Cameron Hayes is not your average run of the mill pop singer. With her poignant lyrics and dark, contrasting aesthetic she emanates deep feelings within her music.
Releasing her debut single ‘Drown’, and subsequent music video, we caught up with the singer to find out everything about her.
Firstly, tell us a bit about you? Have you always been musical?
Hey! Thanks so much for having me. I am Cameron Hayes, 21 and a British singer/ songwriter. I have always been musical for as long as I can remember, I grew up with the radio always on, the TV was always on MTV so some of my earliest memories are 00’s music videos. The style is having an awesome resurgence at the minute, which I’m really thinking of incorporating into my own work.
We saw you attended the The Academy of Contemporary Music. How important do you think it was to study music?
I was very lucky to have the opportunity to go to university, I had a great time and came out with a first so I’m not complaining, but I definitely don’t think you need to study music to be in the industry. I think that having good musical knowledge, being able to play an instrument and having life experiences are just as important. Music is something you can learn about in a lecture, but actually doing the real thing is so important.
How would you describe your musical style?
I’d say I’m somewhere in the vicinity of ‘alternative electro-rock/pop’, if you can imagine what that sounds like! I’d say the music I make is authentic and honest; songs always come from something I have experienced, whether directly involving me or just being a bystander. But I look towards the production of the song as much as recording, as it can encourage a whole other level of appreciation for a song.
Your new single ‘Drown’ has been released recently, tell us a bit about it. We saw an awesome video for it too, are you planning to be in all your videos?
Yes, my new single ‘Drown’ came out last month. The song describes the period of time I was going through when I wrote it, through the metaphor of drowning. I love the music video we created for ‘Drown’. I loved being in it and felt it helped to establish a narrative to the song, but I can’t wait to do a video where I’m behind the camera. One of my favourite music videos, the song ‘If I Get High’ by Nothing But Thieves, doesn’t feature any of the band members, and instead is a story portrayed by RJ Mitte (Walter White JR from Breaking Bad). It turned from being a music video to being a piece of art, and it makes the song so much more powerful. You should really check it out.
How important do you think the visual element to your music is, such as artwork and videos?
I think the visuals for my projects are so important – it helps the listener visualise the music I make, but offers other ways to interpret the art I’m trying to put out there.
If you could collaborate with one person who would it be?
I’ve always been such a huge fan of SG Lewis and would love to work with him one day, his whole vibe is amazing and he’s one of my fave producers at the moment. I’m also a huge fan of UPSAHL and her songs, and think if we worked on a track together that it would be so sick!
Let’s talk about you playing live, we’ve seen your covers on just a piano but we’re told you play with a full band? What’s the setup like?
Yes! There’s currently 3 of us – Gareth Spicer on drums, Rob Macfarlane on synths and then I sing and play guitar/piano. I absolutely love playing with them – for years it would just be me on piano and now to be up on stage with 2 other people, it’s so exciting! It adds a whole other level to my music live.
Do you get nervous before performing?
I have bad performance anxiety so performing is always a rollercoaster for me, but something I love more than anything! It’s a pretty scary thing going on stage and sharing part of your soul through your songs, and beforehand of course you’re going to be nervous! But then right as I’m about to go on, I suddenly switch and then, bam! I’m on stage and ready to go! It’s honestly a crazy experience but there’s nothing like being on stage.
What has been your favourite live performance and why?
My favourite performance was a few months back at The Bedford in Balham. It was only my second show with my band but it went so well, it felt like we had been playing together for years. The sound in the venue was brilliant and it’s so beautiful there; it’s a big circular room with an upstairs indoor balcony the whole way around the room! It was just such a lovely night!
What would be your dream venue?
I’d say O2 Shepherds Bush Empire, as I’ve seen so many of my favourite artists there that it would be mad if I was ever on the side with the stage! I also have so many great memories of artists there that it feels so special to me.
What music have you been listening to recently?
I’ve been getting into French electro pop at the moment, my favourite being ‘Amour Plastique’ by video club and ‘Calvaire’ by Spill Tab. I have a playlist on Spotify called ‘The Meritocracy Playlist’ that I update every Monday with my 10 favourite songs of the week, check it out!
Finally, what can we expect from Cameron Hayes in the future?
I’ve got a new single on the way next month! This one is a bit more rock and I’m hoping to do a video for this one too! As we’re currently in lock down it may be a little tricky but we’re trying to come up with some fun ideas!