Be yourself. Working with so many different people with different opinions in the industry definitely has its downfall in the fact that you can sometimes lose sight of who you really are as an artist and can be influenced to create projects to fit a certain type of mold that is not true to you. I’ve come to know that is where I get my best work.
As a part of our series about Nashville’s rising stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Cameron DuBois.
Cameron DuBois is an emerging country-soul-rock singer & songwriter from Montgomery, Alabama. She’s spent most of her time developing her own unique brand of sound in two prestigious American South musical destinations; Nashville and Muscle Shoals. This young, independent and multi-talented artist has spent numerous hours along the muddy banks of the Tennessee River, collaborating with two of the industry’s notable songwriters and producers in Michael Curtis (Randy Travis, Fleetwood Mac, Blake Shelton) and Cindy Walker. Cameron’s unique country-rock-soul hybrid sound has kept her busy performing throughout Alabama, and landed her opening performances for Thompson Square, Easton Corbin, John Michael Montgomery, Dylan Scott and Neal McCoy.
She’s also released a series of singles like “The Home Place,” “Lipstick & Chrome,” “Never Love Me Back,” and “Peace” since 2018, which highlight her diversity as a singer-songwriter. In 2020, she released her most ambitious single project yet, “Bridges” which premiered on The Country Network and was featured by The Heartland Network, and The Montgomery Advertiser. She’s also been featured by PASTE, Guitar Girl Magazine, Country Rebel and AL.com. Cameron will release new music in 2021 which will continue to build upon her growing presence in the country music family. To learn more or for Cameron’s most up-to-date tour schedule visit CameronDuBois.com.
Thank you so much for joining us in this series! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us a bit of the ‘backstory’ of how you grew up?
I was born in Rome, Georgia and my parents moved our family to Montgomery, AL when I was 6 months old. Montgomery has been my home ever since, with the exception of moving off to college. Growing up, my Dad and I had a strong passion for music. He’d always have some kind of music rocking on the radio and our family would always sing along. Most of those artists have had a great influence on my music today. When I was in middle school, I went to an art school with my art being dance. However, I saw some of my other classmates taking guitar classes and that’s when I decided I wanted to learn to play too. I received my first guitar when I was 13 years old and would spend hours in my room watching YouTube videos and learning how to play myself. As far as piano, I always would play out one chord melodies since I was about 4 years old, however I really didn’t pick up on it until high school. There was something about learning guitar first that made it easier to learn how to play piano chords. I was a very shy girl growing up, I would never play or sing for anyone, up until my junior year of high school. I joined my youth choir at church and that was the first time I had my first stage solo. Starting with Distinguished Young Women my senior year of high school, I slowly began competing in music competitions throughout college which eventually led to playing local venues.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
I always had a passion for music, but it was always just a hobby of mine growing up. My senior year of college, I was getting ready to take a full on 9 to 5 job. I always thought music would just be a side career or hobby of mine. During my last spring break, I did a national competition NACMAI in Pigeon Forge. Each night they would have a jam session for all the artists down in the convention rooms of the hotel. All the artists would go around in a circle and sing one song and everyone else would play along. Finally it came around to me and I sang a Miranda Lambert song. After I finished singing, the gentleman sitting next to me, Bernard Porter, gave me his card and told me he was giving a seminar the next day and he would love for me to attend. Bernard runs an artist development agency called PCG Artist Development, which is a program that helps artists develop their craft. By joining this program, I was introduced to so many songwriters, producers, and people who have been in the industry for many years. It has definitely opened me so many doors, opportunities, and has provided me with a team to support my career as an independent artist.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that has happened to you since you began your career?
Red cardinals tend to follow me at every big step I take further in my career with music. When I first stepped into a studio in Nashville for the first time, PCG was filming a segment on me. We were walking through the studio and sat down to talk and there was a cardinal flying in the window right next to me. We have the actual footage of it, too. A couple weeks later I was having a meeting with Bernard discussing my next session with PCG and a cardinal was tapping on the window right behind me. Since then I’ve been keeping an eye out for them and it seems that every time I sing for a big event or go into the studio to record a new song, I always come in contact with one. Which is a crazy coincidence, considering many people believe cardinals are our guardian angels looking over us.
Can you share with us an interesting story about living in Nashville?
I haven’t actually moved to Nashville on a permanent basis, but I am there very often writing or recording new music or videos. However, it is amazing to me how many very influential people in this worldwide industry are based right in this city, and I am happy to be one of those artists chasing my dreams and working among so many other great talents.
Can you share with us a few of the best parts of living in Nashville? We’d love to hear some specific examples or stories about that.
There are so many wonderful restaurants and incredible live music everywhere I go. I always can find a new spot when I come to Nashville and it’s never a disappointment. Great food, great people, great music, and a great atmosphere to be in!
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
How important safety is on set when filming a music video! While I was filming my video for “Bridges” we were all riding in my Dad’s Ford-150. I was in the driver’s seat trying to act the song out while driving down a two lane road in Leiper’s Fork. One look over at the camera, and off the road we went. Needless to say everyone was so shook up after this, but we learned our lesson never to film and drive while filming a music video.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
There are so many people I have been so fortunate to work with who have my best interest at heart. If I were to narrow it down to one person, however, I would have to say I am so grateful for my Dad’s support. He has been with me every step of the way on this career path of mine, from helping me set up at almost every single show to advising me on business decisions.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
Besides all my new music I am working on, I would have to say my very first charity event I am organizing for July 1st in my hometown of Montgomery, Alabama. I’m calling it “Cameron DuBois’ Par-Tee Down Classic” and we will be raising funds for the Montgomery Area Down Syndrome Group. I have a family member with down syndrome, so this cause is very near to my heart. Besides all the golfing tournament activities, we are also having a shrimp boil, a silent auction, and then myself and Bama Sound will give a concert. We are hoping to make this an annual event. There is more information on my website at CameronDuBois.com/golf
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
- Be patient. I know how hard it was going to be to chase this dream, but it truly is a 10 year town. Overnight success is extremely rare, so you must keep working hard at it even on the hardest days.
- Be yourself. Working with so many different people with different opinions in the industry definitely has its downfall in the fact that you can sometimes lose sight of who you really are as an artist and can be influenced to create projects to fit a certain type of mold that is not true to you. I’ve come to know that is where I get my best work.
- Always have someone you can trust who understands the industry enough to help you make the right decisions. This industry is filled with so many good people, but sometimes you can come across people who aren’t who they really say they are and can take advantage of you. In my case, I always go to my father for advice on any business, financial decisions, and/or when signing contracts.
- Work hard and stay strong. Being in this industry, some days get really hard and discouraging. There’s been some instances where I wanted to give it all up, but kept pushing hard even when it didn’t make sense. My dad always told me “If you do what you love and work really hard at it, eventually success will follow.”
- Give it your all at every show. Even if there’s only one person in the crowd, that is another fan gained, or in some of my own instances, they were someone very influential in the industry that opened another door for me.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Keep pushing. I have felt burned out a few times, but you never know when your next big break will be. You have to stay consistent, even on the hard days, and perform every show like it is your last, because you never know who is watching and how they can help further your career.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
A movement that would stem violence around the world. If we could accomplish this, we could use the money spent in law enforcement and the ability to make war to lift more people out of poverty and improve general life around the world.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Find out who you are and do it on purpose.” as said by Dolly Parton. This quote is extremely important when trying to find your voice in the music industry. You cannot please everyone and you will have people who do not like your music or they might try to change you. However, you have to stay true to who you are as an artist because that is when your best work comes out. The fans and support will follow.
Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂
I would love to sit down with Dolly Parton because she has been such an icon throughout her entire career, even to this day. I would love to know what is essential to keeping a long lasting career path in the music business. I would also like to know what she believes is the toughest part about it, and how she has managed through it all over the years.
How can our readers follow you online?
You can find me @cameronduboismusic on Facebook and @camerondubois on Instagram & Twitter, My music is available on all streaming platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube. You can also find all of my page links atwww.camerondubois.com.
Thank you for your time, and your excellent insights! We wish you continued success.