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Interview: Cam at The Long Road Festival

I don’t think we the UK will ever tire of Cam and her music. If she keeps coming over then we will keep going. Cam was a perfect addition to the second Long Road Festival and she was sure to brighten up a Septembers day. Cam played the Sunday and we managed to catch up with her before her set which as most people would be, we were very excited.

Cam was escorted to the media area by her team. When I say escorted I mean literally as she struggled to walk on the grass and gravel in her amazing heels which is totally understandable. Wearing a stunning shawl over her outfit and big sunglasses, Cam sat down ready to chat and like always, was in a great mood and as we have previously described Cam as sunshine, perhaps she was the reason for the good weather haha. When we sat down, (myself and my co-worker Clare Alder) she asked if we were sisters or best friends. I replied with saying we were new friends, about a year in. Laughing she says “Wow, well see how it goes, I will keep tabs haha”. Going straight into it, I welcomed her back and said she must be pleased to be back?  “I am definitely pleased to be here, especially in this kind of weather.”

Sat on a picnic bench with Cam and her two team members we felt at ease, it’s a personality trait that Cam has in both herself and her music that just makes you feel so comfortable and that you could talk to her about anything. Last time we saw Cam was at C2C Festival this year (2019) where she was on the main stage at the O2 Arena but was also part of the CMA Songwriters show. “Oh the songwriter night, I loved that. I love it because it lets you have even more conversation between songs and that’s my favourite thing about it. It was so fun to sit there with that group of people. I don’t know if you remember this but Jimmie Allen and Travis Denning with their jokes all night, it was so funny (laughs a lot). Laura (Veltz) hadn’t been to the UK to play and she was so touched, I am always touched too but now I kind of expect it because I know you are the best crowd but to watch her absorb it all was so cool.”

Speaking of her incredible fanbase here I also said that I feel like the UK is her second home…”Honestly it does feel that way. I have always been so excited to come over here in general and then it just feels so lucky that whatever it is I am wanting to say and put out in music and in the stand up comedy I do between it haha – all of it seems to resonate with the crowd so much. If I knew the formula for it, I don’t think I could have pulled it off, it’s just something that happened and it’s so nice and I don’t take it for granted, it’s really special to have people that care just as much about Village as they do Diane. It’s really cool.”

Telling her she is hard to describe but one word I would describe about her and her music is that she is “homely” and one of very few artists who can continuously tour one album and no one will ever tire of it. Beaming Cam replies “It’s really lucky and I feel the band has done such a good job where we will do new arrangements of songs, bring people in a new way. It has made me a better musician to have to do all this and develop the show for this long of a time whilst having to unfortunately deal with business issues that were outside of my control. But it has been amazing to be able to say that I don’t want to put up with this situation so I am going to a new place. Now having a label that seems so excited about my music and they say “yes do a collaboration with Diplo, yes put out a song in French”.  

The song Cam released in french is La Marcheuse a cover of Christine and The Queens song. Asking if she speaks French fluently she laughs “No haha. I did it like in middle school and I did Italian in college but I sang in fourteen languages in a choir when I was little. So I think when you’re at that one age before you are about twelve, it is good to practice mimicking things. It is really special because then you learn how important music is for different people and how we are all kind of singing about the same things, it’s a really nice feeling. I like to pronounce it in such a way that you feel like your emoting. I know what the song means but I definitely couldn’t explain it to you in French haha”

Speaking of women in country music and how there doesn’t seem to be much of a shift in terms of radio play for women Cam shakes her had and says “we are against a lot of years of patriarchy. It’s so embedded into the systems that now when you go to be a part of something, not just saying things on the internet and not just like being a force that is a female musician but when you go to try and make an organisational change or be part of a task force or for Grammys or ACMs, I feel like you start realising you run into this bureaucracy where people go; “they’re (radio) not aware or educated on what’s going on, like 75% of them are white men over fifty, so it’s not their experience and they don’t understand what it means.” Then when you ask them to change they don’t think it’s a big deal, they don’t think it’s really urgent and they say “oh well we have rules about when we can change things and how we change things” and it’s like “you know you made up all the rules right? You know you can just remake them?” I keep coming to this, a bit of an essential question to myself and I am sure everyone else is asking themselves this too “do we try to restructure the structures that exist or do we just go create new structures? Because will they always be a bit inherently messed up because they came from a different ideology? Also, I don’t know the answer”

Continuing the subject I brought up Taylor Swifts new song The Man which touches on the subject of getting somewhere much quicker and with less obstacles if you are male. “Yeah, oh my god“. I explained to her that we in the UK try and champion women as much as we can she say “You guys do such a good job over here, it’s very thoughtful questions and it’s not just the typical “so what’s it like to be a woman huh? ” haha. Also over here it doesn’t seem like such a big of an issue.” 

Telling her I just brought her independent record and will we ever hear those songs live, she laughs “No, probably not. What happened was there are some really beautiful moments on those but that early stuff, I made it in basements trying to figure out what is music, how do you make it? I had this manager at the time who helped produce the album and sort of co-owns it with me who was an a***hole and he divorced my friend and even to this day he is an a***hole. All I can think about with that record, which isn’t fair to the songs is f*** that guy haha. I think most artists have a similar story and it’s how you have to learn.” 

The album cover has Cam with straight hair, so I mentioned it to her and how I loved it. “My mum had curly hair and she grew up and was teased about it. So she would straighten her hair and blow dry her hair. When we grew up she taught us how to straighten and blow dry our hair and when I first started wearing my hair curly, she was like “Oh but it just looks so pretty straight”. I was like “mum this is just how my hair looks and it’s going to be great”. You could tell she was so nervous for me. Early on you think that pretty is whatever the magazines or your mum taught you. It does look cute straight but I love it curly”. 

Having to end it there, we explain our excitement for her set and she says she cannot wait and then wishes us good luck in our friendship. Laughing we tell her we will keep her updated in a years time haha.

Whilst grateful for the five minutes (as all interviews were at The Long Road) I wish it could have been more as I could have spoken to her all day. A very interesting woman, Cam is such an important artist and voice to women in music and we cannot wait for a new album.

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