During our interview with Lelia Broussard, she declares her love for the Internet and apparently the feeling is mutual. With almost 165K friends on MySpace and over a million channel views on YouTube, Broussard is garnering plenty of attention in cyberspace. As if conquering one entertainment medium isn’t enough, Broussard has also had several songs featured on television.
Check out our interview with the young artist and be sure to pick up a copy of her latest release, “Waiting on the Nine,” the next time you’re in the mood for some sultry, soulful pop music.
At what point in your life did you decide that you wanted to make music your career?
I don’t know. For me, there was never a time when I—and this might sound kind of cheesy—but I didn’t know that this was what I wanted to do. It was just always a big part of my life. There was nothing else that I ever wanted to do, and it just happened that way.
Who were some of your influences that made you want to get into music?
I listen to a lot of soul and jazz. Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, Sly Stone. Joni Mitchell is a big one. I love Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, and a lot of the songwriters. I listen to a lot of different things. We went to a lot of live music when I was growing up in Louisiana and saw a lot of stuff like that. I don’t know if that’s what made me want to get into music, but it was there all the time.
How do you feel that those influences affect your current style of songwriting?
Well, I think that everything that you listen to as a songwriter and an artist has some kind of influence whether you know it or not. I try to be pretty diverse as to what I listen to, and I think that everything kind of sinks in, in a way. I wouldn’t say that I have a direct influence. Everything kind of melds together and becomes something new. That’s the idea, anyway.
It seems like your previous two albums were influenced more by some of the places that you lived, such as Louisiana and Philadelphia. Some of the song names and lyrics in particular seem to be influenced by those places. Do you feel like that’s the case with “Waiting on the Nine”?
Yeah, definitely! A lot of my songs are about New York or LA, and I’m very influenced by it because I move around a lot. I’m inspired by each place that I go and all the different things that it has to offer. It just kind of comes in there.
You have a huge following on MySpace and millions of YouTube plays now. How do you think social media has changed the independent music industry?
It’s a really cool thing because you don’t really need that big label behind you to have fans and put your music out there and have people find you and love your music. It’s a great thing to be able to do it yourself, and it’s pretty empowering. YouTube is really great because people are just searching and then they find you. And the whole Internet thing…I just love the Internet. I’m all over the Internet. I love it!
Tell us a little bit more behind the inspiration of “Waiting on the Nine.”
The Nine is a train in New York that doesn’t run any more. It stopped running after 9/11. That song is about that and about waiting for your life to start for any multitude of reasons, whether it’s waiting for a job or to do something to be happy, so that’s what it’s kind of about. I lived on the Nine train also. When I lived in New York, I lived on the 1-2-3 and the Nine would be on that, so I thought that would be a cool thing to put that in there.
Tell us about your team.
I have a whole bunch of people. My mom helps me out a whole lot, and she’s really awesome with marketing and music. It’s pretty cool to keep it in the family. I have a great lawyer and publisher that keeps it going. I also have lots of great musician friends.
You recently had the opportunity to work with producer Dave Trumfio, who’s worked with Wilco and My Morning Jacket. Tell as a little bit about the experience of being able to work with him.
He was awesome! He is such a cool dude. We met through my publisher, Ron Moss, who introduced us because he signed Dave, who is in this band called the Pulsars in the 90s. Dave is like so cool, and he’s just really fun to work with. He has amazing ideas. He does a lot of indie rock, and that wasn’t really what I was going for, but we did something totally different and it was really a wonderful thing to work with him. He’s just so much fun and a positive person to be around. He’s crazy and he’s out of his mind, but he’s amazing, with wonderful ideas, and I love him to death.
How do you feel that he played a role as far as bringing your music to life? Each producer has their own fingerprint, and where do you feel like his fingerprint landed on this album?
Well, it was pretty cool. I feel like we were definitely on the same page as far as where I wanted things to go. I was kind of being pushed in different directions that I didn’t want to be in, and he just kind of got it. He wanted the record to sound like a band did and recorded mostly live. It was very soulful. He works with this rhythm section called the Semi Fives, so they came in and we became friends, and now they play with me in LA. It was a very different thing that I’ve ever done before because we just figured it out all together. It was a very collaborative process.
Tell us a little bit more about your songwriting process.
It’s really different every time. It depends on if I’m co-writing or if I’m writing by myself. It’s hard to describe because sometimes I’ll have a melody or like some music stuff, and I’ll just start singing something, or I’ll write a lot. I will write a couple pages of stuff and then piece together something. If you’re co-writing, it’s different with everybody that you work with. It’s a totally unique experience every time. I either don’t know what my process is, or it’s different every time, but it feels like a unique experience.
I’ll take your word that it’s different every time, because I can’t imagine that you wouldn’t know.
I would hope that it’s different every time, right? Because I’d be playing the same song over and over.
What is currently in heavy rotation on your iPod?
I just started listening to Darwin Dee. He’s from New York, and he’s this crazy like hipster dude, but he’s really amazing. His music isn’t really out there that much, but it’s really, really good. I also just got into Laurie Veers, who’s really amazing. I bought Greg Laswell. He’s also really amazing. That’s kind of what I’m listening to right now.
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