Koop Oscar Orchestra

Over six years has passed since I walked off stage from what was going to become the last Koop show. It was at the mighty Sala Palatului in Bucharest, and for the first time I felt satisfied. Ten years of struggle was over. From the first album that no one heard, over the second album that many heard but not so many understood, to the last album that came out at the completely wrong time but slowly worked it's way back through a relatively new invention called Youtube. And then all the touring. Hundreds of gigs around the globe on our own budget. Now we were 100% understood and I was happy, but with a smile of relief. We threw a party after the show were everyone was welcome. We played some more tunes and danced the night away. I remember thinking this could be a perfect ending. And so it was.

After the Koop Islands tour there was a long break, and it was gradually becoming clear to me that this actually was the end. The compilation 'Coup de Grace' was released. A baby came along and then another one. I started to dig in to other things than music. I realised I was coming to a point where I had to decide weather to continue with music or not. There had been many frustrations around it and I had started to emotionally connect those frustrations also with creating music. But new songs kept on coming to my head. I played them on my piano although I had no idea if, or how, I wanted to release them.

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A summer afternoon I got a phone call from Torbjörn Steen at my former record company. He asked me if I wanted to meet a singer from Lithuania. Her name was Juste Arlauskaite. She grew up listening to Koop and she wanted some help with her songs. I was no good help, but we became friends, and I asked her if she wanted to try some of the new songs i had. We made several recordings with just piano and vocals, and I felt how much I missed playing together with others. Music is most of all a social thing, and so I decided to gather a band. I wanted it to be an acoustic and mobile orchestra that could perform or rehearse anywhere, and I wanted accordion to be a main instrument. Although I love electronic music it's not what I need more of at the moment. Especially not live. All these people alone on stage with a lap top pretending to do stuff. It will make them sick in the end. When I walk off stage I want to hug a sweaty drummer, not a light technician. After talking to trumpet player Niklas Barnö one call led to another, and a couple of months later Juste, Niklas, Love, Ulrik, another Niklas and I met in my livingroom for two days playing new songs and old music I wrote for Koop. And I was touched by emotions I thought was gone.

Several times during these silent years Giuseppe Laselva, the Italian designer and artist, asked me over Facebook if I wanted to perform at the art festival he and his friends are organising in Apulia. This year I could finally give a positive answer and now there was no return. After rehearsing in Stockholm, and a week in Vilnius (thanks Club Tamsta for letting us) we were suddenly on a stage in southern Italy with a thousand people in front of us.

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Though many years had passed I didn't feel nervous at all. I was just back in my natural habitat. Like a fish that managed to jump back into the bowl. I got a second chance with music, and I will return this luck by being completely honest. And I'm not gonna regret anything.

Stockholm, November 2015

Oscar Simonsson

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16 Comments on “Koop Oscar Orchestra

  1. I am so excited to hear this! KOOP Island Blues has been one of my favorite albums since I first heard “Strange Love” on the radio many years ago. Every few months I’d scan the internet, looking for rumors of another album. That teaser video gave me chills– I can’t wait!

  2. I have been listening to KOOP for long time and still do, so it is just great that you are back!!! welcome back!!! /Isabel Prieto-Cordero London

  3. Any news of new KOOP music makes me so happy. You truly have know idea of how great you are. Waltz for Koop and Koop Island are among the top 5 albums of the millennium thus far, in any genre. Delighted to hear that new music is forthcoming. Best Wishes!

  4. hey, me and my friends listened to your first album a billion times, adored it as much as the second and the third one! since then we have also become parents, but cannot wait to hear the new songs! /b from hungary

  5. So excited by this news! Thank you so much for deciding to share your gift again and for sharing part of your journey with us! All the very best! /Canada

  6. Beautiful :”) I remember the first Koop song I have ever heard was ‘Let’s Elope’, and I simply fell for it. Since then, I’ve been a hug fan. Thanks for coming back! I’m looking forward to your lovable music. With love from Indonesia 🙂

  7. Beautiful :”) I remember the first Koop song I have ever heard was ‘Let’s Elope’, and I simply fell for it. Since then, I’ve been a huge fan. Thanks for coming back! I’m looking forward to your lovable music. With love from Indonesia 🙂 (very sorry to comment twice, but the typo in the first one is itching me :p)

  8. Hi Oscar – thanks so much for sharing your story and placing some of the missing pieces regarding the long wait for new music.
    It’s really wonderful news that you’ve rediscovered your love for music again and this can only mean even more beautiful compositions and performances for us all to enjoy. I very much hope that this chapter is more sustainable for you and makes you happy long term. The comments here make it clear just how much Koop’s music means to people, we’re all very excited for new output from KOO!
    With love from London x

  9. Look forward to listening to you in Budapest! 🙂 Your music has a unique and special world I’ve been missing.
    Love from Budapest

  10. My first song was Summer Sun… I have been playing KOOP nearly weekly on my radio show Electro Lounge (NPR) for the last decade.
    KOOP is in my top 10 favorite bands ever. Can’t wait to share your next musical adventure with my listeners. Break A Leg !!
    david

  11. Please, do not ever leave music again. I was so thrilled when I heard you’re back. 🙂
    Your music has reached people, and it continues to do so. More importantly, I think it really, deeply touches everyone who hears it.
    What you do is a part of you, your music is a part of your heart and soul, and the listeners can feel it. I enjoyed two of your concerts in Belgrade, and I’m hoping to see much more of them in the years to come. 🙂

  12. I echo all the people above. Your music is wonderful and very special.
    Waltz for Koop is one of my favourite albums. Please keep giving us your music!!
    Hopefully see you at the Jazz Café in London

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