We caught up with Cam, also known as Kid Cruise, to talk music, his style, collaborations and what we can expect from him in 2020. After spending his youth playing drums in Indie & hardcore bands, he has developed a unique raw sound that draws influence from a vast and eclectic musical knowledge. Kid Cruise is part of a new wave of innovative young musicians heavily involved in every step of the creative process, from writing to directing the accompanying visuals. After dropping an industry recognised single ‘Olive’ last year, he is now on the brink of releasing his first eagerly anticipated EP and we, for one, can’t wait.
Q: You worked as an independent artist for a long time. What are some of the advantages and setbacks of working independently?
At this point, it’s nice to be independent. There is no creative interference. It is a wonderful thing to be able to make whatever you feel. But, it’s not always easy living in London as an independent musician. The grind is all part of the journey though. You have to create your own routine and treat music like a job to some extent.
Q: How does the writing process work for you?
I am forever grateful for meeting a musical lad called George about a year ago. He’s become like a brother to me and we write everything together. He lives ten mins up the road from me in an old bathhouse in SE London and has a full set up there to write and record, feel blessed to be able to spend so much of my time making music.
Q. Your influences seem to come from a wide range of places, how did you come to settle on your sound?
Through playing the drums from a young age I’ve experimented with loads of different styles of music over the years. I have a really broad interest when it comes to things that I listen to. I can easily make the transition from listening to a proper trappy tune, to a soft indie love song with no issues. My sound now I guess is an amalgamation of everything that I have learned to love over the years.
Q: Your sound is quite raw. What life experiences have you written about in your songs?
I’m a soppy git when it comes to writing songs a lot of the time. I don’t think I have ever written a happy song. Not because I never feel happy, I’m not saying that, I just feel most compelled to write about things that cause me to feel down. Ruined relationships, monotonous routines, addictions, family problems… It’s a real hoot be sure to check it out!
Q. How important is your image to your sound?
Image is incredibly important nowadays. Unfortunately, in a lot of cases image has become more important than the music itself. But that’s how it is now I guess. I think originality is key, as cliche as that may sound. There is a very clear difference between fashion and style. You either have style or you don’t.
Q. There have been lots of fashion collaborations over the past decade and you are seeing it more now in music. What do you think makes a successful collaboration?
A good collaboration for me starts with a personal connection, outside of music. You don’t want to be spending hours and hours in the studio with someone you don’t get on with. So that’s the first thing. Secondly, being clear and open about your vision. And, equally as important, is to listen carefully to your collaborator's ideas, through this communication and understanding can come something beautiful.
Q: 2019 was a famously difficult year for most in the Western World. What were some of your highlights?
2019 was pretty up and down for me, and everyone else around me it seems. It was a bit of an unhinged rollercoaster filled with lots of writing, lots of partying, lots of laughs and a few tears along the way. But, ultimately, I left 2019 with an amazing team around me, amazing band and great mates, Bring on 2020.
Q: What can we expect to see from Kid Cruise in 2020?
I’ll be releasing my first EP as Kid Cruise this year. And whatever may come from that, I am fully prepared.
Sefton Selects Playlist: Vol 3 - Kid Cruise
Check out what's been on Kid Cruise's latest rotation on the latest instalment of Sefton Selects Playlist below on Spotify.