DeLand native Corben Champoux’s cover of the Hank Williams Sr. classic “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” surged to No. 1 on the Country Network last month. Now, the young country musician — an insurance agent with Brown & Brown by day — wants people to hear her original songs.
“I appreciate the sincerity and integrity of country music,” Champoux told The Beacon. “I never try to force it, I just try to let the inspiration come.”
Champoux’s love of music started when she was just a kid living in DeLand.
“I started playing music when I was 7 years old because my dad picked up the guitar,” she said. “After watching him play and start to learn, that’s where my motivation came from and where my passion started.”
Shortly after learning to play, Champoux started writing music. That’s when her mom, Michelle Champoux, knew her daughter was going to be big someday.
“It’s a special look she has in her eyes that made me think, ‘Wow, there’s something there,’” Michelle Champoux said. “She’s driven by music. Music makes her happy.”
The Champouxs fostered that love of music by surrounding her with it. Corben Champoux participated in choir and other musical activities all the way from elementary school through college at the University of Florida, where she studied public relations. The Champoux women found a perfect way to bond through music, too — by going to concerts.
“Our thing together was to go to concerts together,” Michelle Champoux told The Beacon. “We haven’t missed too many country concerts, and that was a fun thing we used to do.”
Taylor Swift was a favorite.
Swift is just one of Corben Champoux’s musical inspirations. She’s a lover, she said, of country music’s legends, including Merle Haggard, Hank Williams Sr., Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson.
Her cover of Williams Sr.’s “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” was itself a tribute to some of her country music heroes, she said. Now that the song has hit No. 1 on the Country Network, she’s hoping fans will stick around to hear her original tunes, like her latest release, “Two First Names.”
“My original songs, I like to call them very raw, truthful. I try to be a very genuine writer,” Corben Champoux said. “I’m very lucky to live in a small town, I think that’s where a lot of my inspiration comes from.”
Her small-town roots feature prominently in her music, too, as in her most recent music video, which was filmed at the historic Artisan Downtown hotel in Downtown DeLand.
Corben Champoux makes regular trips to Nashville, Tennessee, where she works with a number of musicians who are helping her produce and put together music for a debut album.
“I work in Daytona, and I’m back and forth from Nashville and DeLand,” Corben Champoux said. “In Nashville, I work with some incredible musicians and songwriters.”
Now with more eyes and ears on her music, Corben Champoux is aiming for the stars.