How do you honor the legacy of a musician best-known for approaching each project with a perfectionist attitude? You emulate that attitude and use it to drive you.
That’s the exact approach Cam has taken on her upcoming record The Otherside.
Her sophomore album is due out on October 30 and features the title track, which was co-written by the late Avicii. “I got to co-write with Avicii before he passed away on this incredible song that I’m obsessed with,” she told RADIO.COM’s Katie Neal live from the 2020 ACM Awards.
The Otherside has been in the works for several years as her last record Untamed was released in 2015. The 2020 release isn’t for a lack of effort, it’s because of it. Cam and Avicii were working on the song together when the DJ and producer passed away in April, 2018.
While Cam was struck by the loss, she was in love with the song the two were working on and wanted to honor his legacy by putting it on the album. Part of that process drove Cam to try and match the perfectionist attitude Avicii took towards music.
“I felt I had to get this right for his tastes, for how much of a perfectionist he was, and also just for his family and his legacy,” Cam says before adding “I’m so proud of how it came together.”
Avicii wasn’t the only high-profile musician Cam collaborated with on her upcoming album. The Otherside also features songs co-written by Harry Styles and Sam Smith. How did this end up coming together? They’re all connected through Nashville producer Tyler Johnson.
“I’m connected to both of them through my musical brother Tyler Johnson. We sort of have all been around each other,” Cam told RADIO.COM.
“I opened for Harry at the Ryman and Sam and I wrote ‘Palace’ together for his album and then went on tour. We’re neighborly you know? Musically neighborly.”
Cam usually takes songwriting into her own hands, but was so moved by the two songs she wanted to act on it. “Normally I write everything for control freak or financial reasons, like it’s mine. Then I heard these songs and this is how moved I was. I felt like Oh My God I could have written these songs,” she said.
“The Harry Styles song has this ache of when you’ve grown too big or you’ve outgrown your hometown and some of the people you’ve known for a long time.”
Cam said her reaction was the “same thing with Sam [Smith].”
“I remember the first time I heard the demo for ‘Happier For You.’ It soars but in this way that’s so vulnerable that’s about keeping it together around your ex. There’s things that I would want to say and now I get to say them,” she said.
Cam isn’t taking their contributions lightly and proudly displays all songs on her upcoming album The Otherside. “For artists, you don’t have to give a song away unless you really want to. It means a lot to deal with them,” she says.
The 55TH Academy of Country Music Awards hosted by Keith Urban airs September 16, 8PM ET on CBS.