Nicolas McCoppin’s Tattoo Odyssey: 37 Stories of Ink, Music, and Personal Expression


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 is a storyteller with an incredible gift for creating music unlike anything we’ve heard.” 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 then (and still am), so I got two fingers and one hand tattoo. All outlines – A rose, a heart and a moon with stars. I wanted the heart forever. In high school, I got the same 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 (L.O.L.)! I have 37 tattoos in total at the moment. It’s 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, is a combination of black and fine lines. I only got final work for years until I met my current artist, who did my first black piece. Ever since, I 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 entirely an art project to me, almost in the same way as creating an album. There are 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 commemorate my art visually. 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 me 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 do! I have a new record coming out this year. T tattooing the record on me before the release is a tradition. 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 love everything I’ve gotten tattooed on me so far. I got an O.N.E. tattoo at a $50 flash spot in Brooklyn that healed so blown out. Maybe that one we could cover up (L.O.L.)!”

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 necessarily have anyone’s face tattooed. But I have a cartoon version of Ariana Grande’s Dangerous Woman character on my chest. She’s probably my favourite person on Earth, so it makes sense! In 2017, Ariana had a character in the game Final Fantasy – I’ve never played it, but I always thought it would make the cutest tattoo.”

Tattoo artists are similar to bartenders because 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 sometimes came to the shop in a group. He got the whole breakup story and had all 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 the pain is all mental?

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

Are there any shops or artists you want to give a shout-out to?

“One thing about me: I’m very loyal to tattoo artists. Sharing with someone is a unique, creative, and artistic connection. My favourite artist I’ve ever worked with is Nico Delgrosso in Brooklyn, NY ( / I.G.).

“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 photo book of all of our work together – maybe one day we will!!”

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