FORT LORAMIE — What a difference a year can make …
Just a year after bursting on the music scene with “Burning House,” California-born singer/songwriter Cam is starting to reap the rewards from years of hard work.
She has a No. 1 smash to her credit, a slew of award nominations and is starting to find her place in an ever-changing country music industry.
Friday she’ll introduce herself to Fort Loramie fans when she steps out onto the Saloon Stage at 7 p.m. for this year’s Country Concert at Hickory Hill Lakes.
Looking back on her recent success, Cam said she’s excited to see how fans have embraced her music.
“We were kind of joking about that the other day. Success and money are not things that you can internalize. It is, of course, wonderful to have them. I definitely feel better than when I started,” she said. “In the beginning, you’re so nervous and wondering, ‘Are these even songs?’ And when people actually like them and when you start singing them and the faces in the crowd have the same look on them that they’re feeling the same emotions I felt when I wrote the song – you all get to share that moment together – that’s when it sinks in that it’s a special thing.”
The huge success of “Burning House” helped get that ball rolling.
The emotionally charged song from her Arista Nashville/RCA label debut album, “Untamed” has been downloaded more than a million times in the past year – the only tune by a country female artist to eclipse the mark during that span – and helped Cam garner a Grammy nomination and six nods from the Academy of Country Music.
Her follow-up single, “Mayday,” also delves into relationship territory.
“‘Mayday’ is about when you’ve been in a relationship too long. I think most people have it happen at some point … you have to learn how to love people and love yourself. I kept thinking that I could fix the things that were wrong, and the things that were not perfect I should just accept. Before you learn where your limits are, you have this feeling that you’re stuck in it … and should you stay or go?” she said. “That’s when I think people really do need a song. Once you’re out of (that relationship) it’s so obvious. But it’s a very natural thing to want to fix it.”
Cam chose to emulate pilot Amelia Earhart for the “Mayday” video.
“(Earhart) wanted to fly at a time when there weren’t many women pilots – which made her so inspirational to a subset of people who didn’t have the same opportunities as everybody else,” she said, pointing to a parallel with country music. “There is this kind of thing in country music right now where there aren’t a lot of women. I like embracing the fact that I’m putting another female narrative out there. I want women to see that you can be a singer or a pilot and you can be the lead in your own story.”
The 31-year-old artist said she and her close-knit band plan on mixing it up a bit for their first appearance in Fort Loramie.
“The set ranges from up-tempo to angry head-banging to really funny country ‘never-been-pretty’ lyrics. And I do a lot of hand moves … kind of like a ‘dolly,’” she joked. “I used to tour in Scandinavia a lot and I wasn’t sure if they would understand English and I would mime things a lot, so now I have I have it and can’t get rid of it.
“Even though I’m a relatively new artist, the band is really close,” she continued. “We’ve been sort of a family for a long time … and you can tell we’re all having a really good time on the stage.”
With the kind of success they’ve enjoyed the past year, it’s easy to see why.
For more information about Cam or to check out her complete tour schedule, visit www.camuntamed.com. To learn more about Country Concert, go to www.countryconcert.com.
You can reach the writer at [email protected]