- Raheem Nelson
A Conversation With @CamcordWilliams
Lost In Space is a musical journey through the mind of a creative, where artist Camron Williams tells you everything he is thinking over atmospheric, sometimes futuristic beats that feel like they were curated for a NASA exhibit. I had the honor of sitting down with the producer, singer, rapper, songwriter and engineer to discuss his musical origins, his album, and artistic growth.
Taylor: Where did you grow up, and how did that influence your musical taste and style?
Camron Williams: Well, I’m originally from Georgia - shout-out Cairo, Georgia - but I moved from Georgia to Orlando, FL and gained a lot of different musical influences down there. This is back when the whole pop thing was a big deal. Backstreet Boys, *NSYNC & Britney Spears were big so it kind of brought out, like, a pop side and I emerged with my own style.
T: And is Orlando where your interest in pursuing music began? Or did your ears just begin to perk up to music at that time?
C: Yeah, my ears perked up to it, but I wasn’t pursuing it like that. I wanted to be a scientist at that time. But my ears definitely perked up, because I come from a musical background. Like, everyone in the family did music. My dad always had a studio, so I was always around music. I just didn’t know I was gonna be doing it for real.
T: So, you moved to Chicago next, right?
C: Yeah. That’s where I started pursuing it.
T: What were the artists or styles from Chicago that were of interest to you?
C: Well, of course Kanye was king up that way. So, a lot of my friends at the time were listening to like College Dropout, Graduation and of course 808s and Heartbreak and stuff like that. So, a lot of Kanye West for me is what caught my attention in Chicago. As well as some early Lupe Fiasco.
T: Yeah. Lupe was different.
C: Very different.
T: When did you get into playing instruments?
C: When I first moved up to Chicago it started because I was bored and didn’t know anybody. I would be in the apartment or whatever, just tinkering on my dad’s keyboard. I was probably like 11 or 12 just making little songs on the keyboard and that’s how it all started.
T: And you’re self-taught?
C: Yeah, self-taught.
T: Did you use YouTube or any sort of books to learn?
C: Nope. YouTube wasn’t even a thing when I was 11. I learned by ear.
T: Wow. So, when did you begin transitioning into computer-based production?
C: That just happened recently. 2017 is when I got my first DAW, which was FL Studio 12. Before that I was like, caveman style with it. Like running cables into the keyboard, into the mix board of a v2400 Roland.
T: From your first DAW in 2017, to now with Lost In Space, can you pinpoint any particular growths as an artist that stand out to you?
C: A lot of mixing and mastering techniques. I’ve always produced. It’s easy to, you know, pluck out some sounds. But to get it to sound balanced and panned correctly and get the right frequencies - that’s the part I’ve really been working on and seen the most growth in.
T: On Lost In Space, obviously there are a lot of space references. Why does space stand out to you so much that you decided to shape an album around it?
C: Well, it stems back to those Orlando years. I grew up not far from the Kennedy Space Center, so I’d always see the rockets literally shoot off into space. And the books I read in elementary were always space related, like Star Wars. But also, where I was at emotionally and mentally when making the album, I felt like I was literally “lost in space”. Just free floating. So, space, along with the way I grew up and things… everything just fit.
T: Kind of like a puzzle, it just came together.
C: Yeah, it did.
T: With that said, it’s safe to say Lost In Space was a means of catharsis for those feelings, right?
C: Yeah, definitely. The feeling of being just emotionally detached from everything. Just trying to sort through life, sort through emotions about various things. It just felt like I didn’t have a solid answer to anything. I literally felt like I was just floating and couldn’t find anywhere to land, so to speak.
T: The opener to the album is a spoken word by Alonzo Wright (@mr.alonzowright) over some piano chords. What drove you to introduce the album with that sort of serene piano and poem?
C: I liked the tone of his voice, and told him “whatever you come up with, I wanna use that on Lost In Space.” But also, I grew up on classics like Motown where you had like, real intros. I wanted the album to have a real intro and not just dive into the songs. I wanted it to feel like a journey. So, that opener was the beginning of the journey.
T: If you had to choose one song from the album that you think would convince someone to want to hear the entire project, what song would it be and why?
C: From what I’ve heard, the song “Galaxies”. It has a retro pop sound about it, so people like that one.
T: It’s a great track. I think I would show someone the track “Accretion”. I really like that one. Could you explain the term “accretion”, and why you made it the song title?
C: So, I wanted the song to represent the birth of a star. I went to Google to find a word for that and “accretion” came up and the definition was “the formation or birth of a star.” And it represents me, I guess, being born. Not like a narcissistic “star”, more like someone to shine light into a dark world.
T: How did you know Lost In Space was finished and ready to go?
C: I’d say the last track that’s on there was like the last beat that I was making for [the album]. I usually make a set number of beats and I pick which ones feel like they fit for the project. But when I made the last one it just felt like a closer.
T: As you progress artistically, do you feel the process has become more fluid, or have you run into more challenges?
C: Its definitely fluid. Its like a continuation that’s just steady spinning. But instead of getting more challenging, it just becomes faster. The wheel just starts spinning faster & faster & faster.
T: Where do you want to take your artistry? What’s the big picture for you?
C: I would like to own a Multi-Entertainment label. Whether you sing, dance, act, I want to own a big label with the dopest people from all over the world and just create great content and uplift the world and whatnot.
T: Any final words to our readers?
C: Download Lost In Space & continue to follow me through my musical journey, there’s a lot of good stuff coming up! Connect with Camron: Instagram: @CamcordWilliams Instagram (for beats): @Chefcambeatz Twitter: @Camronwilliams1