Interview: Cam Carter

Hi Cam Carter! How are you?

I’m well.  I’m just trying to stay busy as I watch the world burn.  We’re witnessing history in America right now.  We’ll need pioneers and powerful voices to put things back together when the smoke clears.  I have every intention of being one of them. I hope to help the masses learn to relate through my creations.  How about yourself?

When/How did you start/get into making music?

Being from Memphis, Tennessee I was already born with music in my soul. I began writing songs in middle school because I was a big fan of certain poets and I thought I could write better than them, at least on a more modern level.  I used to record music with my friends in the car after we’d hotbox it.  I did a song called “Yup Abercrombie” and it was hilarious.  In college, I met few guys and dabbled a little more and recorded “Yeah it’s dat Cartabak”.  I won an accidental hip hop battle in Austin, Texas while visiting my roommate’s hometown. That raised my confidence.  After graduating Ole Miss, I moved to Memphis and started building relationships with local artists and never stopped writing.  When my mother passed in 2014, I moved to Los Angeles because I didn’t want my music to die in me.  I built rapport with a producer I met on Instagram.  I flew him coast to coast to record my debut singles “Knee High” and “Haha” and the rest is history.  If not now, it will be.

What is your greatest inspiration for your music?

Pain and Doubt.  Nothing drives me crazier than when someone tells me that I can’t do something.  It’s usually the people that can’t do it themselves or the lazy ones with excuses that never make an attempt due to their own fear of failure.  Most of the things that I was told I can’t do, I’ve already done.  No matter how much you prove people wrong, certain people will always have envy or hate in their hearts.  I’m not doing this for their satisfaction, I’m doing it for my own.  I’m not in a position to give a damn what anybody thinks.  There are 7 billion people on this planet.  For every 9 no’s I’ll get, I’ll always get 1 yes.   That’s the law of averages.  Just with any business this is a numbers game.   All of the greatest hip hop artists of all time were also told no.  It shows how much the professionals really know. What inspires me is that I do have a tremendous amount of talent and song writing skills.  I know that once my reach is where it needs to be and I can successfully tap into certain markets without being censored, I will be a legend.  Why?  Because nobody can control that but me.  As long as I have ink in my pen, I have potential to make hits.  Also, I actually do care about people and what they want. I simply can’t let critics try to stop what I have going on.  I have had some wild schemes thrown my way to attempt to get me out the mix.  All I can do is learn and grow and get better.  Any time I get people trying to throw their 2 cents in my creative process, it’s the same ones not coming to my sessions, helping me compile a catalog of exclusive rights agreements, or investing in me in any way.  Some pretend to be your friend to watch the come up for 3 reasons.  1) To wait until you blow so they can reap the benefits 2) To watch you fail to satisfy their own hatred 3) To watch you succeed and be proud and show support.  That small spark of potential love is what I do this for.  Because no much how much pain and doubt I use to fuel my fire, love will always conquer.

What is the hardest subject you’ve ever written about?

My mother. I wrote a song dedicated to her that makes me cry every time I read it.  It’s called “On My Momma’s Heart” and it has as much potential as 2pac’s “Dear Momma”.  I have not recorded it only because my career hasn’t flipped that direction yet, but I look forward to putting it on wax.  The lyrics are absolutely perfect.  It paints a personal story of how “all her holidays are in me now” and “when I was nothing, but I’m a man now”.  It will be hard to perform that song in front of a crowd, but anyone that has ever lost their mother will be touched by that song.  It’s my mommas anthem to all the mommas on the planet. Sometimes you don’t know what you have until it’s gone so I just wish she was able hear it and be proud that I made a great song for her.  I wished it wasn’t so sad, but sometimes life is sad.  I intend on keeping it real at all times.  The other hardest subjects I have to say I written were “Eyes of a Prisoner”, “What is Justice?”, and “Shadows” because they drag you down a dark road of truth.  Most of the world lives out of sight out of mind.  Only a select few know the truth, and how it feels to be in those positions. Those songs will be the way I reach the people and say, “I know how you feel brother/sister”.

What is the greatest achievement you’ve ever accomplished?

At this current time, it’s sad to say, but graduating college is my greatest achievement.  Having people tell me there’s no way I’ll make it to college, were the same ones that saw me finish high school with chords hanging all around my neck. People judged me for smoking weed, while some of those same people are dead from heroin overdoses.  Others judged me because I was perceived as someone not very smart, didn’t realize the strategy of having to play the sucker to catch a sucker.  Sure, sometimes I played dumb, but college wasn’t easy.  Anyone with a 4-year degree can tell you that.  If they say it is they are lying or didn’t go to an SEC school. I used to have nightmares that I’d have a final the next day and wake up and be like, “I already graduated, wtf”. 90% of my friends from freshman year did not make it through the first year. Only like 4 of my close friends made it all the way through.  Ole Miss is so much fun, that it is hard to prioritize things.  On one hand you have epic parties going on nonstop from Monday to Friday then no chance to recover for the game Saturday, so you just push through, and the other hand you have super model quality women calling you to hangout while your studying for an accounting final.  I was in college taking so many damn classes that didn’t even make sense.  I remember my advisor asked me what are you trying to be?  A doctor? A businessman?  I laughed.  I went all the way through pre-med and flipped it to managerial finance because I didn’t want to move to Jackson, saw the movie “The Pursuit of Happiness” with Will Smith and I was like fuck that shit.  Then switched to Business Undecided.  By then I had so many classes, I ended up graduating with a double degree and had almost 160 hours when I think it only took like 120 to graduate. However, I finished.  I enjoyed college a lot.  I can’t say that it’s the best days of my life because I’m about to do so many more great things.  But being from where I’m from, not many people go to college and finish.  Seeing my mom and dad hold my degree in their hands saying “this is real, you did it”, I’ll never forget that moment. 

Are you planning on releasing new music soon?

Yes, but with everything going on right now the people will need more than music to lean on. I am working on a few songs currently that are relevant to the times now, and I have an arsenal of material put away.  I have enough material to probably record 9 or 10 albums.  My biggest challenge is matching them to appropriate beats and finding the delivery and tempo to old songs.  Some of my music is way ahead of its time so I usually will get frustrated when I can’t find what I’m looking for, shelf it, and write something new. I have a record called “Pink Panther” that has a hip-hop legend on it.  Fetty Wap took interest in it so it will be on his mixtape that drops June 15. I will re-brand it and release it myself once things start to chill.  It’s a strip club record and the strippers are at home right now, probably in no mood to bounce that ass.  So that’s why it will have to wait.  “Fake Sunsets” will be my priority.  I love that song.  Also, I recorded a couple pop party songs to set the tone when things open up again.  Like I said, I’m staying busy.

What is next for you?

I have a show August 13 at the world-famous Rock & Roll Hall of Fame venue The Whiskyagogo in West Hollywood, California.  I’m not sure if the date will end up moving again because it was originally scheduled for April 16, but the lock down and the corona virus stalled that from happening.  Also, I’m still filming the music video for “Knee High”.  The hard part is done.  It will be a pretty cool video by the time it is finished.  I’ll probably be efficient and film scenes for other music videos while I shoot that one just to save time and money.  I’m reaching the point of leveling up my career so I’m building better rapport with my circle to prepare for other hard work that is to come.  I have like 6 recorded projects that are in the mix and master stage, so I’ll be cranking those out as I pave the way for my debut album “Halo into Hell”.  I have 9 singles currently released on all platforms so that should keep my fans busy while they anticipate what’s next.  I’d like to crack one of those singles and earn a couple plaques, but I’ll focus on what I can control and just keep recording. The music industry is tough. People won’t give you a chance until they see your name across their screens 20 times.  I’m working on that now. I have the right mind set and know some of the right people.  The rest is up to me and Ben Franklin.   My goals are crazy big, so I have a lot of work to do.

Listen to Cam Carter here

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Author: Chris

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