Interview: Will Caminada
Meet Will Caminada, a Brazilian singer-songwriter living in London who will take you back to the 90’s Neo-Soul era.
Already in young years he decided to choose the creative career path. Ultimately, he formed a band with friends and was able to succesfully tour through Brazil. However, Will felt that London was calling and eventually decided to move to the British capital to study Songwriting at the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance in order to develop his career as a musician. Last week I had the chance to get together with the talented singer and ask him about his style of music, his idols and his goals. Read below as it was an incredibly inspiring chat!
For those who don’t know you and your music, how would you describe yourself?
I would describe myself as an artist, singer-songwriter, influenced by R&B and Neo-Soul.
You moved from Brazil from London- what was the major reason for that?
I have lived here before back in 2005 for a year and then I went back to Brazil and I was very happy there, did the work that I loved. But I was feeling the calling to come back and pursue my dreams in music and I just always felt that London was the place to be. Mostly because of the kind of music that I do, like r&b, soul and pop. I’m actually very influenced by british pop music and I just thought that would be a good place to pursue my music and also develop my artistry so I came back to London to study music. The first year I studied vocals and then switched to songwriting. The three years have given me the chance to really dig deep into my artistry and just really let the artist unleash in me, that was a little bit a leap when I was back in Brazil.
In Brazil you already had your own band, how was that experience and why did you decide to end things?
When I was in Brazil I was working with music as well and also had a group with friends. We were doing gigs and wrote an album together and recorded it. It was just a great experience to work with other artists and also when it comes to performing. It was great that I earned a lot of experience of performing on stage and it gave me a lot of confidence as a performer.
London is a city with great music talents. Do you find it difficult to emerge as an independent artist there?
I think that’s a good thing and maybe a not so good thing. The fact that there is a lot of talent is great because you wanna collaborate with talented people but at the same time the competition might be tougher. But I don’t really like to look at the industry as a competition place. I like to see art more as a collaborative place than competition because I think us artists just unite, we are stronger. When you are born an artist, you just wanna do your thing, you know. You should just know the industry and know whats going on.
“When you are really truthful to yourself I think people can see that and connect with you.”
I don’t think we necessarily have to change ourselves in the industry, we have to be authentic and do what we wanna do and just hope that people resonate with you.
The classical question: Who is your biggest musical idol and with who would you like to collaborate one day?
I would probably say Maxwell who was a big pioneer on the Neo-Soul genre back in the 90’s – early 2000’s, because he’s just an amazing singer and I look up to him singing-wise. Also, I think he has always been very bold back then, and even though his genre is considered Neo-Soul he could as well consider the alternative side of it because he tried different things. He was very bold with his lyrics and production, and even though he might not have been the most successful artist in his genre, he was always very authentic and doing stuff that he really wanted to do, so I look up to him in that sense as well.
If I had to take one artist from today’s music scene to collaborate with, I would probably take SIA because I think she is amazing and very authentic as well. She is very artistic and writes great songs. I would love to write a song with her and if she would give me a song I would sing it immediately.
What are your plans for after graduating at ICMP? Do you want to focus more on songwriting or singing?
I would like to balance both, just like SIA. She was writing for other artists, or for herself or used the songs that others rejected. But I’d like to do both but over the past years I have been writing more for myself and focus on my own artist project and I will continue doing this. I think the more you write the better you become. I do wanna write for myself but also for other people cause I think it opens up more oppurunities and growth as a songwriter and artist in general. I just keep on doing what I’m doing but also try to collaborate with as many artists as possible.
Camouflage is your latest release: What was your inspiration for the song, did you base it on something that happened in your life?
With Camouflage I had this idea of writing a song about acceptance and self-love. I’m a very spiritual person and I think love and acceptance starts with you. I had this insight that I just really need to accept myself more and my flaws and so on. Ive always been a perfectionist and I just realised that I need to embrace my uniqueness, and it’s basically just a message to everyone to embrace their uniqueness. That whats the world needs, they don’t need people who just try to fit in. Sometimes, when you feel like you don’t fit in, you feel like an outcast and I think everyone has gone through this situation at some point. So I think that was a topic that people could relate to. I also had an idea of infusing art with music so I felt that for Camouflage I could play around with colours and paint, that was also the idea for the video. The whole concept was really artistic.
In the music video your hair is suddenly gone! Did you shave it just for the video?
I actually shaved it. The music video took four days, we had different shots. The first one was a darkness one where I had hair and a beard and the other day we had a bright theme and I bleached my hair,and then I shaved it. It was super fun. I was also working on the detachement of things like “just if I have to shave my hair then that’s fine”- it was more a personal thing and it also has to do with the message of the song – accepting who you are however you look, wherever you are. Your colours keep chainging so I wanted to point out that we are always changing and evolving.
You call your music ‘Soul Art’- can you give me a deeper understanding of that?
This is something that I have been developing over the last two years because when I started developing my artistry I kind of developed a specific sound to me and that’s ultimately what every singer-songwriter wants to do. We just wanna find a specific bounce. I’m not saying that this is a brand new genre because we just sort of recycle genres to our own influences and I embraced my influences on the R&B and pop side, the Neo-Soul side and just put it in a blender and mix it.
“If you think of something that makes you really happy and present in the moment – that’s when Soul Art happens.”
That’s kinda what Soul Art is. I have always been an artist since I was little, I used to draw and paint. So I could use this side as well and embrace everything of me as an artist. I believe that we do have a soul. Art is whatever you do that makes your soul come alive.
Have you always wanted to become a professional musician or was it just a hobby when you were younger?
Like I said I have always sort of been an artist. When I was a kid I was more into drawing and painting. Then I was into drama and acting. It was only when I was a teenager that I decided I really want to sing and perform and I have to be honest- back then I was only doing pop. I loved pop music, like The Backstreet Boys. *NSYNC was my favourite band, I have been following Justin Timberlake since then so he iss also kind of an influence to me. So I started singing and decided I wanna be a popstar. But the dream has always been to be an artist, only the perspective and the development has changed.
An EP is planned for later this year, what can we expect from it?
So the leadsingle is Camouflage and I am slowly trying to bring across the theme of art and soul so it is kind of a continuation, musically it is the same vibe: R&B with cool and mellow beats. A lot of good melodies. I’m a singer at heart so I like high notes and falsetto so you can definitely expect that. Also visually it will be kind of the same thing as with Camouflage. It’s kind of a continuation really and always bringing a message and some sort of emotions. Sometimes it might sound a bit dark but there is always a positive message underneath each song.
“Life is a journey”
Lots of colours and videos will be there. I just hope people will resonate with it as well and the journey. I think we are all in a journey, I think that life is a journey. It is basically telling a story of coming from the darkness and finding light, and evolving as a human being.
Do you have any other musical plans, like doing a mini-tour through the UK?
I have been a little bit quiet with gigging mostly because I have been in my cage writing and having crazy ideas, and I am slowly building this online presence just to really show people what I’m all about. The plan is that when I release my EP to have a gig, to kind of have a launch where people come to and hopefully already know who I am. So they’ll be able to engage in my music!
Follow Will on Soundcloud:
and on Instagram.