Of the numerous striking qualities of Cupéro, the 19-year-old singer/songwriter and rocker, it’s the commanding presence of her voice and songs that sets her apart. Cupéro sings with a maturity and sense of permanence that belies her youth and the relatively short amount of time that she has been in the New York music scene.
On her debut, self-titled EP, she sings with a passion that reveals an unshakable commitment and ambition to be a performer that transcends barriers of music, ethnicity and language.
Raised in Warwick, New York, about 65 miles north of New York City, Cupéro has been singing since she was four years old. Piano lessons began at nine and then guitar at sixteen, which for her, has been the key to unlock everything. She explains, “Since picking up the guitar, everything has fallen into place–it was the right instrument for me to begin writing songs on, and image-wise, I love it. When I’m playing guitar–that’s the essence of who I am.”
Influenced by everything from modern artists like KT Tunstall and a few classic rock artists, Cupéro saves her biggest praise for the Columbian rock artist Juanes, a winner of seventeen Latin Grammys and who has sold over ten million albums. She says, “I really admire his music and his activism, and the fact that he’s bilingual was the inspiration for me to become a bilingual artist.”
After writing a batch of songs strong enough for her standards, she began sending them to New York City based studios. “I didn’t know who’d give me the time of day,” she says with a laugh. “The team of Patrick Ermlich and E-Shy Gazit were the only ones who got back to me, but when I went down to play for them, it was clear that they were right. We developed a plan right then and there for when I got out of school to go full bore and record.” Recording went smoothly, and as Cupéro exclaims, “Their production really brought my songs to life – they wowed me!”
Being wowed is the operative experience of listening to Cupéro. There’s the catchiness of “I’ve Got Your Number,” originally written for a high school talent show, that has become something of a signature song for her. “When I first played it in front of people,” she remembers, “it had an immediate reaction that really astounded me.” Opening with a hypnotic guitar riff, the song soars upon hitting an unforgettable chorus, punctuated at all times by her commanding vocals. “You’ll Never Be There” has a lilting rhythm that perfectly compliments Cupéro’s tale of heartbreak and unrequited love. And “Life Is A Moment” is a power ballad of exceptional power. Starting the song with just her voice accompanied by piano, Cupéro’s voice connects with the listener directly and holds them as the song builds into a dramatic tour de force, perfectly complementing the message of the song, which as she explains, “You should never stop living for what you want to do.”
Currently enrolled at Siena College, Cupéro has been performing at various shows and benefits for organizations like SAFER (Students Active For Ending Rape), as well as Road Recovery, a drug awareness program who she wrote a song for. But clearly, her eyes are on goals to come. She states, “Right now I’m concentrating on developing a local fanbase and taking my songwriting to the next level – but I want to take it to the highest level I possibly can and win an international fanbase.” While that kind of ambition might be stretch for most artists, given the quality of songs and performances on her debut album, for Cupéro, it all seems very much possible, and within her exceptional reach.
- You’ll Never Be There
- I Thought I Knew Love