C.A.M has blessed our ears with his debut album “The First Move” that is straight up Hip-Hop to the core. Raw beats and rhymes. We caught up with C.A.M to talk to him about this dope effort.
Why did you choose the name C.A.M?
C.A.M stands for Cosmos, Atum, Man, which is the original holy trinity of ancient Egyptian Hermeticism before it was twisted to the Christian- Father, Son, Holy spirit version. I read a lot of shit about ancient religions and the occult and at the time I was reading the kybalion and the Hermetica ,searching for a new name as prior to that I was using some corny ass name I don’t even wanna mention haha. Basically they believed that Atum (god) was All-Mind and through this mind Atum thought the Cosmos (Greek for order) into being, and then through the Cosmos, mankind was then created. I dunno why but it just resonated with me and stuck with me. My second name is Cameron so the cam fitted even more. Im not religious in anyway but I do believe in a creative force none of us can ever being to grasp and I like the fact my name reps that. The intro track on the album breaks in down into rhyme!
Yo! That’s deep. Where are you from?
I’m from an area of East London called Hackney
Cool, so why did you title the project “The First Move”?
It was called ‘The First Move’ because the concept of the albums artwork used the idea of life being like a game of chess, and this project is basically my first move into pursuing music seriously as part of my life.
What was the process of you and the production team recording this album?
I managed to find the producer Wickstarr randomly through a friend of a friend. He sent me over like 70 beats one evening and they were all ill! The other producer Chro , was an old friend from school who moved to Bristol doing production for other hip hop heads up there. Both of them repped that raw 90’s boombap shit that I love. I got down n penned the tracks and they were sounding tight, got some sick cuts over them from Jabba da Kuts and DJ Daredevil (R.I.P) and then just laid it all down in the studio. Shit took along time to manifest because I had mad shit happening in my life at the time but I’m so glad it’s finally here!
On the song “The Vice Grip” you said you were locked in a cell. Were you speaking metaphorically or literally?
Yea , unfortunately that meant literally I was locked away. I was fuckin about when I was younger and ended up getting shift and doing a couple years. The whole experience was incredibly character building and changed my life for the better. I fell in love with books and writing lyrics for my escape and as you can imagine chess also had a big role.
What can you tell us about some of the emcees that were featured on your album?
Parralax has been my long time partner in rhyme for years, he basically got me into spitting over hip hop. Before that I was spitting over grime which has only just started becoming a huge mainstream genre in the U.K now. It was only natural I got him on a collab on my debut as he had so much to do with my growth as a lyricist. There’s a video for our track ‘Twin Beacons’ up as well so def make sure you check that one too. CW Jones was basically someone iv been a fan of for a minute now, he’s also quite underground like Parallax. He’s got an amazing voice and can spit hard bars too. The ‘Gazing out the window’ track is one I’m mad proud of and it finishes of the album perfectly.
Who would you say are some of your biggest influences in music?
I was big into all the uk shit at first like Jehst, Skinnyman, Klashnekoff etc..then got deeper into the NYC 90’s shit like Heltah Skletah, Shyiem, Da Youngstas, M.O.P. These days I don’t really try and draw influence from much music, it’s mainly from life’s experiences, I think if your too heavily influenced by a certain artist(s) then you’re not really creating anything personal. So really I don’t even listen to hip hop that much unless it’s instrumental.
As an independent are you looking for a major record deal or just focused on the independent grind?
Right now if I had any interest from a major I would do a fuckin back flip G. I’ve always looked at this as art for my own personal creative therapy, never as a way for making money. But if there was an opportunity to take it a lot bigger then I’d be a fool to dash it away and stay on an independent hustle.
How would you describe your sound?
My sound is just that fuckin raw 90’s boombap shit but with a intellectual esoteric kinda edge. I want listeners to hear my shit and make it confront themselves on their own way of thinking or living, and make them try a see life with a deeper eye. My shit is definitely not for the shallow as fuck masses that just wanna hear bout Gucci this Gucci that.
Why did you choose to title your first single “Cold Soul”?
I choose the title ‘Cold Soul’ for the first single because I was just in a cold hearted mental state when I was penning that track. I was angry after coming out of jail and managed to channel a lot creatively into the track, just thinking about everything in life, how it feels so meaningless but yet so full of meaning at the same time, it’s a fuckin paradox man.
How would you describe Hip-Hop in 2018?
Hip Hop in 2018 is confusing. In one place you got guys with red anal beads on their head or multicolored dreads chatting how their gonna take your girl through auto-tune and in another place you got new guys bringing lyrical skill and deep deep concepts on ridiculously ill beats keeping the true artform alive. There’s always gonna be people disappointed the way that a genre of music can change over time but some of the shit it’s become now is actually worrying. However, when you bring it back to the U.K we still worship the original form of hip-hop. Boombap is definitely alive and kicking here right now thanks to labels like High Focus and artists like the four owls.
Explain the imagery in the cover art for “The First Move.
The imagery for the cover artwork is a mad one! Basically I always wanted to use chess as a central piece to represent life being like a game of chess. The characters are both me but the gold version is like this higher, more illumined version of myself that I’m trying to become through life. I was going on the hermetic/Rosicrucian teaching that true alchemy is not about turning base metals like lead or copper to gold, but actually transforming oneself into a golden version, highly enlightened like we all once were in the ‘golden ages’. It took the best part of a day to do the whole thing. I had to shave my chest, put a bald cap on and get completely covered in bits of gold leaf, mad stressful put the finished result is something I will always be proud of.
What’s the next video you’re going to shoot for the project and have you thought of a video concept?
Next video we’ll be shooting is for my next E.P ‘Persian Rugs’, The name is cockney slang for drugs and the track is all about how we as a generation just love getting fucked up but don’t really see the consequences. I’ve got a feeling there should be some roll playing in the video for sure. I’ve also literally just dropped a video called ‘Soliloquy to the self’ which is up now on YouTube so go check that, it’s not part of a project or anything, just something I wanted to throw out in the meantime. It’s about a really deep dialogue with my ‘self’.
Who are your top 5 emcees and why?
I ain’t really got a definite top five but I love Nas, hes a great storyteller, fuckin smooth voice and dope flows. Prodigy was too fuckin ill, just his entire steeze is so dope. M.O.P are always gonna be up there as my faves cause there so fuckin raw it’s unreal, they work so good together as a duo. U.K rapper called Jehst will also always be one of my top lyricists because I used to listen to a lot of him at the beginning, U.S heads should definitely check him out for sure.
What was the moment you knew you had to be an emcee?
For me in think it was went my Mum passed away 2 years ago. I decided I didn’t give a fuck about my career in the charity sector and I wanted to actually follow my passion for hip hop. Before then I had always just rapped for a hobby and never took shit to serious. When the people closest to you die, especially when they die young, it really makes you think what the fuck you want YOUR life to be about. I started a different job that allowed me to go studio, film, rehearse whenever I needed to and just got my head down and finessed the album.
What’s next for C.A.M?
Yea man, big big things are in the pipeline. I got another e.p coming together now with a sick producer called Hashfinger. Its sounding hella dope atm. Aiming to drop vid for first single from that hopefully around march/April and full project just after. Iv also got an album in the works. I got the stupidest production on there, like the beats are just retarded.. Couple tracks produced by the God, Nick Wiz on there..gonna have some big features etc..also wanna get a tour sorted. Watch this space!
Checkout “The First Move”