By Charlotte Caldwell
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FORT LORAMIE — A Fredericktown native and Get The Gig 2023 finalist will perform at Country Concert this year along with other native Ohio performers.

Preston Cooper started his music journey in high school. In an interview with JD Legends Owner Wasfi Samaan for the Get The Gig final five in 2023 — which guaranteed him a spot in the lineup for Country Concert 2024 — he said none of his family is musically talented. It started with his friend teaching him guitar, and now he can also play bass, piano, and some fiddle. Music is his full-time job, and he’s played many shows in central Ohio and has traveled as far as Florida for a gig.

“I’ve always wanted to be in something artistic, I just didn’t know what it was. I didn’t know if it was acting, if it was art, if it was music, and I joined the guitar class and as soon as my buddy taught me three chords and from then on I was doing melodies and playing three hours every night after school,” Cooper told Samaan in the interview.

“I became a musician because I feel a deep passion for being able to help others and give people hope with my music. And because I love it in general,” Cooper said.

Cooper named Chris Stapleton and Willie Nelson as two of his role models and inspirations. In a recent Facebook post, Cooper mentioned he would be singing an unreleased song from Stapleton and said, “Chris is my hero in my musical journey. I look up to him as an artist and more importantly, as a person.”

Cooper performs original songs and covers, and at Country Concert he will perform mostly originals. His favorite original is called “Weak” written with The Warren Brothers and Lance Miller. Another original is called “For You.”

“Song ideas come at weird times. Other times we think of the idea on the spot and roll with it. Songwriting is like chopping wood, sometimes,” Cooper said.

“The best part to me as a musician is being able to make music with some of your best friends. It’s an experience that’s hard to describe to those that aren’t in the music business,” Cooper said.