A self-admitted “introvert,” Camille Rae finds herself most at home on stage communicating her message to listeners. Growing up in Kentucky, the redheaded vocalist began performing at a very early age—singing in revivals, fairs and any outlet that would have her. Fast forward to today and Camille made her way to Nashville, sharing her powerhouse vocals at a few stops along the way. Her deeply personal new single, “I Need Me”—the second release from her upcoming album, Come Find Me, which is set to drop on March 17—comes from a time in her life when she decided to put herself first and follow her dreams of being a singer. We’re just glad she did.
“I was singing since I was three years old. I’ve been on a stage since I was a very little girl. My family was very supportive of putting me in talent shows and anything to sing—Church revivals, picnics, whatever I could do to have my karaoke machine, I was there. I grew up very very humble. My family has worked very hard for what they have, but were always very supportive”
“I was married for four years. He was Canadian, so he went and got his master’s and PhD up there. I followed him up there. I also thought for a little while that I was going to do Broadway, which I love. I love theater. I’m a nerd.
5 Random Questions with Camille
Who do you look up to?
If you weren’t a singer, what would you be doing?
Last Netflix show you binge-watched?
Three words that describe you?
Inspirational, dependable and funny.
I love theater and I just realized that I couldn’t dance. If you’ve ever seen Friends — Joey was at an audition and he had to dance and he just faked it. That’s me. I didn’t know how to dance. I accept it now. This is not my true path. Which I knew that anyway. Then I just went back. I was on Vancouver Island, did a lot of theater there. Moved over to Vancouver and started doing live shows again and getting my feet wet in that area.”
“I was married when I wrote ‘I Need Me.’ It’s really hard in this career to figure out how you’re going to maneuver. There’s a lot of times. There’s a lot of dedication. You have to make a lot of sacrifices and I was in a place where I felt like I couldn’t do what I need to do to be successful—just because I was in a box and I didn’t want to be in that box anymore. I was sitting there, actually I was like ‘I’m going to write this to get this out and I’m not going to sing it for anyone because it will hurt feelings if people know truly what it’s about.’ Anyway, I wrote it. I call it the bridge song of being unhappy and knowing you need to make changes, getting all of it out, and then deciding either to make the change that you need to make to be happy or staying where you are. I sang it for a very close friend in Canada and she’s like, ‘You have to sing this. It’s more than just you, it’s going to help somebody.’ It’s an open idea, an open concept. Anybody can put themselves in this situation. It can be with your dad, it can be with your boyfriend, or you girlfriend, or your mom, or your boss. Anything. I decided to sing it. The first time I sang it was just an acoustic show. I saw a woman run out crying. I was like, “Oh no.” She came up to me later and she was like, “I know what I need to do now.” I was like, “Well, than this is worth me making the sacrifice and putting my feelings out there.”
CONNECTING THROUGH SONG
“We picked 15 songs for the new album, Come Find Me. I’ve got two bonus tracks. It’s a story concept from basically the last year of my life and the relationship I’ve been in. It’s kind of raw. It hurts even to listen to it some. I’ve always been a really private person with my personal life and with my dating life and all that. It’s okay to be vulnerable and that’s what people need. As an artist I can sing songs, I can write songs, I can dress up, I can fix my hair— I can do all the artist things but my responsibility as an artist is to communicate with listeners. Not just to get fans and not just to get fame but to connect, and to help people, and to show people, ‘you know what, you’re not alone.’ People go though things by themselves— we think no one would understand and no one’s ever been through this, but you can hear a song and you’re like ‘Okay, maybe I’m not so alone.’ You feel a little bit more connected to the world. That is my responsibility, I think.”
SOUNDS OF CAMILLE
“There’s a lot of the contemporary loops and just all the awesome stuff going on in country-pop but it has that traditional feel—the storytelling and just the vocal influences. I’ve characterized my sound, I say country-pop because it’s actually a genre, but I would probably classify as country soul. That’s what I would like to classify myself as, if I ever get to do that one day.”
“When I write a song by myself it’s very therapeutic. When I co-write ideas are brought to the table and it’s more so creative. When I write a song by myself it’s usually because somebody has made me mad or made me sad, or I’m getting over something and I want to get it out there. So yeah it’s very therapeutic. Most of the songs that are self written I sit down and I have something. It pours out on the page in 10 minutes from start to finish. I’m very thankful that I have that outlet and that ability to get all of my crazy out on a piece of paper because I don’t know what I’d do if I had to keep it in all the time.”
“The release of the album is March 17, so I’ll be concentrating on getting that out there so that I can build upon that for the rest of the year. ‘I Need Me’ is out right now on country radio so I’ll be doing a lot of touring after the show. Then just seeing what shows come about, festivals in the summer. Just working toward that ultimate goal and seeing what doors open up. Doing more co-writes and just getting everything organized with that.”