in Canada and taking these songs (in the vault) and releasing them today.
You’ve got a heavy futuristic and electronic influence to your sound. Who or what drew you to this style of music?
I grew up in the 80s, and today it remains one of my favorite decades of music, full of so many different talented artists. “Searching For Love” is definitely targeting the feel of the 80s and even a “tip of the hat” to The Human League at the end of the song…
What does a day in the life of your songwriting/recording process look like?
I drive my kids to school and then most days will return to my recording area in the basement for a few hours each day. I work on demos and lyrics and use my piano nearby for melodic inspiration. And of course work the emails and contacts and social media for ongoing releases (I have released 18 singles since January 2020).
So I was hoping you could talk about your single, “Searching For Love.” Would you say this song stems from a personal experience? What else can you tell us about it?
The song started only with the chorus… I wrote the chorus for this song many many many years ago and really it was just the words that seemed to fit the melody and was not a personal experience. The verses, however, do stem from personal experiences and tried to deliver the emotion in the singing for those parts. I wrote all the verses in the last couple of months during the pandemic.
Can fans expect to see it on an upcoming EP or LP?
I am currently thinking about an EP or LP with my synth-pop songs and some new ones. I hope to deliver something like that by the end of 2022. “Searching for Love” will be on it.
Do you produce songs that you want to hear, or songs you think others want to hear?
I write and produce songs that I want to hear. These songs I am very proud of and hope others like them. If they don’t – it’s OK as I know I am dealing with a genre of 80s synthpop that may or may not resonate with listeners. Bottom line- I make the music for myself.
What messages or feelings do you try to convey in your music?
I have two distinct groups of songs with different messages: some songs are energetic and happy (examples: “All I Need is You”, “I Will Follow You”, “Single All Summer”) and want the listener to smile, be happy and just simply dance to these. Others (Examples: “Searching For Love”, “Back In My Arms Again”, “Transitions”) to be more reflective and hope they speak to the listener for reflection and lyrical storytelling.
What does success as a musician and songwriter mean to you?
Success for me is being able to produce and release quality music and have people be given the opportunity listen to it. I don’t mind if they say, “It’s Terrible” and “It’s the coolest song I have heard in a long time” for the same song – as everyone is different… (Real example here: my song “Life of a Robot” had very positive and less positive reviews) I feel very successful already having been able to release 18 songs.
But most important is if my kids love and share my music after I have hit the skies.
What might fans expect from Coolmowee moving forward?
I will be releasing more synth-pop/synth-wave songs and perhaps an EP later in the year to capture my synth-pop songs under one umbrella. I am actually also working on singer-songwriter/coffee house songs right now. Remember, I have dance happy songs and slower sad songs.