10 Questions With Camie

December 15, 2020

Another "10 Questions Interview" Session today! This time we will be diving into the Alternative Folk genre! We had a great time interviewing today's artist. Check below our 10 questions with Camie!

What were you natural at when you were kid?

Telling stories and observing other people, I think. I'm an IVF baby and only child, so a lot of my amusement (and sense of wonder) as a kid came from people watching and writing stories about whatever was around me. I definitely spent a lot of my childhood in my own head and in solitude, but from that, I became really comfortable with being alone and being creative to keep myself occupied.

What's the best thing you got from one of your parents?

My parents raised me on 60s and 70s folk and rock, on a lot of the music that was popular when they were growing up: James Taylor, Carole King, Carly Simon, Fleetwood Mac, Dylan, etc. My favourite was always Joni Mitchell, who to this day is my biggest musical inspiration. Her discography is unlike anything else ever created; I personally love her later jazz-infused stuff, like Turbulent Indigo (1994). She is, without question, the most influential female recording artist of the last century (and one of the most influential, period) - she changed the game for every other artist who came after her; for female artists, especially. That gift of music, and of poetry, is invaluable.

What inspires you?

Everything inspires me! Beyond music, I work in a lot of other mediums: playwriting, performance, installation, photography, conceptual work. Articulating the nature of inspiration is so difficult because it's always in flux. It comes from everywhere! And from the most random places, too. I think the key to being creative is remaining open minded to everything. You never know when you'll get that "that's a song!" moment. I guess I'd say that, most of all, I'm inspired by getting out in the world and seeking out new experiences, meeting new people, doing anything that takes me out of my routine. It's important to be a fully rounded person, to embrace the world, to push yourself to do new things. And of course relationships between people: familial, romantic, sexual, friendly -- love inspires me, in all forms. It's the best thing we have in this weird, complicated world!

What is your creative process like?

It looks differently for every project. Usually there's a lot of chaos, phone notes, self doubt, courage. For my forthcoming album, 'troubadour', I spent two months looking through old photographs and journal entries from my time overseas. I'd spent a year abroad in London - which was the happiest time of my life - and I'd moved home in September of 2020, between the first and second waves of the Covid-19 pandemic. I wrote all of the songs on the record in retrospect, using some of my most vivid memories from my time away to create a conceptual series of stories that paint a portrait of a young woman moving through vast physical and emotional landscapes, running away from home but haunted by her knowledge of that eventual return. When I was completely isolated and living alone in quarantine, I looked to the past to self soothe. It takes me awhile to sit with impressions of things - images, stories, characters - before I turn them into something more solid and concrete. I think ideas need time to fester; that time in isolation forced me to reckon with everything that I'd experienced in the year before.

Who would you most like to collaborate with?

I'm open to all kinds of collaboration! Although I work mostly in alternative folk, one of the songs on my record [single 'parasite,' out July 28] is definitely more in the alt-pop terrain. I've never co-written before; all of my writing happens in isolation, so I'd love to get into a room with other writers, in other genres, in all different styles, and see what happens. I'm hoping that the release of this album opens up those opportunities for me. That would be wicked!

What is your favourite song to perform?

I made a bedroom folk album two years ago, called 'renegade (acoustic)' and before the pandemic, I loved to play this song called "the fool." It's got some of my favourite lyrics ever written; I think it kind of gets lost in its poetry, but at the time I felt like it really struck my core. I get a kick out of singing really revealing lyrics about myself to a crowd of complete strangers. I much prefer that to performing in front of people I know. Now, I don't know! I'm looking forward to playing these new songs live; I know one of them will become my new favourite.

What's your favourite thing to do in your free time?

Honestly, I love taking long bubble baths and watching trashy reality TV shows. It's how I de-stress. All of the industries in which I work require a lot of mental and emotional energy on my part. I spend a lot of time reading dense material, writing about heavy emotions, and/or staring at a computer screen, writing. I love putting the laptop away and watching The Bachelor/ette on Monday nights, or RuPaul's Drag Race. I've also gotten really into cooking in the past year, and there's honestly nothing better than spending a good chunk of time making yourself a big, super satisfying meal. Self care and rest are integral to the creative process, and (more importantly) to being a balanced and healthy human being.

How would you describe the music that you typically create?

Dreamy, cinematic, ambient, romantic, atmospheric. I'm really focused on story and poetry, so I feel like lyricism takes centre stage in my work. I've been using 'alternative folk' and 'indie folk' interchangeably as genre markers, but then there's a song like 'parasite', which just goes in a completely different alt-pop direction. I love music that doesn't conform to expectations of genre; I love cross-collaborations of style and form.

What would you be doing right now, if it wasn’t for your music career?

I'm actually getting my PhD in Information right now, with collaborative specializations in Sexual Diversity Studies and Knowledge Media Design. I'm really into queer design justice; in short, I'm interested in creative and technical solutions to systemic inequalities. If I wasn't making music, I'd be... still doing my PhD, and still writing plays, and I'd probably find some other outlet for all the emotions that I'd usually express through music! But music has always been so sacred to me; I can't imagine myself not doing it.

If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?

The imbalanced distribution of wealth, the expectation that artists do hours and hours of unpaid labour for 'exposure', the exploitation of (usually young and marginalized) artists for corporate gain, and the fact that there are so many talented people out there whose music is flying under the radar because they can't hack an algorithm in their favour. I also just want artistically inclined people to know that, no matter what, their creativity is enough. Creativity is for the self, for the soul, not for the stream numbers. I feel like there's such an immense pressure for artists to feel like their work has to be perfect, that they can't take risks and fail. But failure is one of the most important parts of the creative process. Being brave enough to play is being brave enough to fail. Sometimes we as creative people/artists lose sight of why we create in the first place; we have to keep reminding ourselves by keeping that sense of play alive.

Message from the artist.

Watch the 'claudia' OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO now!

Check out 'Camie' on Spotify for all new releases (new single 'parasite' coming July 28, and LP 'troubadour' coming August 6th):


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