Valerie Broussard, the singer/songwriter from Philadelphia, has an unmistakable voice that resounds with the vibrancy of pop music. Once described as “cinematic,” Broussard’s sonic brand is akin to the likes of Demi Lovato or Jessie J. Broussard even has a dramatic backstory for how she broke into the music industry.
“It’s a long story that involves a trip to Paris, an ex-boyfriend, and the musical Oklahoma,” Broussard begins telling American Songwriter, “but the short version is that I tripped and fell into doing small roles in professional operas while I was in college, and in the summer of 2012 I was doing Falstaff in France when the conductor of the opera heard me goofing around singing jazz with the orchestra guys after drinking too much wine one night. He pulled me aside and very bluntly told me he didn’t think I had much of a future as an opera star but that I had a special voice for pop. He asked if I wrote music, I said no, and he said I should really reconsider that answer. And now here we are.”
Recently, Broussard released her latest musical offering titled “Drive.” The track exhales rich melodies and soaring vocals, which showcase Broussard’s impressive range. “‘Drive’ is about getting in the car with the right person, no real destination, and just cruising,” Broussard explains. “It’s a window down, wind in your hair, volume up kind of song.
“I wrote this song over zoom with Lena Leon in the summer of 2020 while in full lockdown in L.A.,” she continues. “I’m a big traveler, I’ve got that wanderlust thing going on for sure, so COVID has been very tough on my psyche. At that point, I was dying for any adventure I could get my hands on, and my best friend and I were taking long drives through the canyons and along the beaches just to remain sane. Lena was feeling pretty cooped up in her place in Brooklyn as well, and so we took the idea of the big summer road trip we couldn’t go on and put it into a song. The demo was pretty bare bones but I knew my friend Josh Murty could bring it to life in the way I wanted. So we sent it off to him and ‘Drive’ was born.”
Broussard also shared that her favorite line from “Drive” is the one where she sings, The mountainside, covered in light, every day it’s always changing, we’ll be dancing when it’s raining. This snapshot of the single captures an east coaster’s pure admiration for the canyons of the west coast.
“There’s a canyon in L.A. that I must have been through a million times at this point, but I always love it. Having a lot of L.A. natives in my life means that they’re all far superior to me when it comes to canyon driving and so I am always in the passenger seat picking the music. I have no idea why but I almost always pick Oasis, specifically ‘Champagne Supernova’ for those moments, and once that song came on during the most spectacular golden hour in that canyon. That image is seared into my brain and that is what that line is about,” Broussard says. “Also, the bit about dancing when it’s raining because everyone goes wild out here when it rains in L.A., especially in the summer. Being an east coaster it’s always very funny to me, but I’ve grown to be in awe of the rain when it comes myself.”
Listen to Valerie Broussard’s “Drive” below.