Alain de Courtenay

25 Apr

“Music has become not only a passion of mine, but also a means of survival.”

One night, while roaming the streets of Chicago, I came across a small coffee shop in Lincoln Park. When I stepped inside, my ears immediately perked up. This beautiful voice was in the corner singing his heart out and I was amazed by his talent. I only had to listen to him sing for a few more minutes before I was completely hooked. As soon as the show ended, I bought his album, went home, and played his music on repeat all night. This talented man I’m speaking of is named Alain de Courtenay. He’s been on my radar for a few years now and I’m so grateful that I’ve finally had an opportunity to learn more about him. Over the years, his popularity has grown and many people from other countries have fallen for his smooth and soulful voice. Recently, Alain has joined forces with Gia Margaret and created the band, Little Light. They’re currently working on getting an EP out in the near future. Read on to find out more about the talented, Alain de Courtenay.

Q. What made you get started singing and writing your own music?

A. In hindsight, I believe that my decision to start writing songs had a lot to do with my older sister’s love and appreciation for music.  At a really early age, I started to notice how inspired she was by The Beatles and Queen, for example, and I soon came to admire them myself – not only for their musical talents, but also for their hard work and determination. I thought about how incredible it would be to accomplish even a fraction of what they did, see the places they visited, all along doing something I innately loved.

Q. What inspires you each day to work hard and possibly make a name for yourself in this business?

A. Now that I’m a little older, I tend to look at creating music not only as an art form, but also as a business. Within the past couple of years, I realized that I probably wouldn’t be happy doing anything other than music as my career, so I like to think that I’m self-motivated enough to succeed as much as I allow myself to. At this point, I’m not concerned with making “a name for myself” as much as I am with being able simply to support myself (and someday, a family) off of it. Music has become not only a passion of mine, but also a means of survival.

Q. You have a lot of videos on YouTube and for many, it’s a great way to be discovered. Do you feel like this outlet of networking has helped your career?

A. I think Youtube has almost singlehandedly solidified and rejuvenated my career as a working musician. To be fortunate enough to share my music with such a vast, diverse audience is truly a blessing, and I would never have known that people in other countries might actually like my music (laughs). Not to mention, it’s allowed me to meet so many great folks.

Q. Who are some artists that you look up to?

A. I am constantly in awe of artists past and present, but I’d say that The Beatles and Queen really had a profound impact on my formative years. Then came Motown, Dylan, Bjork, Buckley (among others), and more recently, I’ve been into Paul Curreri, a phenomenal songwriter out of Virginia. Oh, and The Weepies, who will forever hold a special place in my heart. To be fair, though, I admire any artist who can write an honest song.

Q. You’re currently living in Chicago, Illinois . Do you play a lot of live shows in the area and are you ever planning on doing a tour?

A. Gia and I have been playing a bunch of shows in the area recently, but we’d really love to save enough money to do a tour. Especially in Europe!

Q. You’ve paired up with Gia Margaret and started “Little Light.” What can your fans expect from you in the new year?

A. We want to focus on recording this year, so we plan on releasing an EP for each season. We’ve already released our “The Winter EP”, which is now available on iTunes, and we’re hoping and praying that touring opportunities will arise from our efforts. Send us your well wishes!

Q. Is being a solo artist something you aspire to more or do you like harmonizing along with another person?

A. Having met Gia, I wonder how I’d ever gotten along without her. That said, she and I both pursue our own solo stuff, but I’ve noticed that it oftentimes doesn’t compare to what we’re able to accomplish when we work together.

Q. You do a lot of covers, but which one has been your favorite to cover?

A. There’s nothing like the energy and courage TJ and I mustered up to cover “Such Great Heights” by The Postal Service the way that we did. As most could tell, that one was just plain fun to do. But currently, Gia and I are working on a Fleetwood Mac tune and we’re having a ton of fun with it!

Q. If you could pick any artist to cover one of your own songs, who would you pick?

A. Honestly, I’d pick Gia Margaret, hands down. I couldn’t tell you how honored I’d be to listen to her interpretation of one of my tunes. Failing that, I think it would be incredible to hear someone like Cee Lo Green cover one of my songs. Cee Lo or Paul Simon.

Q. If you were stranded on an island for the rest of your life and could only bring one of your songs to listen to, which one would it be and why?

A. Hmm. That’s a tough one, but it would probably have to be one of the songs that I’ve been working on recently. Why, you ask? Because I feel that my life lately is the most peaceful and promising that it has ever been. If I were to ever get stranded anywhere, I think I’d want to listen to a song that would remind me of these days.

Here is , “Blue Impossible Moon.” I think you’ll love it just as much as I do.

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