Q&A: Cam Cokas
Cam Cokas is an up-and-coming independent artist from Raleigh, NC who reminds listeners what music is really all about. From an early age, Cam was drawn to the piano, and by age eight began experimenting and writing his own instrumentals. Since then, he has evolved into a singer/songwriter, collaborating with other young artists, including his twin brother. Inspired by iconic artists such as Billy Joel, Bon Iver, Ed Sheeran and James Blake, Cam’s music draws on R&B and pop influences, producing tracks with rich, deep vocals, emotionally charged yet simple lyrics, and rich beats you could sink your teeth into.
I had the chance to interview Cam and learn about his journey as a musical artist.
When/how did you begin to view music as something more than just a hobby?
When I was in 9th grade I started to take music a little more seriously and really wanted to make an album, but I wasn’t really a singer. Also, I didn’t have any producers or money for that either. So, I decided to produce it myself on Garageband… In 11th grade, I started playing at open mics and getting paid shows and that’s really when my singing became part of my music so yeah! I’d lug around my 50 pound keyboard and play around Raleigh/Wake Forest. Yeah, I’m glad I started doing that!
What do you want to accomplish as an artist?
My goals as an artist are to express myself and my feelings towards certain situations and emotions as well as create something that is therapeutic for people including myself. I also like to make people dance! So, I’ll usually put my songs over danceable beats. I want to be able to make people emotional all while having them bounce up and down…so, yeah.
I hope to bring authenticity to the music industry because it’s full of a lot of s*** played for 10 year olds which is what makes the labels money. I’m all about truth and what sounds good to me. The second I start making music for my fanbase or for the general public, that’s the moment I fail myself and everyone as an artist. I will continue to develop and improve and money isn’t going to drive that… people shouldn’t be out here just for the money!
What projects did you enjoy creating most or feel most connected to?
My favorite project to work on was me and my brothers recent collaborative project called “Out the Blue” which has production and singing from me and rapping from Zack! … It definitely has something for everyone with a heavy Atlanta trap influence! Also, I’m very connected to my song “Upset” because it just flowed out of me within an hour when I was recording and writing it. I just felt all of the lyrics and it was super simple for me, which is nice.
While studying music production at UNCA, Cam Cokas is currently working on his biggest project yet – a full album written and produced by him with featured artists from both Raleigh and Asheville. It is set to release in late October. He also plans to start doing more live shows in the future.
By Jessica Gustines