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PopEntertainment.com > Feature Interviews - Music > Feature Interviews A to E > Marc Broussard

Marc Broussard

The Road to Carencro, Never a Momentary Setback

by Abraham Kuranga

Copyright ©2004   PopEntertainment.com.  All rights reserved.  Posted: December 23, 2004.

Louisiana is known as the birthplace of jazz music.  Home to Louis Armstrong, Cajun food, Marc Broussard and yes, Mardi Gras.  Who was that fourth one, you say?  If this fresh-faced singer/songwriter had it his way, he would be the first thing you remember when one mentions Louisiana.  “It’s pronounced, Karen Crow, kind of like Sheryl Crow’s sister,” says Broussard of his hometown, Carencro.  Intentionally, it’s the name of his major label debut, via Island records.  “Louisiana is different from any other place,” says Broussard.  “The vibe as a whole, the flow, the people, the food, all influenced me as a person as well as the artist.”  Who is Marc Broussard the artist, though?

Broussard, son of Boogie Kings guitarist Ted Broussard, grew up listening to a wide array of genres.  With jazz, Cajun, blues and rock and roll music all around him, Broussard was submerged in the one time music Mecca.  He steadily gravitated towards the soulful sounds of northern soul crooners, such as Donny Hathaway, Stevie Wonder and the more recently, Prince and Brian McKnight. 

“There is just so much honesty in their music,” says Broussard about his influences.  “For instance, Donny wasn’t afraid to be honest.  He was singing things like, ‘To Be Young, Black and Gifted,” continues Broussard.  “That just struck a nerve in me, because I knew it was real.”  Broussard also took a liking to their singing chops.  “Brian McKnight is just one of the greatest singers of all-time,” says Broussard. 

It is no secret though, that Broussard wants his career to model that of another soul legend.  “Prince is one of the best live performers,” says Broussard.  “His live show is most compelling.”  But what is it about Prince that he likes so much?  “I just love the fact that he stood his ground, and stuck to his guns when people didn’t understand him.”  It is with these influences, along with his father, that Broussard packed away and started on his musical quest.

Broussard recorded his debut EP with producer Marshall Altman and went along with the “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” approach with his new disc.  “Marshall and I already had a working relationship,” says Broussard.  “I just felt comfortable that we would get the job done. Once the label said Marshall was cool, a huge burden was lifted.” 

Even though some of the same people are working on Carencro as with Setback, this set is meant to go in a different direction.  “The whole mentality of the record is different,” explains Broussard. “There was a lot more pressure, yet it was easy.  It represents a sexy, beautiful time in my life.”  The lone survivor that made the transition from Setback to Carencro is “The Wanderer.” “It’s just a solid song.  On the road, it’s the most popular song, so we stuck with it,” says Broussard.  “To be honest, I didn’t really want any songs from Momentary Setback on this record.”

Being a guitar-strumming singer/songwriter will come with some unwarranted comparisons to widely known genre definers as John Mayer, Jason Mraz, among others.  Broussard doesn’t mind though.  “If you said I sound like Bob Dylan, I’d take that,” says Broussard.  “I don’t care what you call me, just call me.” 

Broussard though is different than most self-proclaimed singer/songwriters.  His voice, alone is arguably stronger and more distinctive than most.  The gritty yet soulful texture to his voice makes it hard to find equitable comparisons.  Broussard does want to set himself aside from other artists in the crowded industry today. 

“There’s a difference between artist and singer,” explains Broussard.  “Most singers, who don’t write their own material don’t have a firm ground to stand on.  They have people dictating to them, so it ends up not representing them.” 

Broussard, a student of the industry, notes that there needs to be some changes made, in order for longevity to prevail. “The solution,” Broussard says, “is to make good records.  Stop making just good singles, but entire records.  Also the industry needs to grow some balls, and take some risks”, he continues.  “[The business] is becoming too calculated.”  Broussard decides to take these risks in his songwriting.  “I write mostly autobiographical songs,” he confesses.  “I want listeners to know me when they hear my songs.  The only thing that’s real between me and the fans is the honesty.”               

Whether or not honesty exists between the lines of his lyrics may never be determined but the sheer diversity of Carencro is undeniable.  From the down-home groove of “Home” to the high speed of “Rock Steady,” Carencro runs the gamut of moods, vibes and sensations.  Lead single, “Where You Are” is a traditional up tempo pop-rock ditty, with its “scream at the top of your lungs” chorus. 

The stand out track within this solid set is arguably “Saturday.”  Its disco, dance themed groove will take listeners back, something the Broussard wanted to accomplish.  “I wanted the older listeners to reminisce about the old times, when hearing this song,” explains Broussard.  “At the same time, I wanted new listeners to be introduced to that feel, that vibe.”

Like any blossoming singer/songwriter, Broussard has built his home away from home on the road.  Taking great pride in his live show, Broussard has spent the last few years honing his stage skills, bringing his live performance to what it is today.  “My shows are like church after-hours,” says Broussard.  “A little less Christian, but it’s a powerful, high energy show.  I tend to put everything on the line for my fans.”

With many falling off the road to success, Broussard seems headed in the right direction.  With music in his blood and an undying passion to please his fans, Broussard seems more than ready for rock superstardom.  But what if that doesn’t happen?  How will he be remembered? “Cool,” says Broussard.  “I just hope everyone thinks I’m cool.”

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Photo Credits:
#1 © 2004 Courtesy of Island Def Jam Records.  All rights reserved.
#2 © 2004 Courtesy of Island Def Jam Records.  All rights reserved.

Copyright ©2004   PopEntertainment.com.  All rights reserved.  Posted: December 23, 2004.

Copyright ©2004   PopEntertainment.com.  All rights reserved.  Posted: December 23, 2004.