Dustan Louque is fascinating. He describes himself as an artist and spends his time playing music, performing, and recently, teaching songwriting. Dustan seems to have really thought about what is important in his own life, and acted on that. Although he was born in St. James Parish, he found Lafayette via Brooklyn and New Orleans.
After playing the SOLO Songwriters Festival last year, Dustan got a chance to teach songwriting in some local schools — L.J. Alleman, Comeaux High and Episcopal School of Acadiana. He teaches them things he has learned, to trust their own instincts, to perform without being a performer and to lead from the heart. He loves “pointing the kids in the right direction.”
The students he has worked with will be performing at the SOLO Songwriters Festival this year. It’s a great event for anyone interested in making or listening to good music. Dustan will be there, watching his teaching at work, and smiling to himself.
For tickets or more information, visit solosongwriters.com or @solosongwritersfestival on Facebook.
What was your first job? Working in a Perique tobacco field in Grand Point. It was a rite of passage for all boys.
Describe a typical day in your life. Wake up early, check messages, book concerts, sip coffee with a book, at least 25 minutes of yoga, house restoration work, writing & listening to podcast, work in my home garden at sunset, dinner, play music or record.
What advice would you give the younger you? Always be yourself. And bad days are just growing pains.
What event in your life most shaped who you are now? Tragedy put on a play for me many times. From childhood to when I lived in NY on 9/11. It really grabbed me by the throat and helped me to appreciate my time here and not waste it.
What values do you live by? Treat others as you want to be treated. All of us have something special to offer. Do the best work you can everyday and try to find the love in it. Be present.
What do you most appreciate? Great design, Miles Davis’ “Kind of Blue”, and a Lafayette smile.
Where is your favorite place to be alone? On the road.
What was the best advice you were ever given? “Love the art in yourself, not yourself in the art”. That was from my years in acting school in New York. Stella Adler said that.
What book would you tell everyone to read? “A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle
What is the best thing about where you live? The birds, the peace and quiet, my partner, my neighbors, and the “all knowing” smiles.
What did you want to be when you grew up? An NFL Quarterback.
What is your motto? Say what you mean, mean what you say.
How would you like to be remembered? As one who made a difference.
What three things are vital to Being YOU? Creativity, love, spirituality
Which words or phrases do you most overuse? Since moving to Lafayette it would have to be “I mean….. and well I’m sorry!”
What is your favorite word? Yes (oui)
What do you collect? Friends and experiences
What food could you live on for a month? Salmon
What would you change about yourself? I’d like to be less serious, but I think it was all the tragedy or being from a small tobacco town. I put lots of pressure on myself to get out of there and make great use of my time here on earth but I think I’m starting to relax. Maybe someday I’ll be able to feel the Cajun waltz and not have sweaty palms on the dance floor.
Describe yourself in five words. Detailed, traveled, open-minded, resourceful, resilient
What is your idea of happiness? Happiness is not something to be focused on. It’s a byproduct of becoming your true self, you can’t buy it and you can’t keep it, it comes and goes but mine comes from doing good work and doing the best I can everyday. Little joys add up to big joys.
What do you most regret? Not meeting Margaret “Pops” Hebert sooner. She’s my favorite witch.
What question do you wish I'd asked? How do you feel about the state of the world.
What would the answer be? I think technology has exposed many horrible things in the world that have been there all along. It seems like we’re becoming unhinged but some amazing things are happening too. The American scab has been ripped off. We’re not who we thought we were. It’s painful and ugly but now we can begin to heal and be better. To find our integrity again. It’s going to take all kinds. And acceptance is key. I believe in the Cajun spirit.