One of our first missions when we started this blog was to recognize locals and pay tribute to some of the amazing individuals around us. Finally we bring you Small Town Spotlight where we will highlight a member of a nearby community who is unique and deserving of some recognition!
Our first Small Town Spotlight we have known for many years and watched her grow up for a small time. Emily Simon is a 16 year old native of Sulphur, Louisiana, who is in love with her Cajun roots, and spreads this love through music and dance.
Here’s some of the visit we had with her:
Lexi Hagen: Which instruments do you play?
Emily Simon: The drums and accordion
LH: How old were you when you first started playing and which instrument did you learn first?
ES: I was six and started with the drums. My Pawpaw played the drums, and I wanted to be like him. At first I would just sit on a stool next to him and play on his “ride” cymbal.
LH: What was the first song you learned to play on the accordion?
ES: La Porte d’en Arrière (The Back Door)
LH: Which instrument was easier to learn?
ES: The drums were easier to learn because you really just need to know the waltz and two-step. With the accordion you need to know buttons and pulls, but once I learn a song on the accordion, it’s stuck. Also I learn by ear. It’s much easier for me to learn a song if you let me video you and put some headphones on to watch and listen.
LH: Who inspires you to play?
ES: My Pawpaw.
LH: How is it singing in Cajun French?
ES: It just takes practice, and I’ll sing it to my Paw to make sure I’m saying everything right.
LH: Where do you see yourself going with your music?
ES: All I know for sure is I’ll be playing every weekend.
Emily went on to tell us that she hopes to someday soon record a CD with her Pawpaw at lead vocals. Her band, Emily Simon and Keepin’ it Cajun, play at several venues around the area, and she sits in with other people’s bands and attends jam sessions whenever she can. She’s an active member of the CFMA and was part of the youth band in the Texas CFMA chapter.
If you would like to learn more about Emily Simon and Keepin’ it Cajun, check out her band’s Facebook page here. You can even book them to play at your event!
Keep watching for another Small Town Spotlight soon, and if you know of anyone deserving of the spotlight, please let us know in a comment below or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.