Spotlight: Cameron Hardy

By Paula Araujo

At just 17 years old, Cameron Hardy knows he wants to make music for the rest of his life. After being honored as Billboard’s Woman of the Year, its no surprise Selena Gomez has caught Cameron’s attention when it comes to music and picking songs to cover. His latest video is a suave cover of Madison Beer’s “Dead”. Read on as he shares his musical journey, whats to come, and other music he’s loving lately.

Hey​ ​Cameron!​ ​Tell​ ​us​ ​a​ ​little​ ​bit​ ​about​ ​yourself​ ​and​ ​do​ ​you​ ​prefer​ ​pancakes​ ​or​ ​waffles?
What’s up! I am a 17 year old recording artist and actor. I’m a waffles kind of guy.

What​ ​drew​ ​you​ ​to​ ​the​ ​song​ ​“Bad​ ​Liar”​ ​and​ ​your​ ​approach​ ​to​ ​cover​ ​it?
I immediately fell in love with the overall sound of the song. It’s so different from Selena’s other music which was partially the reason I wanted to put my own take on it. I originally recorded a version with similar production to the original, but then decided to strip it down for an acoustic approach.

Are​ ​you​ ​particularly​ ​inspired​ ​and​ ​drawn​ ​to​ ​Selena​ ​Gomez’s​ ​music?​ ​What​ ​is​ ​it​ ​about​ ​her​ ​as an​ ​artist​ ​that​ ​attracts​ ​and​ ​inspires​ ​you?
I love Selena’s music. I think she is a very strong individual and that really shines through in her music. I love covering songs that have a ton of passion behind them and Selena’s music typically reflects that.

Can​ ​we​ ​expect​ ​anymore​ ​covers​ ​or​ ​original​ ​tracks​ ​soon?
Yes! I have another cover or two that I will put out in the near future, but I am really beginning to shift my focus to original music. Covers have really inspired me to create my own music and I am thankful to have had the opportunity to record these covers because now I am very familiar with the recording process.

How​ ​would​ ​you​ ​describe​ ​your​ ​sound?
Pop, without a doubt, with an alternative + dance kind of vibe.

What​ ​have​ ​you​ ​discovered​ ​about​ ​yourself​ ​through​ ​music?
I have discovered that I want to put a purpose behind everything that I do. Music has really opened up another viewpoint for me on how I approach life and I believe that everything you do should be meaningful.

Where​ ​do​ ​you​ ​draw​ ​inspiration​ ​from?​ ​Which​ ​artists​ ​inspire​ ​you?
I draw my inspiration from many different aspects of my life. Musically, I am inspired a lot by Charlie Puth, Rihanna, John Mayer, etc.

What​ ​are​ ​your​ ​long​ ​term​ ​and​ ​short​ ​term​ ​goals?
Long term, I hope to have a platform in which I am able to continue to make music and tour around the world. For now, I am working on finding a good team to make that possible and working non-stop on my sound.

What​ ​is​ ​your​ ​advice​ ​for​ ​other​ ​artists​ ​out​ ​there?​ ​What​ ​was​ ​the​ ​best​ ​advice​ ​you’ve​ ​been given?
Work extremely hard and hang in there. The best advice I have been given is to remain positive and put only good vibes out into the world. It will come back to you.

When​ ​was​ ​the​ ​moment​ ​you​ ​knew​ ​you​ ​wanted​ ​to​ ​do​ ​this​ ​for​ ​a​ ​living?​ ​Do​ ​you​ ​recall​ ​your earliest​ ​memory​ ​involving​ ​music?
When I stepped foot in a real studio for the first time, I knew that I wanted to do this forever. It was 13 at the time. It just felt right, and knowing that I could do that for a living as well really opened the doors for me to pursue this professionally.

What​ ​was​ ​the​ ​first​ ​concert​ ​you​ ​went​ ​to?
Taylor Swift’s “Speak Now” tour.

What​ ​are​ ​the​ ​last​ ​5​ ​songs​ ​you​ ​listened​ ​to?
1. Sleep Talking – Charlotte Lawrence
2. Fetish – Selena Gomez
3. How Long – Charlie Puth
4. Games – Demi Lovato
5. I’m A Fan – Pia Mia

Any​ ​particular​ ​album(s)​ ​you’ve​ ​been​ ​loving​ ​recently?
I’m absolutely in love with Demi Lovato’s new album. The entire sound is right up my alley. Also Dua Lipa’s album, she’s great.

For more on Cameron check out the links below.


Aly & AJ’s “Ten Years” Breakthrough

By Rhiannon Levengood

It has been ten very long years since we had a solid release from sister duo Aly & AJ, but the time has finally come as they debut their brand new, appropriately named EP Ten Years. This record features four tracks that give us an inside look at their new synthetic rock sound. And yes, in case you were wondering, ten years was definitely worth the wait.

Ten Years opens with Aly & AJ’s first single “Take Me”, a powerhouse theme that’s driven by a synthesized piano melody as the sisters demand attention from their unnamed subject. The vocals are reminiscent of their sophomore album Insomniatic, while the instrumentals push forth a new vibe entirely. They are not the same Disney Channel girls that we fell in love with back in 2005; and after this first track, you forgive them instantly for evolving.

The next two songs are much more serene. “I Know” and “Promises” are both powered by a beat laid out on keyboard. Their electronic sound is refined and elegantly produced, but with these songs specifically, the focus is more on their voices and lyrics. AJ’s best vocals on Ten Years come in “Promises”, giving the song a dreamy, light sensation with her soft falsetto voice. “I Know” touches on mental health in a gentle, compassionate way that easily makes this song one of my favorites. The very first verse holds my favorite lyrics on the whole EP:

“It’s a state of mind that’s bringing you down
So tell me what will get you out
You haven’t left your bed in days
And I know we’ve all seen better days.”

Ten Years concludes way too soon with another upbeat track entitled “The Distance.” Altogether, this EP embodies the right amount of nostalgia for long-time Aly & AJ fans and the right amount of growth to bring new listeners on the ride. It’s been ten years, but the girls hit the bullseye with this record. We can’t wait to see what else they’ve got up their sleeves.