When it comes to country superstars, more and more women are making waves (refreshingly so!) in a genre that mainstream media portrays as predominantly male-performer-centric. Of all these rising female presences, few are more dynamic than Camaron Ochs, known professionally as Cam; boasting a discography that includes 1 EP, 2 full-length albums, and a handful of super-successful singles, she is Rhythm & Boots NYC’s first official #FridayFind of 2018.
Growing up in the suburbs of San Francisco, CA but spending plenty of time on her grandparents’ California ranch, Cam was exposed to the likes of Bonnie Raitt and Patsy Cline from a young age. After graduating from college with a degree in psychology, her sweetly soft voice and affinity for songwriting led her to pursue a singer-songwriter career first in California, and later on in the heart of Nashville.
Despite being forewarned about the difficulty in achieving country superstardom through recording only her own songs, Cam was still eager and determined to only cut records with her name on the songwriting credits. Turning down an early publishing deal and relying heavily on Kickstarter to fund her early work, she began perfecting her art as a songwriter; by the mid 2010s she had released her debut EP under her shortened name, Cam, and her popularity would rise swiftly from there. The record’s second track “Burning House” would eventually become a megahit on country radio and would finally deliver her with the success and recognition that she had been dreaming of.
After performing the song on the popular Nashville radio staple The Bobby Bones Show, “Burning House” quickly became one of the most downloaded songs on iTunes and attracted the attention of other major labels shortly thereafter. By the end of 2015, it was the highest selling country song by any female artist in that year and her debut LP (under the name Cam) Untamed was released subsequently. Untamed, which seemingly reflects her independent yet carefree attitude, displays eleven tracks all co-written by Cam and even peaked at #2 on the US Country charts (and #12 on the US all-genre charts!)
Since then, Cam has been busy touring with acts such as Brad Paisley, Dierks Bentley, and George Strait, all while working on a new album. The new record’s first single “Diane” was released in October 2017 and has been receiving significant radio play and overall positive reviews.
Despite being a little “late to the game”, Cam’s story is concrete proof that everybody works on his or her own schedule, and that believing in yourself is what matters at the end of the day. Her steadfast attitude and drive to be successful on her own terms is what separates her from the rest of the bunch, and her music is a direct display of her character.
Let’s dive into her music:
- “Diane” (2017) – Vaguely reminiscent of Dolly’s “Jolene”, this song puts Cam’s outstanding vocals on a pedestal. Progressing from a brisk trot in the first verse to a full-blown sprint by the time the chorus drops, the song takes the explicative confessional of infidelity to the next level. By not just relaying the message of disloyalty quietly but rather shouting it full volume as if from the top of a mountain, Cam shows her true personality: honest and present in her own skin.
- “Hungover on Heartache” (2015) – Admittedly obsessing over the 2011 Chief album from artist Eric Church, Cam noticeably draws a lot of inspiration from the musicality and production value of that record in this song. In addition to the title closely resembling a track cut on that record, the pulsating rhythm throughout the song and the heavied-up chorus has the Chief written all over it (not to mention the drink subtly pouring over ice as the song opens!). If you’re looking for the perfect song to sing while driving down the highway and reflecting on life, look no further.
- “Country Ain’t Never Been Pretty” (2015) – Is that early Miranda Lambert we hear? Nope, just Cam, showing off exactly what makes her a country phenomenon. Displaying her versatility by moving away from her traditional ballads and into the old-school honkytonk, Cam shows that nothing is off-limits for her. Wait, she wrote every one of these songs herself? Yep, she’s that good. Suit up and boot up, this one gets pretty rowdy.
- “Burning House” (2015) – Arguably the song that made Cam famous, this track is definitive of her trademark sound. Sounding like a mix of Carrie Underwood and the Beatles, the reflective nature of this song can make even the most confident of people turn pensive. Through her music Cam has the power to evoke not just sound, but feeling, and as long as she’s in that burning house, we’re in there with her.
Connect with Cam:
Edit: And before you go, check out Cam’s recent NYC performance in Brooklyn in May 2018.
See you Monday!