Artist/Attorney Sunny Cowell is One of Baltimore's Next Up - The Hype Magazine


Published on August 24th, 2022 | by MC Bravado


Artist/Attorney Sunny Cowell is One of Baltimore’s Next Up

Sunny Cowell is a singer, musician, attorney, and professor in Baltimore. She is a Staff Attorney for Maryland Legal Aid, teaches IP Law at Towson University, and is releasing her debut album, “Anthology of Love,” on October 7. In light of what’s sure to be an awe-aspiring debut, we had a moment to catch up with Sunny to discuss all things good:

Your father Stanley Cowell was a jazz pianist, composer, and founder of a record label in New York City. What are some of the most important things you have taken from him as an artist and person?

The most important things I have taken away from my father are: as an artist, no one will care more about your career than you do so you cannot rely on the actions of others to achieve your goals; you should make sure you retain as much of the rights to your music as possible because your work is your legacy and you as the artist should reap the rewards; also just in general one should always keep learning and avoid being arrogant.

You are set to start teaching at Towson University in the fall after four years of teaching an Intellectual Property course at MICA. IP is clearly a big topic in the music industry – are there any key topics related to IP that you think artists typically don’t know but need to know? What impact has learning and teaching IP law had on you and the greater Baltimore community?

I think that many artists are not aware that they should sign a contract or at least create a written agreement with other artists before they collaborate with them on a project. You never know when a project will be successful and it is important to know who owns the master and the publishing, how the royalties are split, etc. before that point because once money is involved, you may not recognize the behavior of the people you trusted to work with.

How did you get in touch with TT the Artist, Mighty Mark, and Heidi Klotzman?

I actually met them originally through my friend and filmmaker Brian Levin. I met Brian when I joined The Center Club, a private social club for Baltimore City’s most influential and forward-thinking business individuals. He heard my music and said “You have to meet Heidi.” So I was introduced to Heidi Klotzman who booked me for a gig and came to observe. Then she became my booking agent, later connecting me with Mighty Mark when she found out I had an interest in writing music and about my hopes for sync licensing my music in shows and TV. On the first song I wrote with Mighty Mark “Center of Attention”, he suggested that TT add a rap verse. So shortly thereafter, I met TT and we clicked immediately. She has supported my music ever since and is facilitating the release of my first full album.

What keeps you engaged musically in working with Baltimore artists?

I love my hometown and there is a lot of untapped talent in this city. Similar to TT, I am not from Baltimore City originally but pretty close by in PG County.  I think it is going to take people with resources who want to invest in this city and help to lift up others with immense talent to really put this city on the map for music and the arts, and I am hoping I can contribute something to this movement.

How has your view of the music industry changed since you were growing up to now? You have mentioned that you realized you were ready to fully commit to a career in music after you attended the 2017 Grammy’s Salute to Music Legends event at the Beacon Theater in NYC. Outside of how your knowledge as an attorney may benefit your career, is there anything you have learned about yourself in relation to music since 2017?

Since 2017, I have realized just how much effort and resources it really takes to establish a career in music. I think as artists, many of us think that if we just put out one song or one album, everyone will hear it and it will just blow up because it’s good. I realized that it is of course important to be talented and release good content, but even more importantly you will likely need to spend much more of your time networking and pushing for your music to be heard. At first I was overwhelmed with this tall ask when I considered a career in music. It took me a couple years to decide all of that effort was worth it.

Anything you recommend to artists who are unsure of how to commit to a career in music?

For those considering a career in music, I think it is really important to have multiple income streams. And I am not saying you need to be an attorney like me or have some other totally different career but within the music field there are many options that would allow you to have time to work on creating but also provide financial stability which, in this day and age, you will likely need so you have resources to invest in your music career. Also, the right 9-5 job can be a blessing while you are pursuing music even though I hear that is an unpopular opinion on social media now 🙂 While it has never been easier to be an independent artist, it is now expected that you operate the way a business would. In fact, you ARE a business. Determine if you want to be a business owner before you decide to have a career in music. I say this because you will have many of the same concerns as a business such as marketing strategy, sales (your music as the product) and standing out in the minds of your audience which has a very short attention span these days.

Circling back to a couple of your favorite collaborators: You clearly have synergies with TT the Artist and Migty Mark – what impact are you trying to make with “Anthology of Love” and where do you see your sound with Club Queen Records going in the future?

I would like Anthology of Love to be uplifting to listeners as well as bring peace to those who are struggling with anxiety while trying to navigate life and relationships. As for my sound, I see myself continuing to work with Mighty Mark bridging R&B and Baltimore Club but also putting out indie/acoustic versions of those songs putting more emphasis on my guitar and viola too. In addition, I would like to do an album of popular covers that are performed in a unique way, possibly continuing to incorporate Baltimore Club or even Lo-fi beats.

I will take all of the Sunny on Lo-fi beats and cannot wait for “Anthology of Love”! Keep up with Sunny Cowell on Instagram!!


About the Author

MC Bravado is an emcee/educator from Baltimore by way of New York. He's received noteworthy press across mediums, including but not limited to Billboard, Rolling Stone, HipHopDX, CBS, FOX, ABC, SiriusXM Shade45, Okayplayer, DJBooth, HotNewHipHop, The Baltimore Sun, Baltimore Magazine, Earmilk, and REVOLT TV. Performing alongside or collaborating with the likes of Bone Thugs, Scarface, Joell Ortiz, Statik Selektah, & MANY more, Bravado is a veteran presence. 
No stranger to big stages (Warped Tour, A3C, SXSW), MC B is showing & proving his way to rarefied air. That being said, the former Baltimore city high school English teacher still keeps a leg in the classroom as program coordinator for nonprofit Music Education program Beats Not Bullets. He also co-owns Label Necklace, an independent record label that empowers & educates other creatives while running the label’s boutique PR branch.

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