What made you decide that music is a thing for you?
It all started because as a kid I wanted to be as loud as possible so I decided to learn trumpet but unknown to me I wasn’t allowed to learn trumpet until year 3 at school (I was in year 1). So to stall me my headmaster told me I needed to be able to blow up a balloon first, so I dedicated 2 years of my life to inflating balloons. Now I’m a pro at blowing up balloons and I guess I’m alright on trumpet too.
Introduce us to you and your musical history.
Im cam. a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist now based in London! I am primarily a vocalist, also being lead vocalist and trumpet player in my band Mantis State, but I’ve learned to play many more instruments from around the world! I decided I would love to start releasing some solo music as I’ve written tons of songs but never really put them out there and ‘Serenity’ is my debut.
What was life like for you before music?
I’m originally from a small village but went to music uni at Leeds Conservatoire where I got a degree in pop vocals. I stayed in Leeds for 6 years with my band Mantis State, we moved to London a couple of years ago and live together still performing and writing. I’ve spent the last few years songwriting for commission, working on all sorts from standard rock songs to thrash metal albums to kids’ nursery rhymes and songs for dance routines.
What was the first song you heard that steered you into a music path?
The first song I heard which really spurred me to start a career in music was ‘Bathtime in Clerkenwell’ by The Real Tuesday Weld. I saw the music video for it in a solar-powered cinema at a small music festival and was just in awe of the whole thing.
Where do you feel you currently sit within the music industry?
Currently, I am really aiming to make a living as a songwriter. I have spent the past few years writing for people based on commission but would really like to go into sync! I also love performing and would really like to play my own music and live that classic musician’s dream lifestyle.
What’s the biggest thing you have learned from someone else in the industry?
I’ve always written in all genres of music as I’ve never stuck to listening to just one. My vocal coach from uni, Craig Lees, taught me some incredible techniques that allowed me and my voice to be as versatile as possible. He told me about how despite the fact people always preach about sticking to “your sound”, that doesn’t mean you have to stick to one genre.
In fact, in a world where streaming is so accessible, people are exposed to so many different genres that your average person when asked ‘what music do you listen to?’ will say “I like a bit of everything”. Finding your sound is deeper than genre, it’s just making a song sound like you based on your writing style and the personal feeling you bring behind it.
Tell us Two truths and a lie about you.
I failed my Legoland driver’s licence. I threw up all over a stranger on a flight to Paris… that stranger was Warwick Davis. I used to tap dance when I was 8 and one time at a show in front of over 100 parents I forgot to put my tap shoes on and ended up doing the whole routine in Crocs.
If you could wish for one thing to aid your career what would it be?
I would love to get myself signed to a decent sync agency to get myself some regular songwriting work. I’ve especially always wanted to write the soundtrack for a video game!
Do you ever worry about people taking things the wrong way or cancel culture? Discuss….
I think it’s very important to think and be careful about what you say, but I also would say it’s equally as important to do your proper research before jumping to conclusions and making sure you’re reading from reliable sources.
Do you sign up to any conspiracy theories? If not why not?
I have one of my own. It’s a fact that when people wake up from dreams they only remember mismatched fragments, hence why people/places randomly change. Also when dreaming all sense of time disappears, which is why dreams can feel super long or short compared to how long you’ve slept for. Whenever people have a near-death experience one of the most common things people say they see is their life flashed before their eyes.
When you die there is a huge dump of brain activity where it releases the same chemicals it does when you dream and this is when people suspect the flash happens. I believe that when we die we rewatch our entire lives from start to end however, people who have had near-death experiences were ‘woken up’ as it were.
Making the fragments they remember seem like a flash. I think it’s a cycle and for all I know, me and you could have already died and rewatched our lives thousands of times. A side effect to this could be déjà vu.
What was the worst experience on stage?
I had one gig where I jumped off stage to dance with the audience everything went smoothly for all of about 3 seconds… I then accidentally punched someone in the face. I didn’t notice and continued to lock arms with them and spin them around me. My band told me after the gig and I was mortified. If you’re reading this I’m still so sorry!!
Tell us something about you / each member that you think people would be surprised about.
I can play over 30 instruments from around the world. I love learning new instruments and often use them in my writing, it’s just something I’ve always needed out over! I also bloody love sheep and used to shepherd sheep with our local shepherd when I was younger.
What makes you stand out as a band/artist?
I think my overall sound is super different from a lot of stuff out there. I love exploring genres and sounds using all sorts of unique instruments.
I hear you have a new music, what can you tell us about it.
Serenity is the first song I’ve released as a solo artist. I wrote it a long time ago, and at the time I think Trump had been voted in and we voted to leave the EU and I was just thinking, ‘What the fuck is going on with this world’.
I was so confused with people’s mentalities and so wrote the song about that feeling. Like entire generations who are greatly affected by these things are not being listened to, or even given a voice. It’s all about not knowing how to deal with the state of the world and hoping everything will piece together eventually.
What was the recording process like?
The recording process was super long… Like years long! I wrote the song in 2016, recorded a demo a couple of years later and, and finally returned to it recently to finish the whole thing off and release it. I had so much fun, there are still some of the original stems there from years ago. It was a super tough one to mix but I’m overall happy with how it ended up all things considered and with it being my first release.
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes?
The biggest learning curve was trying to adapt my past self’s terrible production skills because some of those old takes were just too good to cut out but the mixing and production on them was awful! There was a lot to try to salvage and I had to let go of quite a few takes I loved.
Would you change anything now it’s finished?
I don’t think so. Like I’m not saying this song is perfect because it definitely isn’t. But it’s something I’m proud of especially as I recorded it all in my bedroom and produced it myself! I had my housemate and sax player Bogle master it as he is a massive audiophile and I honestly can’t tell the difference half the time with those minute details, he smashed it! Overall it shows character and progression – flaws and all, and I’m really happy with it for a first release.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
I could do the classic ‘watch this space’ speech but I’m sure you know whether or not you’re interested in my stuff by now. If you are, check out my socials and all that but if you’re wanting something more meaningful for me to share I’d say get a rice cooker.
My sister got me one not long ago and my rice game is through the roof now. Made some absolute belters, trust me they’re class! You can even steam stuff on top at the same time. My favorite thing to do with it is some nicely seasoned rice with teriyaki salmon and veg on the top steaming at the same time, it slaps.