Cam performing live in 2016
Camaron Marvel Ochs
November 19, 1984
Cam (born Camaron Marvel Ochs; November 19, 1984) is an American country music singer and songwriter. She began her career as a songwriter, composing material for several artists including Sam Smith and Miley Cyrus. In 2010, she released her debut studio album Heartforward on an independent record label. Signing with Sony Music Entertainment, she released her debut major label EP in March 2015, Welcome to Cam Country, followed by the studio album Untamed later that same year. Her third album was The Otherside, released on Triple Tigers in 2020. Her second single "Burning House" is her most commercially successful, peaking at the number two position on Billboard Hot Country Songs and Country Airplay. Spurred by airplay on The Bobby Bones Show, the song received widespread acclaim, including a Best Country Solo Performance nomination at the 58th Annual Grammy Awards and a Double Platinum certification by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Cam's music is defined by country pop stylings.
Cam was born on November 18, 1984, in Huntington Beach, California, and was raised in Lafayette, California, a suburb in the San Francisco Bay Area. 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. Pursuing music throughout high school and college, she sang in various choral groups. 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. There, 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; in addition, she developed a friendship with various 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.
Following college, she sporadically performed music but mostly pursued other interests. This included work in research labs, including one at Stanford University. Yet she remained conflicted about the choices she made. A meeting with a 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?'"
2010–2014: Early beginnings
In 2010, Cam released her debut studio album titled Heartforward via the independent Rubber Room label. Credited to her full name of Camaron Ochs, the album contained contemporary pop songs. 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, including shows at the Stork Club and Mama Buzz.
Cam soon moved to Los Angeles, California, and began collaborating with songwriter and producer 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. Her song "Fall Madly in Love with You" was chosen as a track for Cut to Impress, the 2013 debut album from Maggie Rose. Miley Cyrus also recorded one of Cam's songs, "Maybe You're Right", on her 2013 album Bangerz. The success of these songs led her to move to Nashville, Tennessee; there, began writing music for other artists, turning down a publishing deal in attempt to prove herself on her own. She launched a Kickstarter campaign in 2013 to produce 10 songs with Johnson. The campaign was supported by producer Jeff Bhasker, known best for his work with artists that include Beyoncé, fun., Bruno Mars, and P!nk. 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.
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. 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." He would later ask her to perform the song at the Songwriters Hall of Fame ceremony. She was soon signed to Sony's country division, Arista Nashville in 2014 and toured nationally with Dan + Shay that same year on their Where It All Began tour.
In early 2015, Arista Nashville released Cam's first single for them, "My Mistake". In March, the song debuted at No. 58 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart. The song peaked at number 52 only a few weeks later. 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". "My Mistake" preceded Cam's debut EP, Welcome to Cam Country, released in March 2015. It contained four songs, with Bhasker and Johnson serving as producers. It 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.
"Burning House" served as her next single. She performed the song live on the radio program The Bobby Bones Show, which attracted and fueled attention to the song. Sony Music Entertainment, of which Arista Nashville is a division, then arranged a meeting and decided to release the track as a single on June 16, 2015, after the song had initial success on the iTunes charts. "Burning House" became a top-five hit on the Billboard country songs and country airplay charts. It also was the highest-selling female country song of 2015, selling more than 500,000 copies in the United States. In addition, the song received a nomination from the 2016 Grammy Awards. The success of the song led to the release of her first Arista Nashville album Untamed on December 11, 2015. Also produced largely by Bhasker and Johnson, it consisted of 11 tracks all co-written by Cam, including all of the songs from the EP. It debuted at number two on the Top Country Albums chart and was the highest-selling debut country studio album of 2015. 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." "Mayday" was released as the album's third single in February 2016. 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". She promoted the song with several live performances including on Good Morning America, The Late Late Show with James Corden, and as a duet with a contestant on season 16 of American Idol. In April 2018, "Diane" was added to the BBC Radio 2 A-list and hit No. 1 on iTunes for 5 weeks. Also 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. The song saw international success and was highlighted in the Holiday "Sway" commercial for Apple which led to its reaching No. 1 on the Billboard Top TV Commercials Chart. 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. Cam has also shared the stage with Tim McGraw and Faith Hill on their Soul2Soul Tour as well as Harry Styles.
2018–present: Transition to RCA
In July 2018, Cam released "Road to Happiness", which did not chart, and she parted ways with Arista Nashville. In 2019, she provided vocals for Diplo's song "So Long" for his Diplo Presents Thomas Wesley, Chapter 1: Snake Oil album.
On June 29, 2020, it was announced that Cam had signed a new partnership for radio promotion with Nashville-based Triple Tigers in a joint venture with her label RCA Records. "Classic" will be released on July 17, 2020, as her first country radio single since "Diane" in 2017 and lead-off single to her third studio album, The Otherside, which was released on October 30, 2020. The previously-released tracks "Till There's Nothing Left" and "Redwood Tree" will also appear on the album. Also the track “The Otherside” was written with help from edm legend Tim Bergling, also known as Avicii.
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. 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. 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."
In September 2015, Cam became engaged to Adam Weaver, a business broker with First Choice Business Brokers in Nashville. In October 2016, the couple married in a small ceremony in a California desert. In December 2019, she gave birth to her first child, Lucy. Shortly after giving birth, Cam posted on social media that she was a "breech at 39wks, a next-day c-section (ouch) & here we are... three of us now."
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. 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. In 2018, Cam joined the speaker list on Hello Sunshine x Together Live's touring event
Awards and nominations
|2016||"Burning House"||Grammy Awards||Best Country Solo Performance||Nominated|||
|ACM Awards||Single Record of the Year|||
|Song of the Year|||
|Video of the Year|||
|Cam||New Female Vocalist of the Year|||
|American Music Awards||Favorite Female Country Artist|||
|"Burning House"||CMA Awards||Song of the Year|||
|Music Video of the Year|||
|2017||Cam||ACM Awards||New Female Vocalist of the Year|||
- Strait Vegas Tour (2017) with George Strait
- Somewhere on a Beach Tour (2016) with Dierks Bentley
- The Burning House Tour (2016)
- Best Coast Tour (2017)
- Listening Room Series (2018)
- "Diane" European Tour (2018)
- Oh the Places We'll Go Tour (2019)
- Shelburne, Craig (18 June 2015). "Hear Cam's Haunting New Hit Single 'Burning House'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
- Deming, Mark. "Cam: Biography and History". Allmusic. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
- 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.
- 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.
- Dauphin, Chuck (16 April 2015). "Welcome To Cam Country: Arista Nashville Singer Has a Short Name, Potentially Long Career". Billboard. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
- Schadewald, Amber (16 March 2010). "Oakland's Camaron Ochs may inspire folk-pop Barbie". San Francisco Bay Guardian. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
- Roland, Tom. "Country Singer Cam Dreams Up a Smoldering Ballad With 'Burning House'". Billboard. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
- Ryan, Patrick. "On the Verge: Cam". USA Today. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
- Hight, Jewly. "Why 'Burning House' Singer Cam Gave Up Psychology for Country Music". Billboard. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
- "Yes they Cam". HitsDailyDouble. Hits Digital Ventures. April 10, 2015. Retrieved October 7, 2015.
- 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.
- Lindqvist, Stefan (30 November 2013). "Camaron Ochs sjunger med Helsingborgsband" (in Swedish). HD.se. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
- "Cameron Ochs keeps it country with rootsy, organic debut". For The Country Record. 12 February 2014. Archived from the original on 13 April 2015. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
- Inglis, Nicole (20 December 2012). "Country star on the rise with support from Steamboat locals". Steamboat Today. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
- Rau, Nate. "Sony Music CEO Doug Morris touts Nashville up-and-comers". The Tennessean. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
- "Tomorrow's Hits: The Avener's 'Fade Out Lines,' Cam and Young Rising Sons". Billboard. 13 February 2015. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
- Jessen, Wade (19 February 2015). "Blackberry Smoke's 'Roses' Blooms at No. 1 on Top Country Albums". Billboard. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
- "New Country Adds". Country 103. Archived from the original on 2016-01-06. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
- Allers, Hannahlee. "Cam Releases Debut EP". The Boot. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
- "Arista Nashville Recording Artist Cam Reveals Debut EP, Exclusively on Spotify". Sony Music Nashville. Archived from the original on 26 June 2015. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
- "Welcome to Cam Country - Cam: Awards". Allmusic. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
- Asker, Jim. "Cam & Emily Ann Roberts' Versions of 'Burning House' Are Both in the Hot Country Songs Top Five". Billboard. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
- Leahey, Andrew. "Watch Cam Cap Off Smoldering Year With Live 'Burning House'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
- "Cam, "Burning House" - 25 Best Country Songs of 2015". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
- Reuter, Annie. "Cam Announces Title, Release Date for Major Label Debut Read More: Cam Announces Title, Release Date for Major Label Debut". Taste of Country. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
- Carr, Courtney. "Cam Selects 'Mayday' as New Single [LISTEN]". The Boot. Retrieved 20 February 2016.
- Betts, Stephen L. (October 27, 2017). "Hear Cam's Supercharged, 'Jolene'-Inspired New Song 'Diane'". Rolling Stone Country. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
- Matthews, Lauren (4 April 2018). "Watch Dolly Parton Surprise Country Singer Cam On 'Good Morning America'". Country Living. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
- Cummings-Grady, Mackenzie (17 April 2018). "Cam Gives Mesmerizing Performance of 'Diane' on 'The Late Late Show'". Billboard. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
- Stefano, Angela (17 April 2018). "Cam Duets with 'American Idol' Contestants on 'Diane,' 'Burning House'". The Boot. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
- Nelson, Jeff (3 November 2017). "Country Star Cam on Writing a Song for Sam Smith's New Album: We Had the 'Same Heartache'". People. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
- Zellner, Xander (11 January 2018). "Sam Smith's 'Palace' Hits No. 1 on Top TV Commercials Chart for December". Billboard. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
- Betts, Stephen L. (7 June 2018). "Cam Joins Sam Smith's Thrill of It All Tour". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
- Parton, Chris (19 March 2018). "Tim McGraw, Faith Hill's Soul2Soul Tour Taps Devin Dawson, Caitlyn Smith". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
- 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.
- Whitaker, Sterling (13 July 2018). "Cam Ponders the Real Meaning of Joy in 'Road to Happiness'". Taste of Country. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
- "Cam Signs with Nashville's Triple Tiers Label in Partnership with RCA New York". Billboard. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
- Freeman, Jon (2019-05-02). "Song You Need to Know: Diplo and Cam, 'So Long'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2020-02-13.
- Freeman, Jon (2020-02-13). "Cam Addresses Sex and Swagger on New Song, 'Till There's Nothing Left'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2020-02-13.
- "Cam preps "magical" new song, "Redwood Tree"". Hot Country 931. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
- "Cam - 10 New Country Artists You Need to Know: Spring 2015". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
- McClellan, Laura. "Cam Shows Off New Bling". Taste of Country. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
- Anderson, Danielle. "See Cam's Stunning Wedding Album!". People. Retrieved 11 October 2016.
- Iasimone, Ashley. "Cam Gives Birth to Baby Lucy Marvel: See the Photos". Billboard. Retrieved 24 February 2020.
- Parton, Chris (7 March 2017). "5 Things We Learned From Cam's TEDx Talk". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
- "Recording Academy Names Diversity And Inclusion Task Force Members". Grammy.com. 9 May 2018. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
- "Our Stories Travel". Retrieved 2 January 2019.
- "Grammy Nominations 2016: See the Full List of Nominees| Billboard". Billboard. Retrieved 2015-12-10.
- "NOMINATIONS ANNOUNCED FOR THE 51st ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS®". Academy of Country Music. Retrieved 13 February 2016.
- "The ACM Awards: Nominees". Academy of Country Music. Archived from the original on 8 March 2016. Retrieved 20 February 2016.
- "American Music Awards Nominations 2016: See Full List of Nominees". ABC News. Retrieved 23 February 2020.
- "Past Winners and Nominees: Cam". Country Music Association Awards. Retrieved 24 February 2020.
- "George Strait Adds 8 More Vegas Tour Dates to 2017 Schedule". Nash Country Daily. November 17, 2016. Retrieved March 31, 2020.
- "Dierks Bentley announces 2016 Somewhere on a Beach Tour". Taste of Country. January 19, 2016. Retrieved March 31, 2020.
- Betts, Stephen L. (29 August 2016). "Cam Plots Headlining Burning House Tour". Rolling Stone.
- McKenna, Brittney (28 September 2017). "Cam Unveils 2017 Best Coast Tour of California, Pacific Northwest". Rolling Stone.
- Freeman, Jon (13 March 2018). "Cam Plots Stripped-Down 'Listening Room Series' Tour". Rolling Stone.
- "CAM Announces 2019 Summer European Tour". Broadway World. June 3, 2019. Retrieved March 31, 2020.
- "Cam Announces The Oh, The Places We'll Go! Summer Tour". Anti Music. June 4, 2019. Retrieved March 31, 2019.