Exclusive Interview: queer pop newcomer Nicolas McCoppin on his latest single For Years “it’s about those feelings of falling in love for the first time”

New York based gay pop newcomer Nicolas McCoppin is following up last year’s hit singles Stuck and Ur Love, which gained over 100,000 streams on Spotify alone, and his Pride Month offering Remember That Night, with For Years. The dreamy electro pop summer anthem, launching August 7th, is taken from his forthcoming as yet untitled album, which promises more dancey tunes with an 80s flare.

McCoppin hasn’t let the city’s pandemic lockdown halt his creativity and tells The Queer Review’s editor James Kleinmann that he’s made a DIY home studio in his bedroom to continue recording and has been collaborating virtually with his producers. He also tells us who inspired his vocal belting, what his new For Years is about, how he sees colours attached to songs (Ur LOve “screamed pink”) and the impact that seeing out gay pop star Troye Sivan had on him when he was at high school. Take a read of the full exclusive interview below.

Nicolas McCoppin. Photo by Tan Cordiak.

James Kleinmann, The Queer Review: How are you getting on in this time of self-isolation, are you finding ways to still be creative? 

Nicolas McCoppin: “It’s definitely been a challenge! I’m in the middle of finishing my debut EP. It took some adjusting, but I’ve actually built a little DIY home studio so I’ve been finishing my vocals at home. I went to Home Depot and got PVC pipes to build a little soundproof vocal booth in my bedroom. I’ve been doing virtual sessions with my producers and mixing engineers. It’s actually been a lot of fun!”

Nicola McCoppin. Photo by Mauricio Zelaya.
Nicola McCoppin. Photo by Mauricio Zelaya.

We loved last year’s single Ur Love and the music video for it. How did that song come about and what kind of vibe did you want to create with it?

“Thank you so much! The song actually started with just the production. One of my producers sent it to me and I really vibed with it. The lyrics of that song are my lighthearted take on the hookup culture within the LGBTQ+ community and how common it is. Once we got the idea down the rest kinda just flowed out! The music video was definitely the most fun part. When I write music, a lot of the time I’ll see colours attached to the songs. This song to me screamed pink! So I took that and ran with it. I had the absolute best team working on that video with me. I remember the first meeting I had with the two directors, Ericka Paparella and Mhaya Polacco; hey instantly saw the vision and completely helped me bring it to life. We really wanted to create that exaggerated pink, bubblegum pop music video. It was also super important to me that I cast a gay man to play the love interest role. I came across David Granados and I knew he’d be perfect for it.”

Nicolas McCoppin – Ur Love
Nicholas McCoppin. Photo by Fiona McCoppin.
Nicholas McCoppin. Photo by Fiona McCoppin.

And tell us about the track you released during this year’s Pride Month Remember That Night. What was on your mind as this song came together and for those who haven’t heard it yet how would you describe the sound? 

Remember That Night Single Art, shot and edited by Mauricio Zelaya.

Remember That Night is definitely one of my favourite songs that I’ve ever worked on. This song started with just production by one of my favourite producers to work with, Nick Trapani. He always knows the exact sound I’m going for and executes it so well. The sound of this song is so fun. Super dance-pop with the electric guitar that glides through the chorus. Before I even wrote lyrics I knew this song had to be the next single. I wrote this song about this time last year while my relationship was progressing. It’s about those beginning feelings of falling in love for the first time. I co-wrote the song with Krysta Youngs. She’s by far one of the most talented writers that I’ve ever worked with. I’ve done a few songs with her now and I feel like we click very well. I’m so excited for this song to finally be out in the world!”

Nicolas McCoppin.

And what can you tell us about your latest single For Years?

For Years is from one of the first sessions I did for my EP. I wrote the song with the incredible Krysta Youngs and Julia Ross. It was one of the first times I really poured my heart out in a writing session. I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for this song. It’s been in my life for a few years now – no pun intended! It’s the beginning of the love story. Every little feeling and emotion that came up in that first night. This track follows the same theme as my last single, Remember That Night. It tells the story of falling in love for the first time. I wrote this song about that first initial night of meeting someone. So it really is where everything began. I really wanted to drop this as the last single before the full EP because of that. For Years is an electric dance-pop track. Definitely one of the most energetic tracks on the project. When I worked on the production with Kevin Cho, I imagined it being a song that could be blasted in gay clubs. I was such a perfectionist making this track. There has to be like 10-11 different demos of it, but I never gave up on it because I just had a gut feeling about this one. I knew it was one of the ones.”

Who are the musical artists that have had the biggest impact on you?

“Oh my God there’s so many! I grew up on the female powerhouse vocalists of the industry: Ariana Grande, Mariah Carey and Christina Aguilera just to name a few. I feel like that’s where I get my vocal inspiration from, specifically my belting! As for my sound, I definitely take a lot of inspiration from amazing pop artists like Carly Rae Jepsen, Troye Sivan, Lauv, Kim Petras and Dua Lipa. Actually, I could go on for hours about my favourite pop artists, but the one who inspired the sound of this new single the most has to be Carly Rae Jepsen. Her music to me was truly life-changing. I remember listening to her album E•MO•TION for the first time when I was 14. It’s like my favourite pop album of all time for sure.”

Which LGBTQ+ film, TV series, play, book, artwork or music has resonated with you the most over the years and why? Or you could pick something current, or both! 

“There’s so many! For music it has to be Troye Sivan. I remember watching him jump into the music industry when I was still in the closet in high school. It was one of those moments for me where I was like, ‘Wow, he’s making it mainstream as a gay pop star!” It inspired me so much.”

Love, Simon. Photo by Ben Rothstein/Twentieth Century Fox.

“I’ve seen just about every gay romance movie on Netflix! I’m gonna name a few because I just can’t pick…Drag Race will always have a place in my heart. I actually watch the show with my whole family. My Dad even came to DragCon with me two years ago because he wanted to meet Violet Chachki! Love, Simon was such an incredible movie release. It was so cool seeing an LGBTQ+ movie go as mainstream as that one did. I saw it like five times with my friends when it came out. My last one has to be Pose. It’s such an important show, especially in these times. It’s done such an incredible job of bringing awareness to the community. It’s an amazing watch!”

By James Kleinmann

For Years drops August 7th 2020. For more on Nicolas McCoppin, head to his Official Website and follow him on Instagram @NicolasMcCoppin, Twitter @NicolasMcCoppin. And listen to his music on Spotify and Apple Music.

Nicolas McCoppin – For Years

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