Milwaukee and surfing are two words rarely used in the same sentence. However, the unlikely pair comes front and center when listening to Wisconsin’s own Corey Pieper and his Hawaiian island flow. Pieper, born and raised in the Milwaukee area, produces a sound that might seem a little out of place during the colder months of Wisconsin. Drawing comparisons to Sean Kingston, Pieper’s style combines elements of both hip hop and pop to create a summertime vibe that the city of Milwaukee could really have used a dose of this winter. The ethnically Hawaiian artist, who is signed to locally based The Good Flight Studios, maintains residence and produces music on the East side of Milwaukee. Pieper released his debut album C-Piepz back in March of 2012, and has since filled his time performing with various acts and producing accompanying music videos.
A perfect example of Pieper’s combination of summertime beach vibes while still remaining loyal to his Milwaukee roots is his newest single “One More Time.” Although the music video is filmed on the sunny beaches of Los Angeles, the song itself acts as a love ballad from Pieper to the city so close to his heart. The song opens with a verse that reads “mic check from the 414, you’re my theme song every time I go on tour.” By including such a claim, Pieper establishes himself as a Milwaukee artist even when playing his ukulele on a tropical beach. Going further, he asserts that he wants to “introduce” us to world with his music. It is obvious that Pieper is proud, not ashamed or afraid, to carry the city with him in his travels. This interesting pairing of Midwestern roots and Hawaiian rhythm is what separates him from the many other similar artists.
The future looks bright for this young and talented artist. Pieper has been in contact with NBC’s “The Voice” and has been flown out to Los Angeles to pursue this opportunity. Most recently, Pieper performed on the Milwaukee home stage at the SXSW music festival. While his career will undoubtedly send him further from Wisconsin, Pieper will be taking his native city along with him. C-Piepz seems well on his way toward fulfilling his mission of bringing “Milwaukee to the Islands,” as his motto goes. Down to earth Midwestern values combined with chill vibes is exactly what this city needs as it rides out the last weeks of winter.