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Camaron Marvel Ochs (born November 19, 1984), known professionally as Cam, is an American country music singer and songwriter. Her music incorporates elements taken from contemporary pop music. She began her career as a songwriter, composing material for several artists including Sam Smith[3] and Miley Cyrus. In 2010, she released her debut studio album Heartforward on an independent record label. In 2015, she released her official album Untamed on Arista Nashville. She has shared the stage with major artists including Smith, Harry Styles, George Strait, and Tim McGraw and Faith Hill.

Country singer Cam at Bra Country Concert.jpg
Cam performing live in 2016.
Born
Camaron Marvel Ochs[1]

(1984-11-19) November 19, 1984 (age 34)[2]
Occupation
  • Singer
  • songwriter
Years active2010–present
Home townLafayette, California, U.S.
Spouse(s)
Adam Weaver
(m. 2016)
Musical career
Genres
Instruments
Labels
Websitecamcountry.com

Signing with Sony Music Entertainment, she released her debut major label EP in March 2015, Welcome to Cam Country. The album's second track "Burning House" was played on the Bobby Bones Show and has since received widespread acclaim, including a Best Country Solo Performance nomination at the 58th Annual Grammy Awards. The song was certified Double Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). She launched her second studio album, Untamed, in December 2015 on the success of the song.

Contents

Early lifeEdit

Cam was born in Huntington Beach, California.[4] She was raised in Lafayette, California, a suburb in the San Francisco Bay Area.[5] She also spent time in Oceanside, California, where her grandparents operated a ranch. They helped develop Cam's appreciation for country music, listening to and performing it regularly.[6] She pursued music throughout high school and college, singing in various choral groups.[7] This included performing in the Contra Costa Children's Chorus, where she learned to sing in 14 languages. She attended the University of California, Davis as an undergraduate student, studying psychology.[2][8] She formed an all-female collegiate a cappella group called The Spokes and learned to play the guitar while studying abroad in the Netherlands. She developed confidence in playing the instrument on a trip to Nepal. Taking residency in a rural mountain community, she lived for several weeks with limited electricity and basic needs. She developed a friendship with Canadian musicians and started playing the guitar more consistently. In a 2010 interview, Cam stated that she grew more confident in playing once from the trip.[7]

Cam sporadically performed music following college, but mostly pursued other interests. She worked in research labs, including one at Stanford University. Yet, she remained conflicted about the choices she made.[9] A meeting with a fellow college professor influenced Cam's choice to embark on a full-fledged music career. The professor said to her, "Just picture yourself at 80 years old. Looking back at your life, what would you regret not doing: music or psychology?'"[9][10]

CareerEdit

2010–2014: Early beginningsEdit

In 2010, Cam released her debut studio album titled Heartforward under the name "Camaron Ochs". It was released under the independent label, Rubber Room Records and contained contemporary pop songs.[11] Amber Schadewald of the San Francisco Bay Guardian called the album a brand of folk pop that "is light and sweet, with genuine lyrics that ask listeners to live with their 'heartforward'". Songs written for the project were based on experiences from her trip to Nepal. She promoted Heartforward through performances in Oakland and San Francisco, California. This included shows at the Stork Club and Mama Buzz.[7]

Cam soon moved to Los Angeles, California, and began collaborating with Tyler Johnson. She recorded some demos with Johnson in an attempt to attract Faith Hill, eventually leading to the recordings being heard by Tim McGraw's manager.[5] Her song "Fall Madly in Love with You" was chosen as a track for Cut to Impress, the 2013 debut album from Maggie Rose.[12][13] She is also credited with the song "Maybe You're Right" on Bangerz, the 2013 studio album from Miley Cyrus.[14] She soon moved to Nashville, Tennessee, and began writing music for other artists, turning down a publishing deal in attempt to prove herself on her own.[5][15] She launched a Kickstarter campaign in 2013 to produce 10 songs with Johnson.[16] The campaign was supported by producer Jeff Bhasker, known best for his work with artists that include Beyoncé, fun., Bruno Mars, and P!nk.[5] The same year Cam toured Denmark and Sweden with Helsingborg band Karavan, having previously collaborated with Anders Mouridsen of the group while in Los Angeles.[14]

Cam released a single in 2013 titled "Down This Road" with the encouragement of manager Lindsay Marias. Through a photo posted on Instagram, local radio director Michael Bryan discovered the song and played it on the air. According to Cam, radio airplay of the single helped her choose which label she wanted to sign to. Ultimately, she chose to meet with Doug Morris, the director of Sony Music Entertainment. She flew to the label's headquarters in New York City to meet with him.[14] Using only an acoustic guitar, she sang a song she had already been developing, "Burning House". Morris started humming along to the chorus and stated, "This is the reason why I got into the music business." Morris would later ask her to perform the song at the Songwriters Hall of Fame ceremony.[17] She was soon signed to Sony's country division, Arista Nashville in 2014[18] and toured nationally with Dan + Shay that same year on their Where It All Began tour.[18]

2015–present: breakthrough and careerEdit

Cam's major label debut single was released in early 2015 titled "My Mistake".[18] In March, the song debuted at No. 58 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart.[19] It failed to become a major hit, only reaching the 52nd position on the country songs chart.[20] Still using her full name (Camaron Ochs) during the single's promotion, she ultimately shortened it to "Cam" because some people found her last name "too hard to pronounce".[6] "My Mistake" preceded Cam's debut EP, Welcome to Cam Country, released in March 2015. It contained four songs and production credits were given to fellow collaborators Jeff Bhasker and Tyler Johnson.[21][22] It has since peaked at No. 31 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart, No. 88 on the Billboard 200, and No. 5 on the Top Heatseekers survey.[23]

Cam's next single was chosen to be "Burning House". She performed the song live on the radio program The Bobby Bones Show, which attracted and fueled attention to the song.[1] Shortly after the performance, it became the fastest-rising country single on iTunes that week, reaching the top 20 of its list. Sony then arranged a meeting and decided to release the track as a single on June 16, 2015.[8] The companion video contained memorable images as well as revealing the singer's attractive appearance. "Burning House" became a top-five hit on the Billboard country songs and country airplay charts.[24] It also was the highest-selling female country song of 2015, selling more than 500,000 copies in the United States.[25] Thirdly, the song received a nomination from the 2016 Grammy Awards.[26] Her major label debut album, Untamed was released on December 11, 2015. The album was co-produced with Bhasker and Johnson, consisting of 11 tracks all co-written by Cam.[27] It debuted at number two on the Top Country Albums chart and was the highest-selling debut country studio album of 2015.[24] Rolling Stone ranked the album at number 15 on their list of the "40 Best Country Albums of 2015". The magazine commented, "For an artist at the start of career, Cam already sounds like one of the most secure in the game."[26] "Mayday" was released as the album's third single in February 2016.[28] It was a minor Top 40 hit on the country charts, peaking at number 36 on Billboard Country Airplay.

In October 2017, Cam announced a new single, titled "Diane".[29] She promoted the song with several live performances including on Good Morning America[30], The Late Late Show with James Corden[31], and as a duet with a contestant on American Idol (season 16)[32]. In April 2018, "Diane" was added to the BBC Radio 2 A-list and hit No. 1 on iTunes for 5 weeks. The song was performed by one of the final contestants on the South African talent show Die Kontrack (The Contract).[33]

In 2017, Cam, along with Sam Smith and Tyler Johnson, co-wrote the song "Palace" for Smith's 2017 album The Thrill of It All and providing background vocals and guitar to the track[34]. The song saw international success and was highlighted in the Holiday "Sway" commercial for Apple which led to its hitting No. 1 on the Billboard Top TV Commercials Chart[35]. The widespread embrace of "Palace" included much international success, specifically in Japan, where Smith performed the song on multiple TV talk shows.

Cam opened for Smith on the Summer US leg of his 2018 The Thrill Of It All Tour[36]. Cam has also shared the stage with Tim McGraw and Faith Hill on their Soul2Soul Tour[37] as well as Harry Styles[38] and George Strait.

In July 2018, Cam released "Road to Happiness," the second song that will be off her new album.[39]

ArtistryEdit

Cam was exposed to classic country music at an early age from the time spent on her grandparents' ranch. They introduced her to the musical sounds of Patsy Cline, Bonnie Raitt and Willie Nelson.[2][6] She was largely influenced by the vocal phrasing of Cline and Ray Charles. She also developed an appreciation for the Dixie Chicks and the Indigo Girls, commenting that she was "so into those female harmonies". She additionally cites Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, and Randy Newman as influences on her songwriting style.[10] Although she has a variety of musical influences, Cam stated that country music is where she felt most connected to. In a 2015 interview with Rolling Stone, she explained her reasoning: "I grew up singing in a lot of different languages and a lot of world music choirs, so I have a lot of musical influences. But the songwriting structure of country music is the standard in my mind. ... That structure seems to feel the most homey to me."[40]

Personal lifeEdit

In September 2015, she became engaged to Adam Weaver, a business broker with First Choice Business Brokers in Nashville.[41] In October 2016, the couple married in a small, desert ceremony in California.[42]

Cam is a vocal advocate for music education and inclusion. She spoke on the psychology of music in her 2017 TEDx Talk at the University of Nevada[43]. Cam is on the Academy of Country Music (ACM) Board and was invited to join The Recording Academy's Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion in 2018[44]. Cam joined the speaker list on Hello Sunshine x Together Live's touring event[45] in the Fall of 2018.

DiscographyEdit

Studio albumsEdit

List of studio albums, with selected chart positions, showing other relevant details
Title Album details Peak chart
positions
Sales
US
Country

[46]
US
[47]
AUS
[48]
CAN
[49]
Heartforward
(credited as "Camaron Ochs")
Untamed 2 12 61 43
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Extended playsEdit

List of extended plays, with selected chart positions, showing other relevant details
Title Album details Peak chart
positions
Sales
US
Country

[51]
US
[52]
US
Heat

[53]
Welcome to Cam Country
  • Released: March 31, 2015
  • Label: Arista Nashville, RCA
  • Formats: CD, music download
31 88 5

SinglesEdit

List of singles, with selected chart positions and certifications, showing other relevant details
Title Year Peak chart positions Sales Certifications Album
US Country
[55]
US
Country
Airplay

[56]
US
[57]
US AC
[58]
CAN
Country

[59]
CAN
[60]
SCO
[61]
"Down This Road"[62] 2013 N/A
"My Mistake" 2015 52 Untamed
"Burning House" 2 2 29 21 2 46
"Mayday" 2016 32 36 34
"Diane" 2017 43 43 49 30 N/A
"Road to Happiness"[66] 2018
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Music videosEdit

List of music videos, showing year released and director
Title Year Director
"Burning House"[67] 2015 Trey Fanjoy
"Mayday"[68] 2016 Daniel Carberry
"Diane"[69] 2018

Other appearancesEdit

List of non-single guest appearances, with other performing artists, showing year released and album name
Title Year Other artist(s) Album
"I'll Be Waiting for You"[70] 2016 Vince Gill Down to My Last Bad Habit

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Recipient/Nominated work Association Award Result Ref.
2016 "Burning House" Grammy Awards Best Country Solo Performance Nominated [71]
Academy of Country Music Single Record of the Year [72]
Song of the Year [73]
Video of the Year [72]
Cam New Female Vocalist of the Year [72]
American Music Awards Favorite Female Country Artist
"Burning House" CMA Awards Song of the Year
Music Video of the Year

ToursEdit

Supporting act

Headlining

  • The Burning House Tour (2016)[74]
  • Best Coast Tour (2017)[75]
  • Listening Room Series (2018)[76]
  • "Diane" European Tour (2018)

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Shelburne, Craig (18 June 2015). "Hear Cam's Haunting New Hit Single 'Burning House'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
  2. ^ a b c Netemeyer, Sarah. "Cam Country Trivia Challenge". Country Fancast. Retrieved 23 November 2015.
  3. ^ Kaufman, Gil (9 April 2018). "Watch Cam Perform Haunting Version of 'Palace,' the Song She Wrote for Sam Smith". Billboard. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  4. ^ Rocha, Michael James (November 28, 2017). "Country singer Cam on her musical journey — from Oceanside to Nashville to the Grammys". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d Malone, Dana (5 September 2014). "Pathway to a record deal: Hard work, circumstance and originality take Cam Ochs 'Down The Road'". Sports and Entertainment Nashville. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
  6. ^ a b c Dauphin, Chuck (16 April 2015). "Welcome To Cam Country: Arista Nashville Singer Has a Short Name, Potentially Long Career". Billboard. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
  7. ^ a b c Schadewald, Amber (16 March 2010). "Oakland's Camaron Ochs may inspire folk-pop Barbie". San Francisco Bay Guardian. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
  8. ^ a b Roland, Tom. "Country Singer Cam Dreams Up a Smoldering Ballad With 'Burning House'". Billboard. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
  9. ^ a b Ryan, Patrick. "On the Verge: Cam". USA Today. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
  10. ^ a b Hight, Jewly. "Why 'Burning House' Singer Cam Gave Up Psychology for Country Music". Billboard. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
  11. ^ Deming, Mark. "Cam: Biography and History". Allmusic. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
  12. ^ "Yes they Cam". HitsDailyDouble. Hits Digital Ventures. April 10, 2015. Retrieved October 7, 2015.
  13. ^ Radloff, Jessica (20 April 2015). "Here's What Really Happened Behind the Scenes at the ACM Awards Last Night". Glamour Magazine. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
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  16. ^ Inglis, Nicole (20 December 2012). "Country star on the rise with support from Steamboat locals". Steamboat Today. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
  17. ^ Rau, Nate. "Sony Music CEO Doug Morris touts Nashville up-and-comers". The Tennesseean. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
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  30. ^ Matthews, Lauren (4 April 2018). "Watch Dolly Parton Surprise Country Singer Cam On 'Good Morning America'". Country Living. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
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  35. ^ Zellner, Xander (11 January 2018). "Sam Smith's 'Palace' Hits No. 1 on Top TV Commercials Chart for December". Billboard. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  36. ^ Betts, Stephen L. (7 June 2018). "Cam Joins Sam Smith's Thrill of It All Tour". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  37. ^ Parton, Chris (19 March 2018). "Tim McGraw, Faith Hill's Soul2Soul Tour Taps Devin Dawson, Caitlyn Smith". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  38. ^ Nelson, Jeff (29 September 2017). "Harry Styles Invited Country Star Cam to Open His Nashville Show: 'He's Even Better Than All the Hype'". People. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
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  65. ^ "American single certifications – Cam – Burning House". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 
  66. ^ Hoffman, Lauren. "Cam Takes the "Road To Happiness" with New Track It is the follow up to her previous single, "Diane"!". Radio.com. Retrieved 24 July 2018.
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  74. ^ Betts, Stephen L. (29 August 2016). "Cam Plots Headlining Burning House Tour". Rolling Stone.
  75. ^ McKenna, Brittney (28 September 2017). "Cam Unveils 2017 Best Coast Tour of California, Pacific Northwest". Rolling Stone.
  76. ^ Freeman, Jon (13 March 2018). "Cam Plots Stripped-Down 'Listening Room Series' Tour". Rolling Stone.

External linksEdit