By Eric Dehm
The country music industry knew what they wanted, and that was a “poor man’s Keith Urban.” That’s what they got from Stephen Cochran when he transitioned from the Marine Corps and signed his first record deal.
But that didn’t last, because that’s not who Cochran is.
So who is Steven Cochran? First and foremost, he’s a Marine, one who says the eagle, globe and anchor is “seared onto his soul.” He’s also a combat veteran of both OIF and OEF who was paralyzed while deployed to Afghanistan and thought he’d never walk again.
“Poor man’s Keith Urban” is noticeably absent from that list of identifiers now, thanks to some advice he got from a fellow vet.
“It took a number of years to find my own voice,” Cochran said during an appearance on The Morning Briefing. “As a Sergeant in the Marine Corps… you are used to taking orders and passing them on to the people below you. So I was still in that mindset and it took a good buddy of mine telling me one day ‘man, you gotta stop thinking like a sergeant. You’re not a sergeant anymore, you’re the General. This is your career, you are in charge of your career, and only you.'”
Cochran has taken charge of his career in a big way, with his new album “American Loser” (available Nov. 10th on iTunes) focusing on veterans issues. The whole album was created and produced completely by a team of veterans working alongside him.
One particular issue he’s taking aim at is suicide, which he’s laser-focused on addressing in part because as he’s now lost more veteran friends to suicide than he has to combat. Even the title of the album, which Cochran says is often misconstrued by those hearing it for the first time, is based on something he heard a fellow veteran say: who in America has lost more than the veteran?
Cochran believes it’s time to stop losing, particularly to stop losing our brothers and sisters who are taking their own lives at a staggering rate. He said he hopes that American Loser will help in that process.
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