Marc Broussard is the epitome of a Louisiana musician, pure and simple. With his deep Carencro roots and traditional Cajunblood, Broussard exemplifies servant leadership with his newest philanthropic project.
Broussard’s newest album “SOS 2: Soul on a Mission” is set to release on Sept. 30. Half of the proceeds from the record will be donated to City of Refuge, a poverty-relief group based out of Atlanta, Georgia. The track list will feature soul music derived from the ’50s and ’60s.
“SOS 2” is the first in a series of annual cover albums Broussard plans to release to benefit non-profit organizations—all while still developing original music. After 15 years in the industry, Broussard is an independent artist for the first time, and he’s using the increased mobility to his advantage.
“I crunched some numbers and realized I needed to do something really positive to set the tone for the rest of my career as an independent artist,” Broussard said.
After Broussard personally vetted City of Refuge for over a year, he was convinced of the effectiveness of their business model and mission. He hopes to eventually have the group as a permanent partner of the project and expand it to a host of non-profit collaborators.
“I want these records to be a constant source of funding for a host of non-profit groups that I’m going to strongly vet personally, because that’s how much I care about this stuff,” he said.
Broussard recognized the strength of his artistic platform and the change such a powerful position could deliver.
“I think artists are uniquely positioned… because we pour so much of our hearts into our music, and we develop these really honest bonds with our fans,” he said. “We develop bonds which our fans believe us to be sincere. That’s how our fans relate to us.”
Broussard’s fan base consists of loyal locals who caught him early on and have been listening to his music for more than a decade.
After 15 years in his field, Broussard’s sound is progressive and ever-evolving as a product of his personal growth. As he began his own family, his interpretation of love progressed and the listener goes through these life events with Broussard.
“I confessed love like it was sunny outside. I could tell everybody I loved them, but I didn’t really know the behaviors of somebody who professed love,” he said. “It has had a profound effect on me as a man, which has lead to a shift in perspective that has seeped its way into my music, undoubtedly.”
Broussard compares playing shows in his home state to a high school reunion, but oftentimes his fans across the country act like family, he said.
“It’s a beautiful thing to see my music connect very personally with the people that I grew up with that really do appreciate what I do and the love that I have for this place,” Broussard said.
He credits his altruistic philosophy to his faith and the people he was born and raised with.
“Being born and raised Catholic all my life gave me some sense of justice in the world, and when I was approaching 33 [years old] last year, it was put on my heart by some force outside of myself,” Broussard said. “Really I think it was Jesus’ voice talking to me.”
Broussard’s ability to transform is what keeps monotony away after his extensive career. Usually working on several different projects at one time, he avoids defining his musical style.
“It’s about being present enough to recognize those moments of inspiration — who can say where they come from, whether it’s life, death, love, anger,” he said.
Broussard bears his Louisiana pride on his sleeve and represents the Bayou State everywhere he goes.
“I love this place. I think it’s a very, very special place and getting to travel as I’ve been able to do over fifteen years is just what I needed to give me that perspective of the other,” Broussard said.
At moments when remembering why he does what he does is difficult, Broussard reflects on the stories of those fans who told him his music changed their life in some way.
“Those are the kinds of stories that give you a sense of purpose,” he said. “And purpose is so crucial in maintaining a positive outlook on the work that you do.”
Photo courtesy of Doug Shaw.