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Interviews: Marc Broussard

Marc Broussard Interview
January 14, 2003
By: Tracie Galinski


Remember the name Marc Broussard because you will be hearing a lot more from him in the future. Hailing from southern Louisiana, Marc was exposed to a myriad of musical styles growing up including Cajun, African, Jazz and R&B music. Through the musical influences of Brian McKnight, Stevie Wonder, Martin Sexton, Donny Hathaway, Otis Redding, George Benson, Earth, Wind & Fire and his father, Ted Broussard, Marc developed his own sound he calls "white soul." Marc started performing on stage with his father at the age of five. Just fourteen years later, Ripley Records' Leah Simon heard Marc perform on a curb in Lafayette, Louisiana and the recording of Marc's debut album, Momentary Setback, soon commenced. Now twenty-one, Marc's phenomenal vocal performances and refreshingly honest songwriting have him touring the country.


Tracie: You began performing on stage at the age of five; did you know then that you would still be doing it sixteen years later?

Marc: I had a pretty good idea, I would say, but it's not really until recently that it kind of hit me that I've always wanted to do this and now it's actually happening. It's kind of weird.


TG: How did you go about deciding the diversity of sounds you wanted to make up your album Momentary Setback?

MB: We just kind of took it one day at a time in the studio. Then, finally, when we got everything finished, we realized how diverse it was and decided that song order was very important. I don't think we set out with the intention of making such a schizophrenic record. In my opinion, it is schizophrenic at times. I'd say we really just did what we could with what we had and tried to make the best record we could.

photo of Marc Broussard courtsey of John Chiasson
TG: What is your songwriting process? In other words, do you write lyrics whenever they come to mind, do you sit down with intentions of writing a song, or is the process completely different?

MB: It's different for every song. Sometimes I write a song in five minutes, ten minutes, and other times it'll take me six months to write a song, so it really depends on the song and the mood of the song. Sometimes there are several different experiences that go into writing a song that don't happen necessarily at the same time.


TG: Is there any song you've written where the process really stood out and you were surprised by how the song came about?

MB: Blue Jeans was written in a fairly strategic manner; the most structured. I wrote the chorus first, and then for the verses I kind of just sat down and really, really fleshed out what I wanted to say.


TG: When writing songs, is there any specific message you try to convey?

MB: Always positive; no negative. That's the bottom line. That's my promise to my family--- to always put out a positive message, no matter what.


TG: Are there any topics that are off-limits in your songwriting?

MB: I don't think so. I don't think you should limit yourself; it's just the way you talk about some topics.


TG: Why did you choose to name your album Momentary Setback?

MB: Momentary Setback talks about overcoming obstacles and getting past them with a sound mind. That's something that we all go through. I'm trying to spring a positive light to that table just saying, “There are ways to go about things without getting pissed off. Just chill out and start over again.”


TG: What are your favorite songs to perform live (originals or covers) and why?

MB: Use Me Up by Bill Withers--- that's fun. That's a real fun song. It's just funky and dirty and I love doing it. The original songs that I enjoy doing would have to be The Wanderer--- it's a very fun song to do--- and Blue Jeans is another cool tune to do live. Both The Wanderer and Blue Jeans we now have the tracks on stage with us in the live show, so it's just fun. I enjoy playing both of them.


TG: Are they fun, in part, because of audience participation?

MB: The audience really gets into The Wanderer, and Blue Jeans is another one that the audience really digs. Most of the people are starting to learn the words, around [Louisiana], at least. I do get a whole lot of audience participation on those two songs, particularly.


TG: What event has impacted you the most from your career thus far?

MB: Coming out with a record--- that just blew my mind. I actually have my own record, with my songs that I've written. It's one of the greatest pleasures of my life. The day that Momentary Setback came out was an amazing time for me. Just a really, really, really amazing time for me.


TG: If you weren't making music, what do you think you would be doing now?

MB: Considering the circumstances of my life at this point, I'd probably be working off-shore somewhere for some oil company down here, because that's what everybody does. You can get some money to support yourself.


TG: Are you enjoying where you're at right now?

MB: I love it here. I love it with all my heart here. And I hope to never have to leave here because it's the most wonderful place in the world.


TG: Where do you hope to be in ten years: musically or otherwise?

MB: I hope to be the winner of twelve Grammy Awards, the winner of a Nobel Peace Prize, the president of a small country. . . No, seriously, I just hope that I've sold seven million records by then, I hope that I'm content with everything in my life, I hope that my son is happy, and I hope that I can touch a lot of people with my music.


TG: What musicians are you listening to right now? If we were to open up your CD player, what would we find inside?

MB: Daniel Bedingfield, Martin Sexton, Bob Marley. A whole lot of hip-hop, like Run-D.M.C. and the Beastie Boys. All Def Jam artists. Bill Withers, definitely. A lot of old-school hip-hop and Bill Withers.


TG: What do you love most about being a musician?

MB: It's just the best job in the world, there's no greater job in the world. I can support myself, as well as my family. In my regard, there's some serious work involved, but it's just the greatest job in the world; I can't put it any way other than that. I get paid to do what I love. I make people smile and dance and laugh. I don't think there's anything that can top that.


TG: Are there any final thoughts you wish to share?

MB: God bless and peace, love, and chicken grease.


Get your copy of Marc's debut album, Momentary Setback, and find out when he will tour your town by visiting http://www.marcbroussard.com/. Be sure to catch Marc's upcoming shows with Maroon5, Bob Schneider, and O.A.R.


http://www.marcbroussard.com/

Photo by John Chiasson.


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