Getting to Know: Kamille

Get ready for London-based songwriter Kamille to come crashing onto your radar. Her debut EP ‘1. My Head’s A Mess’ is out today, but she’s been in the game for a while, writing hit tracks for other artists – she’s behind such hits as ‘Shout Out To My Ex’ and ‘Black Magic’ by Little Mix, to name just two. Her debut single, ‘Body’, featured rapper Avelino and brought pensive R&B vibes, with a sumptuous video celebrating the body in all its various forms. Kamille is a positive fountain of energy and creativity, and when we get down to talking she is animated and quick to laugh, ready to discuss everything from her musical roots to what the future looks like now her EP is out in the world.

Let’s get started – tell me a bit about your relationship with music when you were growing up.

Oh my gosh! Well – ok, my parents are seriously big music lovers. I’m from a Caribbean and Cuban household so there was always music, there was always like R&B, Motown, everything. My sister and my brother as well introduced me to a lot of amazing music, like Busta Rhymes and JT, all the way through to Pharrell… So there was all kinds of music in my house. I think I couldn’t escape it – it was in my bones, basically!

What are some artists that you listened to growing up that you feel like have really impacted your music now?

Oh my gosh, so many! I’d say Stevie Wonder, when I was growing up. In terms of like, his songwriting, the fact that he could do all this stuff on his own, his production – you know I really used to research him and find out what he was actually doing and making and he used to do everything. And I couldn’t believe that, and I think that’s one of the things that inspired me to be the person I am and make my music myself. But yeah, definitely Stevie Wonder, I’d say.

Yeah! So, you’ve written some really big tracks for other artists before – is your songwriting process different when you’re writing for yourself or is it pretty much the same?

I think it’s… You know, it starts off being the same. [Laughs] Then, I think, with me, I don’t know, I think I tend to go a lot more on how I’m feeling that day. Like when I’m writing for other artists, I’ll usually think about them and we’ll talk about stuff and vibe, and it’ll be like a collaboration. But, when I’m writing for myself, if I’m in a shit mood that is what I’m writing about right then, d’you know what I mean? So I think it’s just a lot more true to what I’m feeling that minute, but the actual songwriting process is probably the same – it’s just creating a melody that I’m happy with, and kind of going from there with the lyrics, really. But yeah – very similar process, I think.

mum dad I won a @bmi award thank youuu @bmi @bmi @bmi @bmi u loveliessssss

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The video for your song ‘Body’ is so gorgeous and really body positive…

Aw, thank you!

No problem! What were you trying to get across when you were coming up with that video?

Oh my gosh, ok well I worked with this incredible director, Crack Stevens, and he kind of approached me with this incredible vibe and direction that he wanted to basically enhance what I was singing about.

So initially I wanted the video to showcase bodies and to really show the true value of the body and what it is, in all its beauty. And then he kind of introduced me to these amazing people who had such really, really strong backgrounds and stories about what they’d gone through. Like, people with, you know, all kinds of issues with their skin, and this amazing, incredible woman who, you know, she was raped and she had to run out of a building to escape her rapist and that’s why she’s in a wheelchair.

So it was stuff like that – she was never able to showcase her body, like that was the first time she’d ever been filmed. And it was those stories that just made me so connected to the video, and it became something bigger than what I even thought – to the point where I didn’t want to even be in the video, because I just felt so strongly about these people. But I’m so happy with how it turned out, and for you to say that makes me so happy because that’s exactly what I want it to do so yeah – really happy with the video.

Yeah, it’s a really gorgeous video and it works so well with the song. What was it like working with Avelino on the track?

Oh, he’s incredible! I have loved him for years and I’m a massive, massive fan, and I sent it to him because I really wanted him to be on it and when he sent it back, like, he’d just done this incredible, incredible rap on it. He took it to another level, so I’m so grateful to him, ‘cause his music is coming out now and he’s got loads of amazing stuff going on, so it was an honour to have him on the track, really.

Yeah, definitely. So your EP is coming out [today]…

Yeah!!! [Laughs]

Yeah! What was it like putting all that together, what was it like writing it?

Oh my God! I write so many songs! Like, I’m a nightmare, I can’t stop writing songs, so for me this is just a bit of a relief to have some more music out, because I’m gonna go crazy, I’ve got so much music! But this bunch of songs, they were like the first songs that I started writing for myself. Like, consciously, these are songs for me […] and not anyone else. So they’re really special to me.

But they’re very different – each one of them, I think the whole EP is just explaining how crazy I am as a woman and as a person. I have a billion different thoughts in my head at any given time, I’m always contradicting myself with what I say, [and] I just wanted to get that across through the EP. So every song is very different and tells a different message about what women think about but maybe aren’t brave enough to say, and I just wanted that to be the focus of it, so… yeah! I’m so excited, I’m so excited.

Every song [on the EP] is different and tells a different message about what women think about but maybe aren’t brave enough to say.

How did you choose what songs were gonna make it on when you’re writing so much?

Oh, I couldn’t choose! Like, I did so many, and I had to literally sit down with my team and we had to really, really debate on what songs were going to be on. Because there’s more songs you’re gonna hear coming up, like, early next year which could have been on there, but – that was the hardest process. I think I’ve learnt now to just step back and let everyone else help you with that because it’s really hard picking songs. That is really hard. I wanted about seven or eight songs on there, but we’ve only managed to get five on! [Laughs] ‘Cause then we had to whittle it down. But yeah – it’s not easy, it’s really hard.

Yeah, it sounds really difficult! How are you going to celebrate when it’s all out?

I just wanna chill with my family, with my management – they’re like my family as well. Nothing too crazy, I think I just wanna relax. I feel like I can sleep now knowing that it’s come out, d’you know what I mean? I’ve been waiting for a long time. So I wanna just be chillin’ Friday night, to be honest with you, watching some TV, that’s me… yeah. [Laughs]

Yeah, just take a moment to breathe after the long process of getting it all done!

Such a long process! I have a new-found respect for artists because, let me tell you, you have to be so patient, you’ve got so many different people that you have to collaborate with and work with, and it’s just not as easy as I thought, I think. And now I’m starting to really appreciate how patient and hard-working a lot of the artists are that I’ve worked with, d’you know what I mean? You’ve gotta really be patient, so yeah – I’m really, really grateful that it’s coming out now. I don’t think I could have waited any longer, I would’ve gone mad! [Laughs]

Definitely! So now that it’s coming out, what are your biggest plans for the next year – what are you really excited about?

Ah, just music and performing I think is my main goal for next year! Obviously I’m still writing loads for other artists – I’ve got a lot of big, big songs coming out at the top of next year with some artists that I don’t think I can talk about but that’s gonna happen… And just more music! I can’t stop writing, as I said, so it’ll just be that – loads more music, loads more shows to come and yeah, a really exciting year I think! I can’t wait!

We’re really excited to hear all of it! Thanks so much Kamille!

Watch the beautiful video for ‘Body’, featuring Avelino, below – and look out for ‘My Head’s A Mess’, out today!

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