After releasing her debut album ‘Untamed’ in 2015, Cam has quickly made a name for herself within the country music world with tracks such as ‘Burning House’ showcasing her raw writing skills, as well as her made-for-country vocals. We had a chat with the sassy song writer to talk new music, UK fans and more shows
Firstly, you put on a great, intimate show at the Tabernacle in London, the tickets sold out in under half an hour, we had a few tweets from fans who were unable to get one. Do you have any plans to do some more shows in the UK soon?
Thank you! I know it’s crazy how fast it sold out, we weren’t even planning to do any concerts, originally, we were coming over to do promo only but we thought why not do a small show too. We are hoping to do a string of shows in the fall over here, I have a blast every time I come to London, I literally want to move here each time I visit.
Where would you say your main inspiration comes from for your music?
I mean, the writing is all from usually my life and then I’d say like people that really inspire me as artists would be… I love Sturgill Simpson, Bon Iver, Kendrick Lamar, like people that do things their own way I guess, whenever people say ‘Burning House’ sounds so different, I love that, sounding different is like a really big compliment for me.
Who do you look up to in the music industry that has shaped and influenced your style?
In the industry, I would have to say Eric Church and Dolly Parton, people that understand that you have to make good art but also you need to have a good business sense and understand how you want to run your company basically, because the way you get to relate to your fans, is decided by you, so don’t let the industry get to tell you this is how you interact with your fans, you get to do it the way you want to do it. Being smart enough to understand all those dynamics is something a lot of artists I think don’t take the time to do and you can see people make mistakes. I definitely admire people who take the time to learn that part of it.
You’re from California originally, what made you want to do country music?
My grandparents had a horse ranch in southern California that we spent a lot of time on and I listened to country music there. Then I went to school, for college I went to Davis which is really agricultural and surrounded by farm land, we’d line dance on Wednesday nights. So actually, the middle of California is all farming and in the dustbowl time, the stock market crashed and people couldn’t plant in a certain region. I don’t know if you guys know about any of this but these huge winds came and all the dirt got blown up, it was a horrible time, you could barely live there. So, all these people with country music roots from Oklahoma and Southern Colorado came to California because there were jobs there and they started working in this agricultural area, farming and stuff and they brought country music with them. So, that’s were this Bakersfield sound came from and Buck Owens and all that kind of stuff. So, we have this rich tradition in California but you don’t normally think about it.
We listened to your Ted talk ‘Life can be tough. Music can help’, it was great! We heard that you used to work in psychology so how did you go from that to country music and did your psychology background play a part in you doing your own TED talk?
Oh wow that’s really, really cool, I am so proud of myself for having done a TED talk! I always loved music and in California it’s very expensive, kind of like London. Being a musician or an artist generally means most of the time you’re not going to have a big, strong financial future, so, you’re really encouraged to get a job. I loved psychology and ended up studying emotions, relationships and all these things, that actually ended up helping my song writing. I did music the whole time but when I hit about 24, I was working in a lab in the Bay area at the University of Stanford and at the time I said to my professor ‘What should I do? I like psychology but I really love music’ and she said, ‘picture yourself at 80 years old and what would you regret missing out on’ and it put it in a really good perspective. I only get 1 life as far as I know. Your life ends up making more sense than you think.
How was your tea party on the Bus in London?
So cute! I love those double decker vintage busses, actually it’s so funny, I just thought of this. My college in Davis, for some reason the busses that we all rode around in were all vintage, old, red busses from London, so I’ve always loved them. So when I came over here I was like oh they have this thing where you can do tea and I was like yes! It was just as fun for me as it was for all the fans that won. We got to hang out and see Trafalgar Square and all that kind of stuff.
We had someone tweet in and ask me to say thank you on their behalf for all the time you spent with your fans this weekend, we were also asked what your favourite moment was of the tea party?
It was really fun when I got to sing for everybody, singing ‘Burning House’ and ‘Hungover on Heartache’ with everybody just singing along to the words and looking so happy. It was so fun to see and I makes me happy singing these songs, I like them and for it to mean that much to other people warms your soul.
How do you think your UK fans differ from your US fans?
I think UK fans in of country music in general are awesome, I found out they have this Facebook group called ‘C2C attendees’ or something, it’s amazing that 6,000 people are now friends and buy tickets for each other and if you don’t have anyone to go with, you meet each other there and go for drinks. It’s like a little community of people and maybe it feels like country music is a smaller genre here but actually it’s so much more wonderful because it’s such a tight-knit community and it is a community in the US and Nashville but to see that here and those values of friendship and taking care of each other is really amazing and I’m really proud that the music that I put out gets to be a part of that kind of community.
When can we expect some new music? How is the new album coming along?
I’ve got probably 9 or 10 songs ready and then I’ve got a few that I’m thinking maybe, I may pop in and out 1 or 2 so I’m still deciding on those last few. Hopefully a new single in the next few months and a new album, the early part of next year. It’ll be super cool if we get to come back for C2C, fingers crossed.
by Jessica Borriello