Cameron AG: "Oasis, Radiohead, Supergrass - they got me into that idea of wanting to be in a band"
Cameron AG’s heartfelt tunes are expertly crafted.
Published: 11:04 am, November 29, 2016
Winter is certainly all around us. Those long nights of chilly breezes, smoke rising from mouths as breath gets frozen in early morning commutes and a sharp rise in scarf sales - there’s no season quite like it. There’s a warming beauty to it all, something that can equally be shared with Cameron AG. Mesmeric choruses and soul-searching anthems abound from a songwriter who has seen a twelve months full of surprises, national acclaim and growing audiences. It’s been a journey that has seen Cameron cement the years of tireless dedication and band-jumping to finally stand out on his own.
“If you’d told me this time last year that I’d be up there playing at Reading with my music, I just wouldn’t quite believe you,” exclaims Cameron. The Oxford native has had music in his blood from an early age, right from the moment where his Dad bought him a drum kit at the age of six for Christmas - encouraging Cameron to step out into the musical world. Without even knowing it, he was laying a path for the years ahead.
“I got into drumming before music,” he explains. “I was having lessons and playing bits and bobs but it really kicked in around Britpop and Oasis. Those first two Oasis records, I got on cassette when I was about 10 or 11 and I was like, ‘Wow’. I grew up through that whole era and there was some really great stuff going on through Oxford, obviously there’s Radiohead but then there was Supergrass around too. It really got me into that idea of wanting to be in a band.”
Surrounded by a musical scene producing some of the most successful bands of their time, Cameron’s teenage years were spent following that dream he saw being played out in venues all around him, leading to him playing drums for a variety of acts and performing across the country.
“I just played drums throughout my teens, forming bands at school and stuff, gigging around a bit and playing in London - it’s all really exciting when you’re that age. But it was at that time I picked up the guitar as well along with the piano, briefly fronting a band before it opened the way to do this solo stuff.”
Stepping out on his own, Cameron has truly found his distinctive voice - writing the sorts of soothing tracks that could break the hardest of souls down in a brutally raw fashion. Drawing on love, loss and loneliness all in one uncompromising punch. Cameron AG is a true gatekeeper of human emotion. The freedom to explore such topics is something he never would of done when gigging around with his mate.
“When you suddenly bill it as just you, you can write songs that come from your deepest feelings. When you’re writing in a band there’s the thought that you’ve got to take those songs to your mates, and then rehearse them and then get asked what it’s all about so you do kind of write for a specific genre. When you start writing for yourself, you just take it wherever it goes. In some ways it’s a lot easier, because there isn't that mould you need to fit to.”
That sense of freedom lives through breakout number ‘Lost Direction’, a spine-chilling cut that saw Annie Mac immediately pick it up as one of her Hottest Records. Built on a gentle piano line packed full of echoing voices and open spaces, its heartbreaking results sound akin to Antony and The Johnsons in full flight. Written and recorded alongside a batch of tracks over twelve months ago, it’s a journey that never really had a determined end point.
“All of the first few tracks were made with a friend of mine in the studio, where we got like an album’s worth of tracks together,” remembers Cameron. “We were recording and not really thinking about being a band or anything specific, but once we’d finished recording we kinda just thought, well, what’s next!?
“It started out with just the track and I did a couple of solo shows on my own, and then it grew into having a band together around it and we just took it from there.”
Debut EP ‘Way Back Home’ came as Cameron’s opening gambit to the world, full of that bristling and heartfelt spirit which flowed through ‘Lost Direction’. His next step is equally as dazzling, his second EP ‘Homeward Bound’ heading further into the stratosphere with a more euphoric result - but still retaining that core intimate voice Cameron is fast becoming known for.
“It was a different approach on this one,” he elaborates. “The last one I really created all by myself so it was nice this time to have the guys there that I’ve been touring with and get the band aspect into the recording.”
If tracks ‘Walk Your Line’ and ‘Heroes’ are anything to go by, then it could be the arms in the air moment where Cameron AG goes even further - taking his tales of the heart to a completely new level. After that, the work continues on the end goal, a full album under his own name and the chance to take those raw recordings on the road to bigger stages and the soon-to-be captivated masses.
“That’s been the goal right from the start, even when that first single came out there’s been an album’s worth of stuff there so we’re sitting on quite a load of songs,” enthuses Cameron. “There will be an album - I just cant say when it will be, how or where, but there will be one and I can’t wait.”
Winter is most certainly here, and the only warmer you’ll need is Cameron AG.
Taken from the November issue of Dork. Cameron AG’s new EP ‘Homeward Bound’ is out now.
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