Jon Cooper is a Glaswegian electronic musician better known under the moniker TURTLE. Not only has his music captured our attention, but he has also received great support from the likes of Giles Peterson, Steve Lamacq and the rest of the BBC producers. What’s not to love about Turtle’s music anyway! Here is what Jon discussed with our new editor Maud L. in their short interview.
WiD : How did you come up with the name Turtle?
Someone very close to me gave me the name purely because they thought it sounded cool. However, I have since learned that the turtle is a very mythological creature and carries lots of philosophical meaning in various cultures and often symbolises wisdom, the origins of creation, knowledge, longevity and cosmology. I was unaware of this for a long time. This kind of blows my mind because these themes have always inspired me and still do and I like to make reference to them in my music. It feels like I’m tapping into something awesomely synchronis
WiD: What can trigger your inspiration to start writing new material?
I could be listening to music, or watching a movie, or reading a book, or spending time with my loved ones, or going for a walk in the woods… I am very influenced by what I experience and this fuels my creativity and ideas. I do also love accidental creativity where ideas, sounds and patterns just happen without conscious intention, and although they could have been born out of what I thought was a mistake or error in some magical way, they could be the most relevant and most resonant.
WiD: Could you tell us more about Glasgow’s music scene? Do you think it influenced your music?
Glasgow is much like London in that it is an epicentre of different creative disciplines, subcultures and movements that all add to the identity and fabric of the city not just with music but also film, literature and art. Honestly I don’t think it influenced my music as I don’t really listen to that much glaswegian music. I am influenced by music in general, outside of Glasgow and the UK.
WiD: If you had to choose one song from your EP “Who Knows”, which would this be and why?
It would be the title track Who Knows. It’s just very personal to me and it was my way of coping with my experiences. I wanted to try to simplify the complexities of life in an atmospheric song format. Although it is personal to me I wanted the song to resonate something in other people too, which was important for it to make any real sense. It wasn’t just a self-absorbed stream of consciousness that only made sense to me, but rather the song could be open for the listener to absorb and share with others.
There will always be endless schools of thought out there, who claim to have the answers to the same fundamental questions that we find ourselves asking at various stages of spiritual development in our lives. Instead of claiming to have any of these answers I just wanted to be honest and say “who knows”.
What is more important for me is that we try to unite and move forward as one. Not in the whimsical dreamer sense, but in the rationalist philosophical sense. Or maybe I’m just a dreamer at heart [laughs]. One can never be that sure I suppose, or in the wonderful words of Robert Anton Wilson “only the madman is absolutely sure“.
WiD: What would be your dream collaboration?
It would be with Mr. Thom Yorke of course.
WiD: Your music has been played by several producers of BBC Radio, how did you feel when this happened?
I was completely blown away with the love and support from the BBC DJs. It makes me feel deeply humbled knowing that people are really feeling it and enjoying it. It blows me away! It all happened so quickly since we released the EP and I was like “Holy fucking macaroni this feels really brilliant!”
WiD: What’s next? Is there an album coming soon? Any London gigs?
I will be releasing an EP very soon, which I am very excited about! Hopefully I will have an album ready for the end of the year. I will also be releasing a rework album soon, which is basically a compilation of all the reworks I’ve done so far of artists including Phoria, Lyla Foy, K H U S H I, Ghostpoet, Machines In Heaven, Rare Monk and more… and I have a gig at Electrowerkz in London in May, which I’m really looking forward to.
WiD: Is there any WEEKID artist you would recommend us to pay attention to?
I would say Nils Frahm.
WiD: Thank you Jon.
Turtle is playing with Nojinza, The Bug, Branko, Debruit & LV
on May 4th at Elektrowerkz.