It’s well documented that the music industry is exceptionally male dominated, however when you look at micro sectors, the problem looks even worse. In the world of electronic and dance music, the situation is dire. Last year a push for festivals to have a 50-50 Female/Male artist split gained speed, only for less than a handful to achieve this goal. How, in 2020, is this possible? The talent is quite clearly there, yet people choose not to acknowledge it. One artist who recently captured my interest in this section of the industry is Camden Cox. A vocalist who has been making electronic music for several years, recently gaining momentum thanks to 4 successful singles this year. We catch up with the rising star to talk about the challenges she’s faced and where her future lies in the music world.
Camden started writing songs in her late teens, after years of honing her vocal abilities.
“I started by writing poems and then desperately trying to shape them into melodies! It’s not something I was immediately good at but after finding beats on Soundcloud and sending ideas to producers, I got there in the end.”
Thought provoking song writing isn’t something you regularly come across in dance music, honing her craft for this long has given the artist a genuine way of standing out.
When entering the industry there was only one section Camden had in her sights.
“I grew up on dance music! My mum was a club promoter and my dad a drummer, so it was only gonna be dance music or rock, but I gravitated heavily towards dance. I’d get home from school to drum n bass pumping through the house and I loved it so much.”
The vocalist has carved her own lane into the dance world – many choose to go down the producing route, however, vocalists are often required to give productions a touch of emotion.
It’s hard to find a ‘Jack of all trades’ in the dance world, therefore collaboration plays a key role in day to day life. This is especially evident for Camden who doesn’t produce her own beats.
“Collaborating is massively important, I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing if it wasn’t for the producers I work with, I love both collaborating and featuring on other DJ’s tracks, as well as carrying my own project, as I think they come hand in hand, especially in this genre. A lot of my own songs are produced by people I collaborate with like Leftwing Kody, they’ve produced some of my own material too.”
Despite collaboration being a passion of Camden’s, it doesn’t come without an occasional problem or two. The singer often appears on songs produced by her male counterparts yet takes far less plaudits than the producer – sometimes being ignored completely.
“The featured vocalist always gets less love and credit and it shouldn’t be the way. Even when the song is a straight up collab, for example my Leftwing Kody and Joe Stone collabs were credited as ‘& Camden Cox’ but most of the radio presenters only shouted out their names. It’s a difficult pill to swallow but it’s just the way it is, no idea why! I would love to see a change there. This only encourages me more to release my own music because then there’s no other names taking the throne.”
Gaining recognition for your work shouldn’t be as challenging as it is for female vocalists. Neither should you be pushed towards another genre simply because you don’t fit in with the status quo.
“Being in such a male dominated genre can be challenging sometimes because my music might not get taken as seriously. I’ve been encouraged so many times to lean more into pop and stop competing with all the DJ’s but it’s just not me! My music belongs in the clubs too! Another challenge is when you spend time toplining and doing vocals on a track for a DJ, to then hear it on the radio with a different singer and topline! It happens all the time because they want to try different writers and voices, but you won’t really find out you didn’t make the cut until you see it on New Music Friday or hear it on the radio.”
Despite the challenges Camden has faced, she’s fought through them all, and now, after 4 successful singles in 2020, she has a tonne of momentum behind her.
“Honestly, it’s been my best year yet, me and my management have tried to be really particular in crafting my sound and working with the right collaborators. It’s just such a shame that 2020 has also been a bit of a write off so far! I wish I could be out there gigging the new songs, but it’ll be worth it when the time comes. The songs have all done well in their own right and have helped build the momentum I need. I’ll keep them coming!”
As the artist acknowledges, 2020 has been her best year yet, given the current situation it’s a real shame that her latest hits haven’t had the chance to grace the dance floor. Camden’s most recent release – ‘Apart’ – encapsulates everything she’s about, it’s fast, it’s relentless and the song writing is emotive. The song’s has gained almost 200,000 streams in less than a month. Her other 2 most recent singles – ‘Healing’ and ‘Mind Control’ – both gained over 1.3 million plays, cementing her place as a true rising star in the dance world.
Despite not hearing her music on the dancefloor, Camden made the most of quarantine – further honing her craft, whilst also limiting the pressure on herself.
“I’ve been writing as much as I can still, via Zoom and Skype! We are super lucky to have those platforms as we can still co-write with others, it’s not the same but it still works! I’ve gotten really good at recording and producing my own vocals, it’s amazing what you can learn when you don’t have a choice. Honestly, I just take each day as it comes, if I feel like staying in bed I’ll stay in bed, if I feel like I can’t write I’ll watch films instead. Emotions are unpredictable during this time, so I constantly remind myself to not put too much pressure on myself!”
With big things to come later this year and endless levels of ambition for the future, you already know Camden will go on to do great things.
“I’ve already started collecting material for an album! I’m not sure even when that might happen but it’s something I’d love to work towards. For the more immediate future, I’ll be releasing another 1-2 solo singles this year, and another collaboration! Also, to get my live show up and running so I can get performing! I would love to do my own tour one day.”