It's not every day that a former stockbroker becomes a chart-topping songwriter, producer, and artist, with a Grammy nomination to boot. But Kamille --- the powerhouse behind hits from Sia, Dua Lipa, Little Mix, and more -- knows a thing or two about following gut instincts. "I thought that was the safest route for me at the time, but I [also] used to hang around in these studios," she explains. "And one day I just literally walked out of my job."
Interviewed for our Songwriter Saturdays series by Alyssa Cotsalas, Kamille reminisces about some of her highest highs ("I was really lucky when the first song I wrote went to number one") and lowest lows ("Lately, I feel like anxiety is like my default"). Her secret weapon? Unwavering passion and a healthy dose of confidence. Read on below to learn how she braced herself while embracing the wild ride on her journey from banks to beats.
1. Find Social Media's Positives
"It's kind of like writing pop songs on acid now, essentially," she says, "because whereas before you would be running something catchy anyway, now you're thinking about every single part of the song that could pop off on social media."
"It's [about] not getting too caught up in it because it can sometimes take you away from the pleasure of writing a song," she continues. "What I find funny is the thing that you think is gonna pop from your song will not be it... Users, they just decide what they want."
2. Seek Collaborators That Make You Feel Comfortable
When working with Mabel on "Don't Call Me Up," Kamille, "wanted the chorus to just be so iconic, like we were vibing on those melodies. Then, if I remember correctly, I just started [singing] something really stupid. I don't remember what I was singing, but we were all like, 'Yeah, that's it!' And it was more like a chime than anything...I was just in a weird mood. I don't know what I was doing, but we were just having fun."
3. Cultivate Relationships with A&R
"When you have a long relationship with an artist, typically you'll have a great relationship with their A&R person or their manager," she says. "That's usually a secret cog in the wheel because they're kind of the gatekeeper to this project."
"You don't understand how much that stuff helps," she continues. When working with Little Mix on "Shout Out to My Ex," their reps, "helped me understand what the group needed."
4. Embrace Your Strengths
"I have a list of songwriting ideas, which right now is probably around 10,000 ideas. It's so crazy because I am not one to come up with great lyrics straight away. That's just not my strength... But melodies, oh my gosh. Don't play with me. I will get on the mic, and I just love singing melody so much.'"
5. Celebrate Yourself
"The one piece of advice I would have given to myself is to know how incredible I was as a black woman, and to not have ever doubted that [or] thought that I couldn't be an artist... Everyone was telling me that it wouldn't work, and I definitely think that was down to me being a black female in the UK. So I would've told myself that I was beautiful, incredible, and amazing. And that I was destined for greatness."