I think it is very important to have diversity, in all aspects of the entertainment industry. It’s funny, I remember it being taboo speaking in slang, and we were often corrected for not speaking the correct English; now it is celebrated and used by people who are not of the culture, and we laugh at those commercials, we think it’s cute. It’s the actual diversity, which moves the world, and gives us new content, and not the same old repeated movie scenarios, that we’ve seen for decades. Besides that, on a human level it’s great to see more of us, and those that doesn’t represent who we are used to seeing in those capacities. I believe, this affects our culture with growth.

As a part of our interview series with leaders, stars, and rising stars in the music industry, we had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Coppe Cantrell.

Born Capucine Cantrell to the parents Alma and Dorsey Cantrell, she was number six of eleven siblings. At six months old her father named her Coppe, because her hair looked like a brand new, shiny copper penny. She attended John Muir High School, in Pasadena, CA. Capucine later went on to college and completed all but four classes, when she became pregnant with her first child. She tried to finish while taking her son Niamyja to school with her, but it became very tedious, and she made the choice of raising her son her top priority. Later she met her husband to be Johnny Jackson, known by many as Johnny in the music entertainment industry. Smitten by Jackson, and after just six months of courtship the two were married. They developed a loving and business relationship as they formed KLOCK WORK Entertainment Corp. Johnny produced artists such as 2Pac and various others. Capucine stayed behind the scenes most times, keeping their company going. She had a few small parts on records for 2Pac, Coolio (Gangsta Paradise), and she toured as a dancer, and road manager for Johnny’s solo debut “I Gotta Be Me”;.

She also was the leading lady in his music video Get Away from Me;. After 17 years of marriage to the legendary producer Johnny , on October 3, 2008, her world came crashing down. While in jail for a 6-month sentence stemming from DUI charges., Johnny never made it home. Capucine was devastated by her husband’s sudden death, and it took everything within her to hold it together. Ironically during her husband jail sentencing, Capucine went back to school to finish those classes that she didnt finish. It was there that after her husband passed one of her college professors re-introduced the bible to her, and just so happened to be a prophet. He prophesied that she would become a singer, she laughed about it, but was astonished that he told her, “Her name would be Coppe”, how could he know her childhood name! Through, constant prayer, reading the bible, and her now strong belief in God, and Jesus Christ. Capucine was able to get her life back together. On July 1, 2009, God woke her up at 3am out of a sound sleep and gave her the gift of song. Capucine started singing words of praise.

Before she realized what was happening, the Spirit had given her words upon words. She had written a few songs within 3 hours. Amid all her many trials and tribulations, the Lord has always had another plan for Capucine. He saw her heart and passion for music, and blessed her with the gift to sing, when she could not. Going by the name Coppe Cantrell, she can now say this is a new beginning of ministry, in the form of a Gospel recording artist. Her debut album titled God’s Project; (Book I), attributed to God’s work on her life.

The first single off this release Holy Groove, which will surely have fans doing just that, with the release of her upcoming album “The Breastplate of Righteousness” with the lead single “Dance in The Dark” doing well at radio, and video streams. We look forward to the release of her album and singles like “Jesus Rocks”, War Cry, and Keep Asking, which is a true testament to God’s promise to all of us.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit about your “origin story”. Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?

I grew up in the Pasadena/Altadena area, I use both cities, because they are right next to each other, and many schools that I attended, and homes that I lived in, were in either of the two cities, residents their often call it Dena. I grew up in a large family, one of eleven children, I was the middle child. I was raised by both of my parents, I am African American, mixed raced with French, Indian, and many other races. Though I had a two- parent household, things were tight, there were too many of us! We used to call ourselves the Brady Bunch Times 2, or The Waltons, and we would even say good night to each other, as if we were really on the show. Boy that’s taking me back. I attended John Muir High School, where I did contribute to Tall Flag, and I was an honor student, VP of Senor Class, and I was on the Volleyball Team.

Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?

What brought me to this career path, I will tell you, it’s amazing how life is, when you aspire to do something and when you are incapable of doing what you want to do, because you are tone deaf. All I can tell you, is God is who brought me to this career path., it was after I experienced a tragedy in my life. The passing of my husband Johnny “J”, who was a record producer, who produced records for 2Pac, Bizzy Bone, and many others. After my husband died from committing suicide, it was after I gave my life to Christ, and my belief in God, reading the Bible, and his miracles that I can have the career that I have. About 3 months before I received my miracle, I was prophesied, by a prophet, that I would be singing, and my name would be Coppe, you see, my birth name is Capucine. So, when the prophet told me that I was going to be a singer, I laughed at him. He laughed back, and said,” As a matter of fact, your name is going to be Coppe, and you’re going to be a singer”. I was stunned by this, because I never told this man my childhood nickname, only my family and childhood friends called me that. Here I am 40 years old, I had just lost my husband. So, three months after I was given this prophecy, God woke me up out of a sound sleep on July 1, 2009, at 3am and gave me a voice to sing, and the gift to write gospel songs upon waking up. I immediately started singing and writing songs. So, it was God’s calling on my life that gave me my career path.

Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

The most interesting story that has happened to me, since I began my career, is going back to the miracle that I received from almighty God. There are other things that I can say, but I don’t think anything would top that! Being woken up out of a sound sleep, given the gift to sing and write songs to glorify God, is the most interesting miraculous story, which began my career.

It has been said that sometimes our mistakes can be our greatest teachers.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I would have to say that the funniest mistake that I have made was I was so zealous, when I got my new found gift, I was bold as a lion, and I still am, but I would have to say one of the funniest things that I did was I was at a Gospel Music Festival, I was new to the genre, and I really didn’t know the majority of the artist there; however one particular artist asked me, “ if I was going to perform at the event, I told the person, “I was not”, I asked the person,” was he an artist too”, and he looked at me like I was lost and did not know who he was. So later during the event, the person was honored with an award for Best Gospel Male vocalist, and turned out to be Brian Courtney Wilson, so afterwards we approached each other, and we laughed it off, it was an understatement of who he was. I think though, it’s important when we are new to a genre, it may be a good idea to know who the main artist is.

None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

First and foremost, without almighty God I would not be here, physically, and what I do in life singing. I will have to thank my late husband for putting together the tracks that he left behind, without him, leaving behind so much music, I would not have the catalog of music to write to. Now those individuals that have helped me get through some tough times, two of my brothers Travis, and Ossiola, and they always help push me to tell me I can do this. It’s not about being at the top, it’s those baby steps, and those various milestones that make it important. This is what they have instilled in me.

Can you please give us your favorite Life Lesson? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

My favorite life lessons quote would be, never let anyone tell you that you can’t do things in life. I experienced closed doors, and even in this gospel music industry, I was told that my music was not wanted, and that radio does not need my music, and it does not fit in. I had to say to myself, I don’t fit in who am I. I don’t want to fit into their box, I am different, God made me different, my nickname is Coppe (Pronounced Copy), I’m one to be copied! This made me find my own path, and now having a number 1 song on the World Indie Music Charts, and Europe, made me realize it was more to it than what I was being told. You can never give up, if you have a will to do something go out there and do it.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

Some exciting projects that I am working on right now are my new album The Breastplate of Righteousness, and a documentary about my late husband’s life.

We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in music, film, and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?

I think it is very important to have diversity, in all aspects of the entertainment industry. It’s funny, I remember it being taboo speaking in slang, and we were often corrected for not speaking the correct English; now it is celebrated and used by people who are not of the culture, and we laugh at those commercials, we think it’s cute. It’s the actual diversity, which moves the world, and gives us new content, and not the same old repeated movie scenarios, that we’ve seen for decades. Besides that, on a human level it’s great to see more of us, and those that doesn’t represent who we are used to seeing in those capacities. I believe, this affects our culture with growth.

What are your 5 things I wish someone told me when I first started and why? Please share a story or example for each.

The five good things that I wish someone would’ve told me, when I first got started.

I’d say the first thing, I wish I was told, just because you are saved and doing music for God, that does not mean that you will be accepted, by those in the industry. The gospel music industry is as cutthroat as the secular music industry, that part is no different. The second thing, I wish someone would’ve told me, when I started, was that there are so many gatekeepers, at every stage of this business, and mainly radio in the U.S. The third thing that I wish someone would’ve told me, before I got started in this business, I must become the brand ambassador for myself, what we thought of those selling music out of the trunks of their cars has come to fruition on a different scale. The fourth thing I wish someone would’ve told me, is that the hard work is not the writing songs and performing them, it’s the promoting of them. The fifth thing, I wish someone would’ve told me when I first started, why does it feel like we are back in high school, with having to engage in all this social media, it’s to the hundredth power. I say all these five things, because the game is the same, but it has also changed, in a way that you can make it or not depending upon what you make of everything.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

I would recommend colleagues in my business to do their homework. It is important to do due diligence to know as much as you possibly can, it’s a new digital world that is running all aspects of our lives, make sure you create precedence. I would also say take time to meditate on the word of God, it is what clears my mind from stress. If you first seek the kingdom of God and his righteousness, then all these things will be added unto you.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?

You never know what your idea can trigger. :-). If I could inspire people and create a movement, that movement would be me working on my non-profit, I am working on right now, which is to inspire widows. The reason I say this is because I became a widow after a tragic loss, and there was nobody there for me. Many women are usually stay at home moms, living off a one income household, and once they lose the breadwinner, which is usually the husband, it causes devastation on the family. The loss of the husband, father, not only the physical loss, but monetarily.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. :-).

The one person in the world that I would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with would be our former President Donald J. Trump! The reason being, his strength and endurance that had to deal with while being the president, a businessman, a father, and a husband; with all of the attacks how he is able to still stand.

How can our readers follow you online?
This was very meaningful, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!