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Name: Adam Bernard
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Camille Corazón Is NYC’s Queen Of Chill
Thursday, June 05, 2014

As host of the Little League World Series, Williamsport, PA, is most known for kids sliding into home. During her youth in the small town, Camille Corazón may not have slid home, but she spent a lot of time there listening to trip-hop mixes with her brother.

“My older brother, who’s like my biggest influence, he was always listening to experimental music,” Corazón, who moved to New York City in 2005, explains, “so I was listening to a lot of that electronic stuff, and chill out stuff, and when I started doing open mics when I was 16 in Pennsylvania we’d go on stage and start doing some 8-bit, and bring a Game Boy up, and no one knew what the fuck we were doing.”

Now plenty understand what she’s doing, as her fully developed chill-step sound features lush vocals over self-produced downtempo, and trip-hop beats. Corazón notes that her style is a direct result of her youth, saying, “Most of the time people like the music that they were listening to during their adolescent years. Psychologically, it reminds us of the time when we were coming of age, and during that time I was listening to a lot of trip-hop.”

In addition to her brother’s musical influence, her father, who was a Broadway actor in the Philippines, was a musical influence, as well. In fact, he was the one who inspired Corazón to sing well before anything production related came into her life.

“It was kind of like a way to connect with my dad,” she remembers, “because I really love my dad, and he would teach me the songs. I pretty much started singing songs from musicals, and Johnny Mathis, Frank Sinatra, things like that, when I was a young child.” This led Corazón to dive deeper into music. “I studied piano for eleven years. I wrote my first song when I was 12, and when I was 14 I picked up a guitar for the first time.”

Picking up a guitar would turn out to be a turning point for Corazón in more ways than one. “That’s when I started composing songs,” she remembers, “that's when it became less about singing and more about expressing something.”

For Corazón, expression was key, as she explains, “I was a selective mute for a really long time. I just didn’t speak to anyone, so that was my way of compensating, in a way.”

Being a selective mute, Corazón found, doesn’t make for an easy path in life. “I’d be working in restaurants, it was really hard for me to keep those jobs. I got fired like 15 times in two years. That’s how bad I am at social communication. I've gotten a lot better now, but I didn’t know how to speak to people, so music was just my way.”

This is why Corazón’s musical process is just as chilled out as the music she creates. “Whenever I create it always just seems to be very laid back, because that’s what I need as therapy,” she explains, adding, “I feel like most artists, they create to comfort something within themselves, not really to please other people, and so that’s what happens.”

Sometimes, however, an artist can hit a sweet spot, and comfort themselves AND please other people. This is the case with Corazón’s recent single, “XXVII,” which is one part ode to the 27 Club, that famed group of artists who passed away at the age of 27, and one part self-mocking of some of her old beliefs.

“I used to have this huge thing against the Illuminati, and conspiracy theories” she explains, “so the song is pretty much saying that all of the stars that died at that age were actually murdered secretly by Illuminati people, like this clan. If they were trying to tell the world about who they are, they’d just kill them off one by one. The song, it is really heartfelt, I do honor those people, but my personality is pretty much making fun of the crazy mind patterns that I used to have.”

Corazón admits the latter aspect of the song is solely for her own amusement, as she notes, “People would never think that about the song.” She also adds that, despite the Illuminati talk, “I don’t think that they were murdered, or anything like that.”

“XXVII” will be on Corazón’s upcoming album, which is completed, but has no set release date, as she’s waiting until the right opportunity comes along. The album was written and produced over the course of six years, and according to Corazón it encompasses “all different phases in my life.”

The self-imposed delay in releasing the album isn’t anything new for Corazón, who did something similar over the past two years due to her being unhappy with her online presence being focused on her looks more than her work.

“I was online with my music two years ago,” she explains, “and I got a lot of fans very quickly, and I don’t know if it was because... there’s a lot of paranoia about it just being about my looks, and I kind of really hated that because I never really tried that hard when people would take pictures of me on the street, and write articles about what I was wearing. All that stuff is really cool, but it’s not my passion, so the last two years I have been trying to stay away from that, and focus on my music.”

With Camille Corazón putting everyone’s focus back on her work, and her chill-step sound, the woman who was so often silent as a girl is now giving everyone something to listen to.

Interview originally ran on Arena.com.


posted by Adam Bernard @ 1:57 PM  
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