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Together with American Songwriter and Sean Ulbs of The Eiffels, we had the pleasure of interviewing Cam over Zoom video!
“One second, let me just put a baby on a boob!” Camaron Ochs, or Cam professionally and to her friends, is at home at the start of 2020. The new decade not only brings her re-entry into music with a brand new album of her best ever work, but it welcomes Cam too as a first-time mother having just given birth over the holiday season. The 35-year-old has an old soul but a young heart and she has always approached her career and her artistry in the way only Cam knows how. Prolific and adored, Cam has had a tremendous start in the industry. She has co-written with Sam Smith for his album (the song also became the soundtrack for an exquisite Apple commercial) and toured with him around North America. She lent her writing voice to Miley Cyrus’ Bangerz album and she opened for Harry Styles at the legendary Ryman in Nashville. Forget genres, there is a deeper through-line at work: individuals in pursuit of earnest self-awareness. And they continue supporting each other as both Smith and Styles have writing credit on Cam’s new album.
This commitment to her own truth has led to some of her proudest moments outside of her music (giving a TED talk, working in both the GRAMMY and ACM Diversity & Inclusion Task Force) and it’s the reason for some of the most difficult moments as well. She took a stand in 2018 and asked to be separated from Sony Nashville, whose operations were not in line with her values. For that reason, it’s been five years since her debut LP which came hot off the tail of Grammy, CMA & ACM nominated hit in ‘Burning House’ (still the best-selling country song by a female solo artist over the past 5 years) and two years since the release of global favorite ‘Diane’ – a modern-day ‘Jolene’.
It was a move that often jeopardizes an artist’s career but the risk paid off. Now working solely with RCA, she bought herself some time, and with it, she refined songs, and her voice strengthened via multiple international tours. She hustled despite the stress of the situation. She didn’t wait for someone to wave a magic wand. “The whole body of work is better for having gone through that crazy shit. That’s life, right?” she says. The album is the one she wanted to make, how she wanted to make it. The songs were written in LA, Nashville and NYC over the past three years. She used the same collaborators in executive producers Tyler Johnson (Harry Styles, Sam Smith) and Grammy winner Jeff Bhasker (Kanye West, Bruno Mars), who she calls her fellow “tinkerers”.
The songs on the resulting LP The Otherside contain that kind of classic familiarity that means you only need to hear them once before they’re rolling around in your head. The lead single ‘Till There’s Nothing Left’ is a sexy power ballad that moves like an uptempo. It’s an unashamed from-the-gut testament to giving your everything to your one true love.
The Otherside is so titled because it contains songs and stories from the perspective of hindsight, once the dust has settled, and they’re written from Cam’s purest heart pangs. Cam writes openly about her gorgeous relationship with her husband (‘Like A Movie’, ‘Classic’), and she also writes damningly about her own inability to get over lovers past (‘Forgetting You When I’m Alone’), and about the messy endings of her friends’ relationships (‘What Goodbye Means’). It’s about falling in love in those back seats, then falling out of it as the same cars drive away from you never to be seen again.
It’s novel to listen to an album with so many love songs while the world burns, but it’s necessary. There’s something about our big optimistic pursuit of romance that keeps us standing still. Cam’s tales are so lovely they inspire hope for anyone who seeks something similar.
“You do it your own way and you make sure it’s visible so other people don’t have to feel so alone in it,” she says. Who needs normal when you have Cam?
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