Whatever Happened To: Imani Coppola

Remember Imani Coppola? She had a flukey late-90’s hit with “Legend of a Cowgirl,” back when you could still hear quirky genre-blurring alt-pop on the radio. Besides the famous-sounding last name (no relation to the filmmaking dynasty), she was perhaps best known for playing the violin and majoring in studio composition at SUNY-Purchase before being snapped up by Columbia Records at 19.

Despite major talent, a breakout single, and serious buzz-worthy status, the music industry never quite knew what to do with her (was she hip-hop? pop? rock? R&B? Neneh Cherry redux?). Her second album was shelved and she quickly faded from the mainstream, on the verge of becoming yet another 90’s one hit wonder.

She then spent the next decade on the underground singer/songwriter circuit and quietly released a slew of independent albums. She worked with everyone from Faith No More’s Mike Patton to Rahzel. She also contributed tracks and played the violin on Alice Smith’s For Lovers, Dreamers, and Me. In 2008, she re-emerged with 60’s soul revivalists Little Jackie, who had a modest hit with “The World Should Revolve Around Me.”

Now after all these years, the Brooklyn-based singer is back on her own and just released a brand new song/video “Over It”. She’s still as brassy and sassy as ever, lacing the track with her usual catchy one-liners, hip-hop-inflected beats, and jazzy-funky-folkie flow. No word yet on if there’s a new album coming or more singles to follow. But here’s to hoping that this time around there’s a place for Imani in the music world, even if she still doesn’t quite fit in anywhere.

Over It – Imani Coppola from frantic studio on Vimeo.