1. What have you been listening to lately?
Exclusively Miley Cyrus’s heart of glass cover
2. Worst piece of advice you can give me?
Corporeal forms are temporary, vibes are forever (that may actually be good advice? I’m a very anxious person so I wouldn’t know. Do with it what you will)
3. Favorite album of the year so far?
(genuinely) the baby by Samia… I simp for her every day.
4. What are you most excited about right now?
Dyeing my hair on Friday!!!! green time
5. Who would win in a fight? A Shrek-sized Minion or 2 Minion-sized Shreks?
Speaking of green, the two shreks would lose. minions are feral. Entirely terrifying.
6. What was your first concert?
Taylor Swift Red tour babeyyyy
7. What is the most useless fact you know?
The mating dance of the golden collared manakin includes a backflip! Also the mating dance of the blue manakin includes three backup dancers which steadily rotate to show dominance or something, idk.
8. If you could collaborate with anyone who would it be?
Probably mxmtoon because I have a crush on her
9. Which fictional location would you most like to play a show at?
The Camp Rock final jam (so camp rock I suppose?)
10. Can you do a cover of “Super Trouper” by ABBA? Or any ABBA song really.
Isaac Gutierrez for Born Loser: To start things off, can you introduce yourself?
cameron lane: Hi! I’m cameron lane, a 17-year-old indie singer-songwriter and producer. If I had to say that out loud I’d probably stutter through it.
Give us some of your musical background?
I’ve loved music all my life! My dad is a huge classic rock fan, so a lot of my childhood was spent listening to Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones on his car radio. On the flip side, in my mom’s car it was all Radio Disney, which was mostly the sugary pop stuff that ended up on my first iPod. I started writing in 4th grade, when I was 9, mostly by accident-- I started a “band” with some other girls, and when we needed songs, I volunteered myself to write because I thought it would make me look cool. I kind of just never stopped from there!
When did you decide to record and start putting out music?
I first started recording my own stuff in 8th grade (I think I was 13). I had tried to record my stuff before, but I always got way too nervous trying to make my songs sound how I wanted them to when I was doing it in front of people. I started learning Garageband myself, which let me create my own private space for putting down what was in my head. My first album, a collection of twelve of my original songs, was made with Garageband, a pair of Apple earbuds, and a midi keyboard, and then released on Bandcamp in February 2016 (it is now very much privated). I used the songs from that album and a short EP that followed (now also privated) to audition for a music production program at an arts school near me, and I’ve been studying music production there ever since! This year is actually my senior year in the program :)
Was there anything in particular that inspired you to release music?
I think it definitely started as a way to get attention-- like I started writing in 4th grade to make me look cool, I would overdramatize stuff and revel in the fact that my whole identity was being “the talented one”. That was 100% a recipe for failure haha! After I started high school, it became clear to me that I wasn’t the only one who could do what I did, and performing just for attention was a bit shallow, so I really had to reevaluate my priorities. In the end I realized that music is something I can’t live without, and I can’t imagine myself doing anything else for the rest of my life. Releasing my music now (and since the release of my first official single, “Make Me New”) is about being as genuine as possible and finding people my stuff really resonates with so I can hopefully start making a living doing what I love.
Ideally, what do you want to accomplish with or through your music?
It really makes my heart warm when people tell me that my music helped them through a tough time, or is just something that they can really relate to. As my stuff has become more personal, this kind of stuff just really helps reaffirm that I’m doing something good for others at the same time as something that’s cathartic for me. Hopefully this kind of connection will lead to me being able to do music full time!
Talk to us about your latest single David.
David is definitely my most personal release so far. I can’t go into what it’s about in full, but the basic gist of it is that I’m still feeling repercussions now of not being protected by the adults in my life when I was younger. I had a really rocky relationship with one adult in particular, who I butted heads with and felt antagonized by a lot growing up. Over and over again things that were probably a joke to them deeply affected me, and part of the song is me realizing that they simply don’t see this and think that I just need to suck it up and stop being so emotional. I probably won’t do that.
When I first heard the single I was really captured by the sincerity in the lyrics. Is it ever difficult to be vulnerable in songwriting, or does it just naturally occur?
It’s really difficult for me sometimes! David especially was so so scary to finally release. The only reason it’s out today is because the person it’s about accidentally overheard me talking about it and the truth kind of came out all at once. Writing doesn’t feel right to me unless I’m being completely honest, but I get kind of nervous about people eventually asking questions!
The art for David is really cool. Can you talk to us about how you came up with it?
I’m obsessed with the art! My friend Hayden (@sorrypsilocybin on instagram) made an actual oil painting for it and I’m so in love with how it turned out. I’ve had this specific idea, or at least something really similar, in mind since I wrote the song last spring. The crown of thorns traditionally represents mockery and pain, which I wanted to shine through in the art-- how this person made me feel those things intertwined with religious guilt throughout my childhood. The crown is also intended to represent how I felt this burden placed on me to be “mature” (aka be quiet and suck it up). I was really nervous people would take it the wrong way and think I was comparing myself to Jesus directly but I’m definitely not trying to do that! Overall I just really wanted to show how the expectations I felt were placed on me and the pains I felt were inextricably tied to religion. Hayden came up with the idea of the ornate blouse and the ties to traditional art of Mary Magdalene, and I think it turned out really cool.
You mentioned that David marks an end to a chapter in your music and in your life. What direction do you plan on taking now?
Ohh boy. I’m so excited for where my music is headed! I’ve changed a lot since I first started releasing music, and I finally feel confident enough in myself as an artist to just make what I want to make. Right now that’s pop rock! I have an EP planned for spring of 2021 that has a grungier, dirtier feel to it while still keeping the pop style I’ve always written in. I’m also entirely self producing it for the first time in my very short career since my 8th grade Bandcamp days! I seriously can’t wait to put it out.
One thing I noticed is that each of your singles has a different sound. Are you intentionally exploring with different sounds, or are you just feeling it out as you’re creating music?
I think my first few singles were definitely me trying to figure myself out-- that definitely shines through with how different they all sound. I’m really happy to have been able to learn so much through trial and error and still be okay with how my stuff turned out, but I really am ready to leave that period behind. I took an involuntary break from writing through almost my entire junior year-- I was trying so hard to write and get stuff out because I was going through a lot, but comparison to people around me was really holding me back. Me leaning into the pop rock style I want to embrace in the future was my first sense of release after all that. It was kind of a “screw you” to my brain, which allowed me to embrace who I am without comparison to other people. I feel like I’ve written the best songs of my life since I finally got over that period of writer’s block, and they’re all a lot more coherently styled because I know myself better now.
What do you consider to be the most important thing for you when you’re creating music?
Letting myself be is important to me I think. I heard something about essay writing once that stuck with me-- people tend to edit what they’re trying to say before it even comes out. Because of this I’ve started stream of consciousness journaling before I try to fit words into syllable counts. This really helps me get every individual concept and thought onto paper before I start to cut down, so some stuff makes it in that might otherwise be lost or forgotten.
David comes off as a very personal and vulnerable song. Do you normally write about personal experiences, or does it vary?
Almost always so far! However, I’m trying to stray from that just a bit on purpose. Writing about personal stuff all the time makes each song a lot more stressful to write-- I sometimes feel like one individual song has to encompass a situation in its entirety perfectly, and that just doesn’t work out all the time. I’m trying to convince myself it’s okay to write about smaller things, and that not every song has to be something monumental. There is something to be said about personal songs though, and I don’t think I’ll ever lose that part of my writing.
Ideally, where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In a perfect world, my EP will take off when I release it and I won’t have to worry about the job security of pursuing music ever again! I’m planning on majoring in songwriting and music production in college, so it’d be nice to just be able to focus on learning without worrying what comes after. In 5 years I’ll be one year out of college (presumably), and I hope by then I can be doing the artist thing full time.
Who do you consider your musical influences?
Strong women in the music industry, especially those who write their own stuff and who are around my age! People like Samia, Annika Bennett, Clairo, Lizzy McAlpine, Billie Eilish, dodie, Haley Blais, beabadoobee, Chloe Moriondo, and mxmtoon.
What can we expect to see/hear from you in the near future?
My EP is coming! I’m holding myself to that 100%. In the nearer future though, a stripped version of my song “Grayson” is coming out on November 20th. Hopefully between then and next spring I’ll release a few smaller projects, but I can say for sure the first single from my EP comes out next April.
Is there anything you want our readers to know?
Hi readers! I want you to know that I love you! If you made it this far I’m honestly flattered you’re this interested in me. Or maybe you hate me so much you just couldn’t tear your eyes away. Either way, thanks for indulging me!
And to wrap things up, do you have any questions for me?
How’s it going currently? Also, what’s your opinion on snails?
Currently I'm sitting in a coffee shop editing this and I'm extremely anxious because of the election. I think a snail should run for president.