Camille Kaye is a local singer and song writer based here in Miami. She has an amazing voice which could be compared to the voices of such legendary signers as Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston. In addition to having an incredible ability to sing Camille also possesses a personality to match it - that makes her a true artist and performer. This super talented girl, who writes her own songs, sings beautifully live, which is rare these days, dances, is defiantly a rising star.
SFL Style: Let’s start with your background. Who is Camille Kaye?
Camille Kaye: I'm Camille Kaye; I was born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica. I lived there until I was 18 years old. I came to Miami to go to college. I decided to go to FIU; I got a degree in dance, actually, which was awesome.
SFL Style: When you were a kid, did you know you wanted to be a singer?
Camille Kaye: My childhood was actually pretty interesting and awesome. I grew up with my parents, clearly, that loved music. They both loved music to the highest degree, so I grew up listening to all kinds of stuff on Sunday mornings when they would be cleaning, and it was interesting to see how - or it's now interesting to see how those things are influencing what I do musically. I went to prep school in Kingston, then I went to high school and I’ve started dancing while I was in high school. I was dancing in kindergarten but I didn't do it seriously until I went to high school, and then I started dancing there and joined a couple of dance companies in Jamaica – shout out to Dance Theater Jamaica, Xaymaca and Wolmer's Dance Troupe. I danced for a really long time, about eight years. The music bug was always there, but I didn't really tap into it until I got here, right before I came to Miami.
SFL Style: Growing up, did you have a person that you looked up to? Someone who inspired you to follow your dreams?
Camille Kaye: It's interesting; I actually got very attached to Mariah Carey because my mom used to play her album in the car on the way to school like every morning. At first I didn't actually like her, because I had to listen to her so much, and then I actually listened then I was like, "This is amazing." I started feeling like her music was speaking to me. She's making me feel better. She doesn't know who I am, she has no idea what I'm going through, but just the fact that whatever she was singing was written and portrayed so well, it touched something in me and I was like, "You know what, I want to do that for people.” I want to be able to make music that makes people feel like, “Oh you're not the only person,” or like affects their emotions whether positively.
SFL Style: How did you transition from being a dance into a recording artist?
Camille Kaye: I was doing music since I was in Jamaica. I was very shy to sing before, because everybody knew me as a dancer. I've never thought that music would have been something I'd be able to do, because growing up in Jamaica you don't really see how you can get to that point. I grew up seeing artists in America and how they got to where they were and how they succeeded, and I just couldn't even see how that was possible then, until I actually met this producer named SupaHype in Jamaica - he produced Dutty Wine, if you guys know Jamaican music and you heard Dutty Wine, he produced that - and he started me off. He was like, "Okay, there's your music." Right? I've never written a song about life, mind you, and he was just like, "Okay, you want to be a singer? Here you go," and I did it, and then after that I was just like, “This is kind of amazing,” and it made me happy to do it. I mean I kind of always was attached to music and I felt like I always wanted to do it, I just didn't know how and then he came into my life, and we started working and since then and it didn't stop. I wrote one song and I just kept going since then. It was very hard to make the decision to do it for real because there's so many people that would say, "It's so hard," and "Not everybody gets it and gets to where you probably want to go with it," but you know I kind of just made a decision that I was like, "I don't care because it's what makes me happy," and I just decided to do that and go for it.
SFL Style: What is your style? And how do you present yourself?
Camille Kaye: Personally, I'm very chill and very laid back but you know being a performer, I'm so used to being very ready to be presented all the time so it's a very interesting oxymoron type effect but it's fun, because I'm a laid back person. I grew up in Jamaica so I'm very influenced by dancehall and reggae music and all that stuff, but I grew up listening to Mariah Carey, like I said, so R&B's very big part of my heart and my life, and that spilled over into music because what I do is a mixture of dancehall which is like the hip-hop version of reggae and R&B. I grew up listening to these two different worlds and it influenced me as a person, how I dress, what I'm like, what I like to put on, very hip hop sometimes, and my music is reflective of that just because I make music that's natural to me it just comes down to whatever I do I guess. I'm a very dancehall-y, R&B sometimes, hip hop type of person.
SFL Style: What motivates and inspires you as an artist?
Camille Kaye: As an artist, lots of things inspire and motivate me. Pretty much anything that's really creative that stands out and it really is just a good representation of somebody just doing what's them or just something that feels authentic, creative, out-of-the-box, innovative, fresh, things like that really inspired me as an artist, because you know it's always as much as you can write and express yourself. There's always somebody else that's expressing themselves differently so I love seeing that and see how different people put things into the world of creative people and I love to draw from that or be inspired by somebody either just being themselves or just doing something really amazing. Motivationally, I think, I inspire myself a lot. I motivate myself a lot. You have to be a very self-motivated person to do anything creative and not give up on it. I'm also motivated a lot by my mother; she was an amazing spirit. She was so positive and no matter what was going on she always figured out how to take it positively and make people around her feel amazing and uplifted, and clearly being her child I got some of that and I was around it a lot and when you know somebody that's that positive it's very hard for you not to be motivated by it and inspired by that. And positivity is a big part of both inspiration and motivation to keep going and do the thing.
SFL Style: Describe your creative process?
Camille Kaye: When I write a song, usually I get the track and I kind of get the vibe of whatever I feel the track is trying to portray and then based on that, I will either use a life experience or I will pull from somebody else that I know, or if it's a fun track then I'll just write about whatever is fun that I see that people enjoy or that I enjoy and I put that into the music. I get inspired by a lot of different types of things and I use a lot of different types of content to actually create lyrics and stuff but mostly it is from personal experience. It is a lot from personal experience. I just won't say which ones because there are so many...
SFL Style: What has been your biggest challenge, so far, as a recording artist?
Camille Kaye: I would say the biggest challenge as an artist, or just a creative person in general is finding a really good team that is dedicated and consistent and passionate about what they do, and then also funding really is usually a big part of it, because to be an artist there are so many things that you have to do, so many avenues that have to be colored, and you can always figure them out without funding, but it's so much easier and faster to get those things done when you do have something that's pushing you from behind, or when you know the right people that can give you the resources that you need to get the stuff done. So I would say the biggest challenge is funding for different projects, because I have a lot of big ideas and they would cost a lot of money but you know I've been blessed with so many people that are so talented and willing to do their creativeness and share that with me and allow me to use that and share with my friends.
SFL Style: Were there times in your career when you wanted to give up?
Camille Kaye: I think as an artist and for me personally, there have been times when I'm like, "wow this is so hard." I think everybody has that and I think if you're honest with yourself, you have felt that way. There are times when I'm like, "I should just do something else,” or “Something else would be easier and I can do so many other things." But I think that because of the fact that I've been wanting this for as long as I can remember, I think that this is actually what I'm supposed to do. So even though there are times when I feel this way, it's just I don't think there's anything that can compare to doing what you love to do and being happy doing that. But other things I've considered are still pretty creative; like art direction which is also fun. I have also considered being a pilot which is kind of completely different - flying planes.
SFL Style: What has been your biggest professional achievement so far?
Camille Kaye: I would say my biggest achievement so far, I probably have two. One: I performed at West Palm Beach Sunfest a couple of years ago; it was amazing, so much fun. There were about 50,000 people in the audience; it was amazing. And two: my mix tapes. I released a couple mix tapes and they got recognized in the UK by the official mix tape awards, I was nominated actually. I didn't even know what it was but they nominated me and that was awesome, and it feels amazing because they're all the way over there and they loved it.
SFL Style: What are your future goals? How do you see yourself in five years?
Camille Kaye: Sometimes it sounds crazy to people, but my goals are as high as possible, as far as possible. I don't have a habit of thinking small, I think as large as possible. To be more specific though, in the next five years or so I do want to have at least three albums out or three musical projects out, more brand affiliation and so I've been working with Cooyah a lot and they're awesome. I want to do more of that.
SFL Style: How can people find your music?
Camille Kaye: So you can find music, behind the scenes, photos, videos, all that good stuff on my website at camillekaye.com. You can also hit up my Facebook, my Instagram, I'm on Instagram all the time, my Snapchat is awesome, I have videos on YouTube, and I have music on iTunes. I just released a song called Lovin' U, make sure you guys download that. It is doing amazing in the UK as well as here; we're pushing it and it's exciting, so make sure you guys go watch all that stuff and check it out.
SFL Style: Your favorite places to eat in Miami?
Camille Kaye: In Miami, I actually I love, love, love to death the entire Wynwood District. But in Wynwood, I really, really love Kush in Coyo Taco. I love it. There are so many awesome places, Steve Pizza in North Miami Beach is amazing as well, I love them. I'm a foodie so I love their pizza.
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