By: Noah Monzillo
“I’ve never really liked to be boxed to a genre, even though most of the music industry will tell you that it is important to choose a genre and stick with it. I just want to make good music and reach as many people as I can.” — Camille Rae
Residing in Nashville, TN, Camille Rae has received significant recognition in country music. Most notably, Rae’s single “I Need Me,” reached No. 26 on Nashville’s Music Row Chart. Despite being best known as a country artist, Rae crosses various genres, including bluegrass and classical music.
Camille Rae released her debut album, I Need Me, in 2015. “Shadows Dance Tonight,” the album’s single, reached No. 55 on Nashville’s Music Row Chart, which helped kick-start her career. In March of 2017, Rae released her sophomore album, Come Find Me. During an interview with Country Music Rocks, Camille Rae explained that the album follows a story concept, and is about the past year of her life. In 2019 Rae released her five-track Americana/Country EP, This Time. The EP’s first three tracks have a 90’s country rock sound, and are much more upbeat than most of Rae’s other material. The EP also includes the track, “Why Didn’t I Know,” which Rae has used to promote mental health awareness.
Aside from her solo career, Rae is also a member of the band Calamity Jane. The group is comprised of herself and Lucy Cantley. While Rae is the lead singer, Cantley plays the violin and viola, and sings backup vocals. In 2018, Calamity Jane won the competition NashNext, led by Big Machine Label Group and Nash FM. Shortly after winning the competition, the group received a label offer, but ultimately turned it down to pursue an independent career. The group’s first single was a cover of the classic “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.” Calamity Jane’s take on “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” reached No. 70 on the Music Row Charts — and even received a thumbs up from Charlie Daniels himself! The group released their second single “The Chase” this May, and is currently working on an EP. The band has opened for numerous notable acts, including Joe Diffie, Maddie and Tae, Easton Corbin, and Keith Anderson.
Music Addict: So the first thing you see when you go to camillerae.com is a quote by Caleb Secrets Country that says, “If Adele were from the south, her name would be Camille Rae.” Your music certainly comes from a very deep place and is very emotional. On your newest EP, the first three tracks in particular have much more of country rock/90’s country sound, louder guitar, and drum tracks; but the lyrics are just as deep as your other songs. You said about this EP: ”I feel like this music has finally captured everything about me as an artist.” I would describe the EP as somewhere between Adele and Trisha Yearwood. Is the style of this EP something we can expect from you in the future?
Camille Rae (CM): Wow! What a compliment! Thank you! I would definitely love to keep with this soulful take on my solo projects. I am honestly just at a point with my music that I go with the stylistic direction the songs take on and go with it. I’ve never really liked to be boxed to a genre, even though most of the music industry will tell you that it is important to choose a genre and stick with it. I just want to make good music and reach as many people as I can.
Music Addict: Your song “Why Didn’t I Know” clearly comes from a very deep place. Would you mind sharing the story behind that song?
CR: A few years ago, I lost someone very important to me to suicide. I was in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean on a cruise residency and knew I would not be able to make it home for the services or to say a proper goodbye. The same night that I received this devastating news, I wrote this song. The lyrics are pure, raw emotion. It focuses on the other side of suicide and the ones left behind. My hope is that this song and video will reach and help whoever it needs to. I want the message to reach the ones that have also lost a loved one to suicide and to anyone who may be having thoughts of suicide. The message is simply that they’re not alone and are loved. My life was forever changed by this tragedy and I would give anything to be able to change the events of that day two years ago. It is our responsibility to be there for each other, and so important that the ones we love know how much they mean to us — now more than ever.
Music Addict: Who were your favorite artists growing up? And at what age did you realize that you would like to become a musician?
CR: I loved all the 90’s female powerhouses like Trisha Yearwood, Martina McBride, Faith Hill, and Celine Dion. I also loved Matchbox Twenty. I started singing in public when I was three years old and I have wanted to be a singer/performer ever since. I can’t remember [a time] when I didn’t have this goal.
Music Addict: Are you currently working on a new album, or writing anything?
CR: I am actually part of a group called Calamity Jane, and we are working on new music and will be recording a new EP late summer. It is comprised of myself and my friend Lucy Cantley, [who] plays violin and viola and sings background vocals. We are excited to release new music soon and our single “The Chase” is out on all platforms now!
Music Addict: I saw in a somewhat recent article written about you that when you aren’t working on your music you do philanthropic work with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Is that still the case?
CR: I have never been able to work directly with St. Jude’s… hopefully one day. But, I have worked with Musicians on Call here in Nashville for the past 5 years, and am also hoping to partner with some foundations for Mental Health Awareness and Suicide Prevention as I promote my song and music video to “Why Didn’t I Know.”
Music Addict: What is your favorite song that you have written?
CR: That is a tough one. I’d say my most favorite song is one that doesn’t get as much attention as the others. It is on my second album, called Come Find Me. The song is called “I Want a Man” and it talks about my idea of the perfect man. I love singing it and it means a lot to me.