Studio Spotlight: Cha Cha Studios

News15's Carter Simoneaux explores the world of Zydeco on his next stop of his Acadiana Music Studio Tour. He stops by Cha Cha Studios to learn more about it from a popular father and son duo.

Posted: Jul 2, 2021 10:57 AM

LAFAYETTE - Zydeco: The Acadiana born genre of music is a staple at festivals, clubs, horse trails and in living rooms throughout the area.

It's a distinctive sound that comes with it's own set of unique challenges in the music studio, according to Zydeco artist Lil Nate Williams, "Zydeco music is actually a challenge, man. When you're recording other genres of music, you don't have an accordion and a wash board scratching through the mix."

Lil Nate is not only an accomplished zydeco musician himself, he also runs Cha Cha Studios. He's part of a generation of artists who are evolving Zydeco by using techniques heard in other genres.

Speaking on some of the sounds he uses and sees in modern Zydeco, "Leads, special effects in zydeco, introductions, endings, interludes - you got all kind of stuff, man."

However, it took time for some Zydeco purists to come around to his style.

"I got a lot of criticism," says Lil Nate, "But I feel like nowadays people appreciate it, you know? I think it takes a while for people to catch on with what you're doing; and it actually helped me to evolve just to have the fusion."

Fuzing genres is something he learned from his father, Zydeco legend Nathan Williams Sr.

Explains Williams, "My zydeco, I play a little bit of blues. I got a gumbo. So I got a little bit of everything, and it was so good I put my foot in it."

He says it's necessary for the music to evolve in order for it to live.

"I'm comfortable seeing it progress like my son Lil Nate and the way they're coming up with it; the young kids are into it," adds Williams, "Because anything you do, you gotta grow in it. If you don't grow, you're gonna die."

Now Lil Nate is taking the lessons he learned from his father and sharing them with other aspiring Zydeco artists who want to keep the homegrown music alive.

"Being that we are Zydeco musicians, it's a home for everyone else that don't have a studio to go to, because studios are rare now."

To learn more about Cha Cha Studios, click here.

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