The following description was submitted by the event organizer.
John Paul Cooper was born and raised in Manchester in northern England. Initially a keen sportsman, he developed an interest in music in his teens after falling in love with grunge, teaching himself to play guitar and forming a rock band while still at school. Later he discovered soul music via artists like Donny Hathaway and Ben Harper and explored this style by joining a gospel choir. Working in a bar, he started writing romantic songs with powerful emotional and social lyrical content.
Cooper began his recording career in 2012 with a trilogy of numbered, self-released EPs. Recorded acoustically with a backing band, the EPs showcased his smooth, soulful, versatile voice and fingerpicked guitar skills, often featuring gorgeous strings and piano arrangements. They sold well, and he built a fan base through steady touring. Cooper's career got a boost when he was tipped as one to watch by the U.K.'s influential MOBO (Music of Black Origin) organization and was offered the chance to perform with Angie Stone, Mica Paris, and Omar.