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Tattoo Talk: Nicolas McCoppin Elucidates His Love for Music and Body Art

Fresh off the release of his newest pop single, “L.E.S. boy,” Nicolas McCoppin sits down to chat about his other creative outlet… tattoos.



Nicolas McCoppin, photo by Mauricio Zelaya
Nicolas McCoppin, photo by Mauricio Zelaya

With a mission to create space for himself in pop music, Nicolas McCoppin offers a fresh perspective on the timeless genre. McCoppin has been described by Ascribe Magazine as “…a once-in-a-lifetime artist. He comes across as a storyteller with an incredible gift for creating music unlike anything we’ve heard before.” His considerable appeal as a pop artist was further solidified through his latest single, “L.E.S. boy,” a song for everyone who has loved, lost, and felt every emotion in between.

“L.E.S. boy,” a dance-worthy track, is an upbeat interpretation of topics related to relationships, heartbreak, the LGBTQ+ community, self-discovery, mental health, and more. In an aching reminiscence, “L.E.S. boy,” reflects McCoppin’s transcendence into a new self-power that he hopes to convey to listeners through a more exploratory sonic landscape.

This time though, we veered off the music conversation and had the chance to chat with Nicolas about his not just one, nor two, but thirty-seven (37) tattoos! What drew him to them, what inspired him for his tattoo designs, and what tattoo would he put on someone’s face if given the chance.

What was the first tattoo you ever got/gave?

Nicolas McCoppin: “I got my first three tattoos when I was 18! I was obsessed with hand tattoos at the time (still am), so I got two finger tattoos and one hand tat. All outlines – A rose, a heart and a moon with stars. I wanted the heart forever. When I was in high school I actually got the same exact heart on the same finger in henna to test it! I still love my hand tattoos so much to this day.”

How many tattoos do you have on your body?

“I secretly love this question (LOL)! I have 37 tattoos in total at the moment. It’s actually been over a year since I’ve gotten one and I have the itch again.”

What style of tattoo do you feel closest to? What drew you to it?

“My style of tattoos I would say are definitely a combination of blackwork and fine line. I originally only was getting fineline work for years, until I met my current artist who did my first piece of blackwork. Ever since I really became obsessed with having a mix of both.”

What inspires you for your tattoo designs?

“Honestly so many things! I’ve gotten tattoo inspo from literally anything. My patchwork is fully an art project to me. Almost in the same way of creating an album. So many personal pieces but also so many visually pretty pieces as well. All working cohesively at the same time.

“I love dedicating tattoos to music. It’s such a special way to visually commemorate my art. I remember when I finished my first project ‘Loverboy’, I replicated the cover art in tattoo form on my right arm. Posting the tattoo was actually how I teased the project name!

“I’m also very obsessed with heart tattoos! It’s almost become a game for my artist and I to see how many little hearts we can tattoo all over me. It probably has something to do with it being my first tattoo. I now have over 70 tiny hearts all over me that are a part of different tattoos.”

Nicolas McCoppin's tattoos. Image by Mauricio Zelaya.

Nicolas McCoppin’s tattoos. Image by Mauricio Zelaya.

Do you have any new tattoos planned or underway?

“I actually do! I have a new record coming out this year. It’s become a tradition to tattoo the record on me prior to the release. I still have to plan it out with my artist but keep your eyes peeled. ;)”

Have you had anything covered up? If yes, what was it and why?

“I have not! I really love everything I’ve gotten tattooed on me so far. I will say, there is ONE tattoo that I got at a $50 flash spot in Brooklyn that healed soooo blown out. Maybe that one we could cover up (LOL)!”

Nicolas McCoppin's tattoos. Image by Ashley Crichton.

Nicolas McCoppin’s tattoos. Image by Ashley Crichton.

If you HAD to get someone’s face tattooed on you, whose would it be and why?

“So funny enough, I don’t have anyones face tattooed necessarily. But I do have a cartoon version of Ariana Grande’s Dangerous Woman character on my chest. She’s probably like my favorite person on earth, so it makes sense! In 2017, Ariana had a character in the game Final Fantasy – I’ve never played but I always thought it would make the cutest tattoo.”

Tattoo artists are similar to bartenders in the sense that people confide in them. What’s the most personal story you’ve shared (or been told) while getting work done.

“This is so true! Honestly my tattoo artist knows so much about me.

“When writing my record last year, I got quite a few tattoos. All while going through a very rough breakup. My artist knew the circle of people around me because I would sometimes come to the shop in a group. Needless to say, he got the whole breakup story and had all of the context for it to make sense too.”

Nicolas McCoppin in the studio. Courtesy of Nicolas McCoppin.

Nicolas McCoppin in the studio. Courtesy of Nicolas McCoppin.

Tattoo pain: love It, hate it, indifferent to it? Or maybe pain is all mental?

“I’d say indifferent to it, but a necessary part of the process. Tattoos can be painful as hell but it wouldn’t feel as good at the end if they were painless. Neck and chest were by far the worst tattoo pain I’ve felt.”

Any shops or artists you want to give a shout-out?

“One thing about me, I’m very loyal when it comes to tattoo artists. It’s such a unique creative and artistic connection to share with someone. My favorite artist I’ve ever worked with is Nico Delgrosso in Brooklyn, NY ( / IG).

“I’ve exclusively gotten tattooed by Nico since 2020 and I wouldn’t have it any other way! He’s one-of-a-kind and such a true artist. Nico will take any idea I have and elevate it so incredibly. I remember one day he told me he wanted to create a photobook of all of our work together – maybe one day we will!!”

Dawn Jones is the curator of the V13 imPRESSED Column. Previously known as imPRESSED Indie Music Blog, Jones and her team joined forces with V13 in 2020 to collaborate on an exclusive column on V13's site (imPRESSED) to bring a niche focus to the rapidly evolving indie music genre. Dawn is also the founder of Pressed PR - a boutique PR agency that focuses on PR for independent creatives. Pressed PR’s team works on a variety of campaigns partnering with independent filmmakers, independent artists, and independent labels. Pressed PR’s music clientele has landed in the pages of Billboard, Atwood Magazine, EARMILK, HYPE Magazine, and many others.