Born to the land of Woodstock, TN, Corey Martin, known affectionately as Corey Lou, came into this world as a born-to-be performer.
He began his journey as an artist from the young age of five, ranging from singing the deep gospel sound of the Memphis choirs to the rugged soul riffs so well trained at the infamous STAX Music Academy, to the polished classical content worthy of Carnegie Hall stages.
Corey Lou’s work reflects a man in contemplation over life lessons, laments, and most deeply, love. Out of his desire to make meaning of these things, he takes each verse and chord as the chance to communicate a message of power with the world.
Tapping into a smooth dreamscape that’s coated with warm saxophone notes, and an infectious rhythm, Corey Lou & Da Village enlist the extraordinary flair of Kelvin Walters in order to introduce us to the inebriating jazz vibes that reside in “What We Gone Do?.”
Immediately taking control of our speakers, and the soul that protrudes through our very being, there’s a robust sound that is invigorated through the minimalistic layers of classical instruments exposed in the musical framework we’re conveyed. Offering us a refreshing take on the music of today, there’s a laid-back nostalgia that comes trickling through each note courageously performed in “What We Gone Do?.”
Corey Lou’s glorious timbres ricochet through your mind in a prominent manner that has his allure drawing you towards the compelling quintessence of his artistry and persona. The energy that he showcases through the seemingly smooth vibes takes us into a whirlwind of resonance that continues to intensify as this record progresses.
Incorporating his gospel choir roots that scream out Memphis, there’s the originality that comes from this inimitable lane he has carved out for himself. Corey Lou & Da Village make it so we get everything we need through their intricately crafted soundscapes that are dedicated to making us feel the emotion within.
Welcome to BuzzMusic Corey Lou & Da Village. A huge congratulations on the release of “What We Gone Do?.” This song holds such a powerful pull in how it’s conveyed; we love it! In your own words, what does this song mean to you as the creator?
Thank you so much! This song means the world to me! It was not my debut single but most definitely an introduction into the life and persona of Corey Lou. I began working on this song over a year ago, before the pandemic. Despite this, I was able to bring in childhood friends from the infamous Stax Music Academy and a few of my very own family members to assist in creating the song so that made it all the better. The song pays homage to where I come from, which is Memphis, TN. The different sounds, instruments, and rhythms you hear all come from the foundation of "Memphis Soul Music." It was really a joy to see, feel, and hear the melodies and rhythm in my head come to life. My story really came to life through instrumentation and it's a beautiful feeling. My hope is that this song reaches all ages, from 0 to 99. I'm a millennial and Teddy Pendergrass and Al Green are still very relevant to my culture. That's the goal for Corey Lou.
Bringing on Kelvin Walter’s to live out this vision propels the dynamism on the track in a marvelous way. Could you please share a glimpse into how this collaboration came to be? What was it like working with one another?
Kelvin Walters is another incredibly talented wise young man from Memphis, Tn that attended that Stax Music Academy during the same time I did. He was a member of the Rhythm Section and I was a vocalist for the Street Corner Harmonies. A mentee of Grammy Award Winner Kirk Whalum, Kelvin was actually the last piece to the puzzle for this song. Kelvin wasn't added until the very end of the process. I knew I needed a call & response and I felt like the saxophone was the perfect instrument to sing the melodies and Kelvin was the perfect brother to make it happen. It's just some things you can't teach and the talent that Kelvin has is unteachable. The man walked into the studio, warmed up, and the rest was history! I sang different melodies to him and towards the end of the song I told him, "have your way, my boy." He did just that! Thank you, Kelvin, and blessing on your journey to the Juilliard School of Music.
We would love it if you could share a bit about the creative and recording process that brought “What We Gone Do?” to life. Did it fit into what your usual creative process usually entails?
The creative process for this song was extremely fun and exactly how I imagined it to be. It took a bit longer than I would've liked but everything doesn't work on your time. Having a foundation of Stax and learning how most of the musicians and artists from that time were friends walking off of the street creating generational music inspired me to do the same. They would come together and create magic. They created real music with real instruments and real voices and it brought much-needed healing to this world. It was authentic. That's my goal. I had three of my cousins play on the track as well.
When conveying a message of power to the world, do you ever hold back from what you reiterate to your audience? What’s your mission statement as an artist?
As an artist, you can never hold back. You never know who your art is for or who it'll reach. The message and gift were also given for a reason, so it's our job as artists to convey that message to whoever it's for. Being an artist is a special gift so who am I to hold that back from anyone? My goal is to be an example of an unusually successful artist. My purpose is to show that if you operate in your gift, your gift will make room for you.
"If There Were Ever A Time To Dare,
To Make A Difference,
To Embark In Something Worth Doing,
It Is Now,
Not For Any Grand Cause, Necessarily
But For Something That Tugs At Your Heart,
Something That's Your Aspiration,
Something That's Your Dream,
You Owe It To Yourself To Make Your Days Here Count,
Stretch." - 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth