Location: Dallas, Texas
To walk in purpose often takes an insurmountable level of courage and boldness. Latoya Cooper’s journey is a sheer manifestation of such audacity. While her path may be far from linear, each step along the way has helped guide her on her trajectory to becoming one of Dallas, Texas’s brightest rising stars in eclectic soul music.
Born and raised in Oklahoma City, Latoya received formal music training as the only singer, songwriter, and guitarist in her family. She found early inspiration from pioneers such as Nancy Wilson and Anita Baker, as well as contemporary luminaries like Mary J. Blige, who all helped shape Latoya’s identity as a recording artist today.
But in the scarce music scene of her hometown, stardom seemed farfetched. Like most local natives, Latoya was often left to her own devices and forced to find an alternative route into the spotlight. One of those outlets was the local pageant circuit, in which she began frequently participating at the age of ten.
This lead Latoya to many other notable opportunities, one of which included competing at Miss Oklahoma and winning top talent. She eventually joined a local band, opening for reggae superstars such as Jimmy Cliff and The Wailers at the Austin Reggae Fest. But growing into herself as an artist and finding her own voice took some time. “As an artist, it’s hard to find who you are,” she admits. Often finding herself performing covers in her solo shows, Latoya’s vocal coach encouraged her to embark on her journey of discovering her identity in music and embracing it.
But as the pressure grew from her parents to go to college to earn her degree, Latoya eventually stopped singing at the age of 19 to enroll at the University of Oklahoma. Two weeks after graduation, Latoya packed and moved to Dallas, Texas, where she found her first corporate job. Latoya eventually went on to earn three consecutive degrees, including her MBA. Latoya admits “there was an advantage to getting an MBA” because it allowed her to understand the business aspect of her true passion: music.
After a long, successful college career and a budding professional career, Latoya still couldn’t resist her persistent itch for music. She slowly became active in the local Dallas scene, performing acoustic sets at local venues. As she progressed, Latoya eventually reconnected with her original band-mates to build her live show.
In the interim, Latoya was landing voice-over gigs, and other artists hired her to perform background vocals and sing hooks on their tracks. This opened the door to Latoya for recording her debut solo project, the Eclectic Soul EP, released in 2015. By this time, it was safe to say that this was the turning point where Latoya’s long hiatus from music officially ended. From then on, she performed for sold-out crowds, and songs from her EP even went on to gain traction on local airwaves. “God told me that your job is to sing for people who want to be fed in a different way… I sing because I love to see people happy.” True to her divinely-ordained mission, Latoya exudes pure love and compassion through her music with poignant and empowering lyrics, emboldened by latin, jazz, pop and neo-soul influences.
Her latest EP “ Hear Me Roar” was released in 2017 to a warm reception. Latoya’s brand new single “Love Affair landed her on Essence.com as the next hot artist to watch, and with new music on the horizon, 2018 will see an even greater evolution of Latoya, as she pushes onward down the path of her destiny. “Music is powerful, [and it’s] important for me to create something that soothes the soul and empowers the spirit…. My music reflects my determination to live with true purpose and without regrets.” Latoya believes that by realizing her own musical dreams, she will inspire her audiences to reach and fulfill God’s Vision for their own purpose filled life.
*Latoya is also the Founder of “Music Meets The Boardroom.com” Consulting, where she is focused on helping aspiring artists find their purpose, self-empowerment and strategy to execute God’s vision for their gift.