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Africa Distinct 031 – Camerøn

Hey guys, welcome to our final edition of the year. We will be ending off a beautiful year to the series with an incredible guest mix. This South African-born artist, Camerøn, who is currently based in Berlin has captivated audiences not only across his home country but also internationally at some of Berlin’s renowned venues such as KitKat, OXI, Ritter Butzke and BDME – Berlin Dance Music Event.

With gaining support from Grammy Award-winning group RÜFÜS DU SOL on one of his debut singles – ‘Ancestors Speak To Us’ – he has gone on to release with labels such as Katermukke/Mukke, ILINX, Electric Friends Music as well as having shared stages with the likes of Dirty Doering, NenaHalena and Animal Trainer.

He continues to show how he manages to push his love & passion for the art to new heights both on stage and in the studio. It’s with great honour to welcome this talent to handle the 31st edition of our Africa Distinct series.

As usual, we’ll let the music do all the talking. Without further more, we welcome Camerōn to the Africa Distinct series. Enjoy the ride!

Connect with Camerøn on Instagram / Soundcloud / Facebook

Let’s get it started. First of all, welcome to the show. It is such a pleasure and honour to have you on. Let’s start with where this beautiful journey with electronic music began.

Thank you so much for inviting me! I am honoured to be a part of the show. I don’t think I can pinpoint a specific day, time, or location where the journey began because there were so many variables and amazing influences at play. My first few gigs, playing in front of small crowds and jamming at home for hours on end sparked the start of this adventure. There were so many amazing moments that influenced the beginning of it all.

In continuing to raise more awareness for mental health issues that artists go through, what have been some of your battles in this path of music & being an artist that you’ve faced and what are some of the coping mechanisms you do to protect and maintain a healthy mental state?

Great question, I’d first like to say that for me, I am in such a great place mentally and emotionally on a day-to-day basis and I can fully credit that to this path of music that I have chosen to pursue, being in the studio creating and surrounding myself within the industry is what gives me energy and keeps my mental in check more than anything. However yes, there is no doubt that this journey can bring on battles for artists, we all have to support and be there for each other, it can be a lonely road. I struggled a lot when I got to Berlin from having burnouts, overworking myself in the studio and doing all-nighters to try to push out as many tracks as possible. I just had to adapt and manage my time better like putting a focus on getting outside of the four studio walls and playing basketball or just taking a walk in the park instead.

You had an incredible highlight in your career earlier this year, where Grammy Award-winning group RÜFÜS DU SOL played and included your single “Ancestors Speak To Us” in their Rose Avenue Showcase DJ Mix at Space Miami. Tell us a little about how that came about and what was the feeling like seeing that happen.

Thank you! My debut single, Ancestors Speak To Us, is a really special track for me. I’m incredibly appreciative that people from all over the world were able to come together and dance to my production, which was performed by RÜFÜS DU SOL at Sundream Baja and SPACE Miami. It gave me immense motivation to continue working long hours at the studio and honing my craft. I wish I could have been there to see my track performed live, but I have no idea how the group found out about it.

Having worked with award-winning vocalist Lizwi on a more afro record earlier this year, you then went on to make a debut on Katermukke’s sub-label Mukke together with Melouie titled “Remember Me” and then again on ” Moment Away”. Tell us a little about how this collaboration came about and how was it for you to change or rather explore a different avenue of sound from ‘Afro’ based on your previous releases.

I’m from South Africa, and I’m really passionate about the Afro House scene. I’m sure that most people who are involved in the scene are aware of Lizwi; she’s a very gifted singer and artist. I thought my production lacked a powerful vocalist, so I approached Lizwi and suggested the record; the rest is history.

I first connected with Melouie almost two years ago when I was attending panels at the Berlin Dance music event and I was part of the lineup. Two days later, we were working on these projects in the studio, and a week later, the tracks were almost finished and had found a home at the beautiful Katermukke/Mukke family.

I’ve loved a variety of electronic music styles and genres throughout my career, having been into it since I was young. To put it another way, I’m just creating freely and allowing my daily inspirations to show through in my productions rather than trying to explore new soundscapes. I don’t need to fit into a certain genre or style, I just make whatever comes to me that day, and if I’ve worked on a record with someone and feel a strong connection to it, I want everyone to hear it.

In collaborating with different artists even on your latest release out now titled “Mr Ngcobo” out on South African-based label Round Robin Recordings as well as your previous “This Is What Happens” out on ILINX, has it always been intentional to explore different avenues of sound or is that something new that you getting into as an electronic music artist?

There is no intention behind different genres of music being released by me. The only intention is that I am releasing quality and unique productions and not trying to copy a certain sound but rather letting my creativity and feeling within the studio speak for itself. I love what I do, I am having fun with it and I get inspired by so many different styles.

Camerøn, how has this journey been moving, from South Africa and now being based in Berlin? Is there any advice you can give to artists looking to move or work abroad where their sound and audience could come from?

Undoubtedly the greatest decision I have ever made, although leaving friends and family behind and venturing into the unknown was difficult at first. I genuinely love Berlin, and I plan to continue developing my career there because it is such a vibrant, artistic, and beautiful city. I’m in love with Berlin. My recommendation would be to research the music scene in the city you wish to relocate to and if it feels right, take the leap. You won’t know if you made the right choice until you’re there. There are always more advantages to stepping outside of your comfort zone than disadvantages.

What are some of the challenges you’ve faced as well as breakthroughs you’ve made, in breaking into the European scene and now playing shows?

Of course, there were many challenges and there still are, but that is exactly what I signed up for when I chose to move my career over to Europe. I would say the biggest adjustment, in my opinion, was from DJing every weekend back in South Africa to having 0 gigs in Berlin. Which on the positive side made me spend endless hours in the studio.

I am loving the journey and have had the opportunity to play at some amazing clubs such as KITKAT, OXI and Ritter Butzke just to name a few. I have also had the pleasure of performing at the Berlin Dance Music event for the past two years. The energy in these venues is indescribable, Berlin crowds are so in tune with the music, and crazy energy. I love it.

Where do you find your source of inspiration and motivation to keep creating and writing music?

To be honest, I just love to spend time in the studio creating. It comes naturally to me and it is incredibly addictive to be in my happy place and producing. I find inspiration in many forms of everyday life. There are just too many to name. Anything and everything I can take something from it and get inspired.

What can we expect from you for the remainder of the year?

I have recently just touched down in South Africa to begin my process of creating an album and also my first tour back since I left. I have some really exciting shows lined up and can’t wait to give all my energy into my performances. I also have an upcoming release on Berlin record label RISE, that will be out before the end of this year – a collab with Budda Sage. Levi Dry and I will also be releasing a beautiful track titled “Peace”. Super excited.

Any other exciting news you’d like to share with us that we can look forward to from Camerōn?

Way off topic but I am excited to be missing the Berlin winter for a bit haha, Cape Town sunshine is calling my name. And with regards to music, a beautiful collab I worked on for over a year is finally finished and it got tested out at PACHA Ibiza last month and I can’t wait for the world to hear it. That is all the info I can give right now.

Lastly, what can we expect from the mix?

Expect some groove, some flavour, some rhythm and a whole lot of energy. Some beautiful tracks from amazing artists/labels inspire me and feed the house music scene. And of course 1 or 2 unreleased tracks. I hope you enjoy the mix and more importantly, thank you so much Zee and Tanzgemeinschaft for having me create this mix, I really appreciate it. Big love.

Thank you, Camerøn.

It matters little whether you are an artist or a visitor, the love for music is the unifying factor.

We are a magazine & record label dedicated to quality underground electronic music. We do not look for just any music or anyone, we are looking for music, and people who create memorable experiences, that inspires and invokes emotion. Let’s create timeless music.