Myles Cameron Talks Frank Ocean, Bioluminescence, and The Importance of Organic Growth (Exclusive Interview)

Hey Myles! Thanks for talking with us. Start off by telling us your name, where you’re from, and how old you are.

My name is Myles Cameron, I’m from the suburbs of New York from a town called Rye. I’m 20 years old. 

What was it like growing up around New York?

Pretty cool. I definitely enjoyed the proximity to NYC which is just a hub of art and culture and things. I definitely had mixed feelings about the suburbs though. I was always one of the few black kids in my school and activities in my area which makes you feel a little alienated. 

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I’m sure that was uncomfortable. Were there any benefits?

I low-key still love pop/punk music which everyone in my middle school used to listen to like Paramore and Mayday Parade and those types of bands. Overall there are definitely benefits to growing up relatively well off in the suburbs. Don’t get me wrong. 

I loved emo back then too – thoughts on Fall Out Boy and Panic at the Disco!?

Was definitely a Fall Out Boy fan as well. I never really got into Panic at the Disco!

What was your first experience with hip hop?

The Drake/Lil Wayne era is when I really started listening. 

So the mixtape Weezy era?

A little bit after that. So Far Gone, Thank Me Later era – Drake. 

Was it around that time that you decided to get into music? What got you interested in being an artist?

It wasn’t until a little bit later that I decided I wanted to start writing my own music. That was early in high school for me. I had been causally writing songs and poems for a few years and then Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange came out and really changed things for me.

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What changed for you?

I had just started actually seeking out my own music instead of listening to the radio and what friends were listening to, and Frank was one of the first artists I felt like “I found on my own.” And then Channel Orange dropped a few months later. I think what changed for me was my understanding of the power of music and songwriting. Frank’s storytelling is just so vivid on the project. I felt like I was almost seeing or living the album, not just listening to it. And after hearing it I was super inspired to try to do something similar as far as storytelling. 

So Channel Orange inspired you and changed your perspective on making music. Did you start recording? What came next?

Absolutely. I just started writing a lot of songs, singer/songwriter style. Just sitting by the piano and writing to chords. I ended up recording a few of those in 11th grade and throwing them up on SoundCloud. Then, through having those demo’s up, I met my current producer Frankis. Frankis is around my age so he’s still in school as well. He studies sound engineering which is great because he engineers and co-produces my music as well. 

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So you guys work well together. When did you start to see some success with your music? 

Definitely. Well before this year we’d only put out 4 songs and only put them on SoundCloud. So this year we’ve seen a lot of growth. We’ve been releasing a single a month since August 2017. Together all 10 songs make up the “everwanted” mixtape – my first full length project.

The single and visual to caged bird did incredibly well. We covered it, and had a lot of good things to say. How did that record come together, and did you know it was special? 

Yeah, Caged Bird was really cool because all of the growth happened pretty organically. We didn’t have a PR team placing us on playlists, the song just got out there by itself. We definitely knew it was special from the jump. I wrote it right after a breakup, so the lyrics came from a very real place. We actually sampled the guitar lick from a YouTube video, and cleared the sample with the owner of course. 

It’s an amazing track – I related to so much of what you said lyrically. Have people hit you up saying similar things? 

Yes, big time. Ever since it started streaming so well on Spotify I have at least 2 or 3 people hitting me up through Instagram with comments on the song each week. 

Did the success of caged bird turn into you shooting a visual? Or was one already in the works?

We’d actually already shot and released the video by the time the streams really started picking up. 

How long did you wait to release it? 

Well we recorded all the songs this past summer and caged bird was the third release. So we waited about 3 months. 

Take me briefly through the process of shooting. I loved the video as much as I loved the song. 

Sure thing. The concept was relatively simple. I wanted to make something that felt very much like a one-shot video, just following me around the space. Then I also wanted to use the caged bird metaphor in a bit of a different way, suggesting how exposing it can be – being an artist. And finally, I wanted the video to be completely blue-lit, as bioluminescence was a big theme of the project. Shooting was pretty easy. We knocked the whole thing out in one day, although it took around 9 hours. 

Your debut just came out. There seems to be a running theme throughout – but I’d like to hear your take on it. 

Sure. I think there’s more of a sonic theme than a real thematic one. I like to say the theme of the project is blue light. A lot of the vocal techniques were used to make the very natural thing, my voice, appear unnatural and artificial. That whole concept reminds me of bioluminescence, which is a naturally occurring phenomenon that appears artificial from the outside looking in. And bioluminescent organisms tend to emit blue light, so I tried to incorporate blue light into the visuals of the project. 

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Do you have any more visuals in the works for any tracks off of the album? 

No more visuals for ‘ever wanted’, but I’m actually in the planning stages of a second mixtape. 

How’s the response been for the new project? 

It’s been really positive so far. It’s almost hard to call it “new” because of how the project is structured. We’ve been releasing it in pieces since August, but definitely overwhelmingly positive. 

That makes sense. It seems like an ever flowing piece, less like individual tracks. 

That was definitely the goal. It was created all at the same time and ordered very purposefully to flow well. We only separated it for the sake of the release. Nobody wants to sit and listen to a whole mixtape from a SoundCloud artist, so we tried to make it more digestible and interesting by releasing it in short pieces. 

Wrapping up – anything else you’d like to say?

I’d like to end with saying thank you to you and anyone else who checked out the mixtape. I still feel like I’m in the early stages of my artistry, and all the positive feedback from these tracks is just making me that much more motivated to produce even better content for future releases. I’m working on a project for spring 2019 now.