a ukulele with a rapper riff and an upbeat hook and what have you got?
The bright new sound of up-and-coming pop star Corey Pieper.
A 2008 graduate
of Nathan Hale High School in West Allis, Pieper credits a band
showcase called Haleapalooza with the start of his music career.
Pieper and a few of his teammates on the Hale football team took the
stage with a rap group they called Global Warming.
literally that moment on stage when everybody was screaming and
applauding, and I thought, ‘I can really see myself doing this,’"
As a student at
UW-Milwaukee, Pieper met the owner of The Good Fight Studios, who saw
that he had talent. They cut a tune called "I Can Take You,"
which reached runner-up status in a KISS-FM song competition.
family is Hawaiian, and when a producer suggested that he add a
ukulele on one of his songs, he made a point to learn the instrument.
"We started laying it in at shows and people just started to love
it," Pieper says.
move from strictly rap to a pop sound is turbocharging his
opportunities. He is featured in an Applebee’s promotion on Spotify,
and he’s gone from 1,000 Twitter followers to 30,000 in the past
year. NBC’s "The Voice" flew him out to Los Angeles for an
audition, he appeared at this year’s South by Southwest festival in
Austin, and he’s been playing college venues and clubs throughout
the Midwest. "There’s just so much negativity and bad vibes in
this world. All my music is clean. It’s a little bit of singing, a
little bit of rapping, just feel-good music," Pieper says.
"I can literally perform in any environment and I’d be
Pieper shot the
video for his latest release, "One More Time," in
California, and it has all the hallmarks of a hit. He thinks he’s on
the brink of something big within the next two years.
hoping that you can say my name in any household and people will know
who I am," he says.
You can catch
Pieper’s "Milwaukee 2 the Islands" show at this year’s
Summerfest, or check out his tunes at cpiepzmusic on YouTube.