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CAM WILSON

RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW CAM WILSON, WHAT HAPPENED?

Hiya folks thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.What made you decide that music is a thing for you?

I just connected with it at a young age. Started with the usual school age piano and guitar lessons and kind of just kept it up from there!

Introduce us you / all to the members and your musical history?

It’s just me! I’m an independent artist from New Zealand. I’ve been writing songs with a bit more intent for the past five years or so and recently started releasing a few bits and bobs. I played in bands throughout high school etc. but never took much seriously. During my uni years I developed a real love for fingerpicked acoustic based music and before long started writing songs of my own.

What was life like for you before music?

It’s always been there in some capacity. For as long as I can remember I’ve been listening, even if I wasn’t playing.

What was the first song you heard that steered you into a music path?

The turning point was hearing Ben Howard for the first time when I was about 18. I remember ‘Keep Your Head Up’ came on the radio and I just stopped what I was doing and listened. I was mesmerised. To this day he’s still my favourite artist, and that album Every Kingdom did more for my own path than any other record has to date. I started playing with open tunings and experimenting with the finger picked melodies from that day onwards.

Where do you feel you currently sit within the music industry?

A very small fish in an ocean. I’ve just released my first EP, and whilst I have released a couple of singles before, I’m still learning the dark arts of how to get your music out there and heard. It’s hard work.

What’s the biggest thing you have learned from someone else in the industry?

You have to invest a lot of your own passion, time and ultimately money to get somewhere.

Tell us Two truths and a lie about you?

I was born in Guatemala, I can speak Spanish, I was cast as an extra in Lord of the Rings.

If you could wish for one thing to aid your career what would it be?

Honestly just a bit more recognition of independent artists. I get no love from radio and music journals here in New Zealand. Even the pathways for boosting emerging and unknown artists over here seem to give a lot of help to already well-established artists and bands. It’s super frustrating.

Do you ever worry about people taking things the wrong way or cancel culture? Discuss….

About my music? Not really – I don’t think I write about controversial things or hold myself in that way. And I keep my social media presence pretty low key, so there’s not a lot of opportunity for it. I suppose I just want people to judge the music itself. If you like the songs, listen to it and if you don’t, then that’s fine.

Do you sign up to any conspiracy theories? If not, why not?

Hmm no conspiracy theories as such, but there has to be alien life out there somewhere..

What was the worst experience on stage?

This goes back a long way and was more of a learning experience but when I was about 12 my first band got to play to the whole school in assembly to welcome a member of the legendary Kiwi band Split Enz to speak to the school. We were playing one of their songs. I was the singer and bass player and we had to start over 3 times because I kept singing in the wrong key! Definitely something I laugh about now but it was mortifying at the time.

Tell us something about each member that you think people would be surprised about?

I have a full time profession in architecture and I spent five years at university getting my degree! Music is very much a part time passion for me, and honestly I find it harder to dedicate the time to it as my career progresses.

I hear you have a new music, what can you tell us about it.

The Time EP is about how you reflect on yourself as you grow older. These songs have been brewing since my early twenties until recently when I recorded them around the time of my 28th birthday. I decided to record and share these songs that share a mutual thread, before I move onto new things. They might sound melancholic, but they are hopeful and optimistic songs. They’re a reminder of the times when your own expectations get the better of you, an ode to the ephemeral moments of nostalgia and wonder, and just an honest attempt at looking forwards instead of backwards.

What was the recording process like?

Last year I spent two months on a farm in the mountains of Tuscany. I’d been working in London for a couple of years, and I needed a break from city life before coming back to NZ. I was playing a lot in my little cabin there and had decided to record an EP at that point. I reached out to a fellow Kiwi producer in London (Brydon Hulse) and he suggested to start by sending him some ambient recordings of my surroundings – birdsong, the bees, thunderstorms etc. When I got back to London after the break in Italy, we recorded the musical parts themselves between a couple of studios and spaces, and later on when I kept on travelling, Brydon did the production side of things. We exchanged notes memos until the final version of The Time EP came together! A lot of the ambient sounds made it into the EP, especially at the transitions of the tracks which bleed together.

What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes?

The whole concept and thread of this EP is Time. Honestly, sometimes it takes a long time to write something. The final track Best of It took me about 4 years to finish. I came up with the melody in one of those serendipitous instances just jamming in my room, but I could never find the lyrics to make a song out of it. It wasn’t until the Tuscany experience that I approached it from a new angle and the song came together. The whole EP is about the tension between looking forwards and backwards in life, and I think the takeaway from this musically is not to be afraid to do the same.

Would you change anything now its finished?

There are always little bits and pieces that gnaw at you when you’re finalising the mix, but they make the EP what it is. I’m pretty happy with it the way it is!

Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?

Just give it a listen, and if you like it – give it a save, a playlisting or a share in some way! Every little bit helps as an independent artist! Peace and love.

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