Posted Aug. 26, 2004.
Marc Broussard is a real charmer. He immediately addresses me as “darlin’” in his classic Southern drawl and asks me to sit down when I walk into his dressing room (a.k.a. Mary Graydon Center 200) before his show in the Tavern on Thursday night. His Louisiana charm does not, however, overpower the fact that Broussard is a genuine guy interested much more in his roots than being a stereotypical rock star.
Broussard, who is the son of musician Ted Broussard, is very clear on how much his family both means to him and influences him.
For example, when asked what he misses most about home when on tour, Broussard is lightening-quick to say, “my family.” And when asked about the influence his father has over his music, Broussard simply said, “He shaped my life as human being. There’s no greater influence on my music than my father.” Broussard is also quick to note that while he is greatly influenced by legendary soul musicians like Stevie Wonder and Otis Redding, his primary influence comes from his family.
Broussard, who is only 22 years old, has been playing music since his father set him on a stage at the tender age of five. After picking up the guitar at age 11, Broussard began his trek toward the much sought-after life of a career musician. He spent several years playing music on his own, releasing songs on his own record label, until last year the major labels came knocking. Eventually Broussard decided to go with Island Records, officially signing with them in March 2003. On Aug. 3 Broussard’s major label debut, “Carencro,” was released.
How does Brossard feel about all this success at such a young age?
“I feel like my stars have been aligned for a little while now,” Broussard said. “I’m really lucky. It’s a blessing to be only 22 years old and be able to tour the world and sing in front of people every night of my life and make a living off of it.”
Because Broussard is exactly the age of a recent college-grad, there is a sense that two very different worlds are colliding when he has the opportunity to play a venue like AU. But Broussard hopes that his world can have some kind of lasting impact on our world.
“This is a very different world,” Broussard agreed. “Being in school is totally different than being in the ‘real world.’ I just hope that I can bring some kind of inspiration to the kids that are going to school everyday.”
This inspiration may come in the form of Broussard having found the one thing that makes him happy, which he hopes in turn may inspire college students to strive for a career that makes them similarly happy.
“Something like 85 percent of the workplace is dissatisfied with their jobs and that’s sad,” Broussard said. “I love my job. I’m hoping that I can inspire somebody to follow their dreams wholeheartedly enough so they can find a lifestyle that really suits them.”
The frankness with which Broussard speaks is reflected in his music. He has referred to himself as a “white boy who plays soul music,” and Broussard clarifies that this simply means he speaks from his heart.
“I just call it soul music because it’s from my heart,” Broussard said. “For the most part when people are hearing me it’s for the first time since I’m such a new artist. The only thing that’s real that I have between me and the first-time listener is honesty. So I try to write from a very real honest perspective.”
The only thing Broussard is more clear on than his honest intentions is how glad he is that he’s doing what he loves most: playing music.
“This is my career,” Broussard said. “It will be my career for the rest of my life.”
Thursday night marked Broussard’s final show with Gavin DeGraw. He will be back on the road this fall on a headlining tour. For tour dates and more information visit http://www.marcbroussard.com.
Quick Questions with Marc Broussard:
The Eagle: If you could only listen to one CD for the rest of your life what would it be?
Broussard: “Can I say a mix tape? It would be a mix tape with definitely ‘Superwoman’ by Stevie Wonder, definitely ‘Honey and the Moon’ by Joseph Arthur and definitely ‘A Song for You,’ the Don Hathaway version.”
The Eagle: If you could play with anyone who would it be?
Broussard: “I would love to share the stage with Otis [Redding]. I don’t think I could even hold a candle to him.”
The Eagle: If you weren’t a musician, what would you be?
Broussard:“I would probably be in school right now. I’d have probably failed my first year of college. I’d probably have failed my second year of freshman college.”
The Eagle: What is one thing you think people should know about you?
Broussard: “I’m hung like a donkey ... no I’m kidding. This is hard question ... I want to play as much golf as possible. Golf and video games as much as I can when I get done with this tour.”