Pop artist and songwriter Cameron James, based in Nashville, has just released her much-anticipated follow-up single 'Born To Bring the Light'. LTTM spoke to her to find out a little more about her background and her thoughts on making music.
For those who haven't heard of you before, can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got involved in making music?
I've always loved to sing. I grew up singing in church and at performances in school. Up until college everything I did was performance driven. I sang in choir, school musicals, local coffee shops. It wasn't until I attended Belmont University that I started actually writing music. I heard a melody in my head, wrote lyrics to it, and then sang it to my friend's boyfriend. He figured out the chords to what I was singing and the rest is history. I was hooked. I absolutely love songwriting. Collaborating with other writers has allowed me to write all kinds of genres of music. I'm really proud of my musical history and progression.
Tell us about your new single 'Born To Bring the Light'
"Born to Bring the Light' is about the revealing of destiny after a devastating heartbreak. I have a 6 year-old daughter who was diagnosed with an ultra rare disease called atypical Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (aHUS). We spent 15 days in the hospital where they initially thought she had leukemia. It was eventually revealed that she had this ultra rare disease and it was so scary. There is only one treatment for this disease and the pressure of "what if this doesn't work?" was intense. God was with me in that fire and calmed that storm. Then three years later the unthinkable happened... my husband is the genetic carrier of the disease and he became sick last May. They say for every million people there are two with this disease. For us to have two in our family makes us the ultra rare of the ultra rare. I never saw that path when I dreamed about my life, but being ultra rare doesn't change anything about our ultra rare God. Sickness and disease don't come from heaven and the reality of having an enemy became very real. However, so did God's power. He did not leave me afraid. I grabbed hold of Him and He led me through the valley of the shadow of death. On the other side of this I feel like God has awakened a warrior inside of me. "Born to Bring the Light" is about becoming the warrior and God's faithfulness to me.
If you could work with any songwriter, who would it be and why?
Ryan Tedder. Hands down. I'm seriously praying and believing that God will cross our paths. He writes epic songs. Anthemic songs. Those are my favorite kind. I also love that he plays around with genre so you can tell he doesn't think with limits. I like visionaries and creatives like that.
How would you describe your style of music and what are your influences?
My style of music is very pop and dramatic at the moment. I've been focused on TV/film stuff for awhile and that lends itself to being cinematic in places, but I will always be anchored in pop music. Influences would be Amy Grant because she was able to weave pop and Christian music together. I love how honest her work has always been. She's a songwriter and a mother and showed you could be good at both. I also love Nat King Cole. I have a huge love for the classics. Nat King Cole had a tone to his voice that was so beautiful and I always thought the tone to my voice was what was special about me.
How would you define success in your career?
I would define success in my career as my music going out and bringing people hope. I want people to feel connected to the fight and the struggle yet lifted to a place of faith. I want people to feel empowered and encouraged and comforted. That hopefully listening gives them an extra ability to 'hold on' despite whatever it is they are going through. One of my favorite things about God is that He leaves the 99 for the 1. I want to always have the same heart for the one that God did.
What has been your career highlight so far?
A career highlight so far would be performing a new song on my up-coming album called "All Is Not Lost" in Washington DC last October. It was for a charity gala that assists those who are chronically ill. This charity is also helping to raise awareness about a bill that, if it is passed, would permanently protect patient rights to receive charitable assistance. I wrote that song about holding on to hope. To be able to perform it in front of congressmen, humanitarians, and people who are trying to impact the world for good felt very victorious and a full-circle moment of how "God was working all things together for good."
What is your favorite album of all time?
Favorite album of all time? Sheesh. I'm going to go with The Unforgettable album by Nat King Cole. As soon as "The Very Thought Of You" begins, I just start to relax. It reminds me of a more romantic time...
You're stuck on an island, it's hot, you only have enough battery life left to listen to one song on your mp3 player. What track is it?
Only able to listen to one song.... Coldplay's "Viva La Vida." I mean that song just makes you feel like everything's going to be okay. Those strings... just epic!
What does the next year hold for Cameron James?
This next year holds all the new music. Travel. Shows. Hopefully more collaborations and more opportunities to testify to the goodness of God in the land of the living.