An Interview with Corey Ledet

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Recently, I had the pleasure of speaking with Zydeco artist, Corey Ledet. Among other things, we touch on what he’s been up to during the lockdown, his newest music, his opinion of the music scene today, and what he’s looking forward to the most once COVID-19 breaks.

If you would like to learn more about Corey Ledet, you can head over to his website and dig in. Once you’ve done that, check out this interview with Corey. Cheers.

Andrew:
Corey, thank you for taking the time to speak with us. This last year has been rough. How are you holding?

Corey:
Trying to stay busy but really missing my passion, which also happens to be how I make my living. It’s been rough, for sure.

Andrew:
Tell us about your backstory. What was your musical gateway?

Corey:
The day my father played a Clifton Chenier cassette for me, that was not long after finding my grandfather’s drum set. Something about both of those made me happy and sparked my curiosity.

Andrew:
As an artist, who are some of your earliest and most important influences? How did you develop your signature sound?

Corey:
I studied Clifton Chenier, the Sam Brothers Five, Buckwheat Zydeco, Rockin Dopsie, and many others. I should say I consumed all of their music. I would do what they did until I sounded like they sounded. From there, I figured out what I liked in music and started making my own way.

Andrew:
Let’s jump right in and talk about your new record, Corey Ledet Zydeco. What was the inspiration for the new album? What more can you tell us about the recording? Where can we get your new album and what formats will it be on?

Corey:
I was inspired to pay homage to my ancestors, those musicians who helped to create early-American music, like Jazz and Zydeco. The recording was done at Dockside Studio and we had a really good time making it. We did few takes on the songs because we wanted it to sound like it would if you came to hear us in person. Nouveau Electric Records have the final product available in CD, cassette, and digital download formats. You can get your copy here.

Andrew:
Zydeco music is so underappreciated in this day in age. That said, you’ve been going strong in the modern era for a while now. What can we do to further bring Zydeco to the forefront?

Corey:
Doing what you are doing now – reaching out to us who have a vested interest in keeping true Zydeco alive. The more exposure we have in radio, television, social media, and festivals, the more our story gets told.

Andrew:
Let’s talk about the production side of things. Do you work with outside producers, or do you self-produce your work? What goes into the decision either way?

Corey:
I’ve done a lot of my own production in the past, but you know sometimes two heads are better than one. Deciding what’s best for the song just boils down to whatever feels right. Sometimes the song can make itself with very little outside intervention.

Andrew:
As an artist, how do you feel you’ve evolved since your debut record, 3 Years 2 Late? What’s changed. Conversely, what’s the through-line within your work?

Corey:
Most definitely. I have always and will keep on evolving as the world turns, just as we all will. Nothing stays the same– my musical knowledge, my voice, the feel of the music.

Andrew:
What is the artistic vision for your music going forward? How has it changed since you started?

Corey:
My vision going forward is to incorporate my family language (Kouri-Vini) more into my music. I’d like to also add more Jazz, being that is what some of my family played. I’ve grown to write and play how and what I feel inside.

Andrew:
Tell us about your songwriting process. Do your lyrics come from a personal place, or are you merely telling stories so to speak?

Corey:
This is part of my evolving– to write about my life experiences, which will also help me to remember the lyrics. [Laughs].

Andrew:
Touring is usually a huge part of a working musician’s proverbial machine, but as we know, COVID has caused issues there. What do you miss most about touring?

Corey:
I MISS TOURING!! Playing for so many different people and having them enjoy and have fun!

Andrew:
On the subject of touring, indie venues were in trouble before COVID and they definitely are now. I’ve seen and heard about places shutting down for good all over. With companies like Ticketmaster strangling the market and bands unable to tour and generate revenue for these places, what do you think the post-COVID landscape is going to be like out there?

Corey:
I think once it’s all over with and everyone feels safe, I think the music scene will come back bigger and stronger than ever before.

Andrew:
One disturbing fact I’ve learned over time is that Spotify doesn’t pay artists well, if at all. What are your thoughts on that issue? How do we as fans do our part to help?

Corey:
For now, purchase any and all merchandise that artists have. If you come across any live streams, send them a tip. All of that helps a lot.

Andrew:
In a world dominated by capitalism and social media, can artists really, truly get ahead? How do we keep the playing field level so that everyone has a chance to succeed?

Corey:
Artists can come out ahead if each artist is professional and business-minded. Also, if everyone supports and promotes artists, this will help.

Andrew:
Are you into records? Tapes? CDs? Digital? Where do you like to shop for music?

Corey:
Yes. I love it all. Each format brings different qualities of sound to the music and can make the same song sound different. I search anywhere and everywhere for music.

Andrew:
What are a few albums that mean the most to you, and why?

Corey:
The old Zydeco albums I grew up with because they were that good. They make my soul smile.

Andrew:
Who are some of your favorite artists? Ones that mean the most to you.

Corey:
Clifton Chenier, Rockin Dopsie, Buckwheat Zydeco.

Andrew:
Last question. What advice would you have for young artists just starting out? How do they stay afloat in a world that seems to be so abhorrent to creatives?

Corey:
Learn the history of the culture and the music. Practice your craft and never stop learning. If that is their passion, then they will do whatever they can to hold onto their music. This pandemic has challenged us all in that way.

Interested in learning more about Corey Ledet? Check out the link below:

Dig this interview? Check out the full archives of Vinyl Writer Interviews, by Andrew Daly, here: www.vinylwritermusic.com/interview

About Post Author

Andrew Daly

Andrew has always felt himself to be a "jack of all trades, master of none" type of person. With an immense passion for music, a disposition for writing, and an eagerness to teach and share both, Andrew decided to found Vinyl Writer in 2019 as a freelance column under the column Stories from the Stacks. Over time, the column grew into a website which now features contributors who further the cause of sharing both a love of music and the art of journalism with the world through articles and interviews. While Andrew enjoys running the website, his real passion lies in teaching and facilitating others to do what they do best, and giving them the opportunity to explore their passions in the process.
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