Thomas Cameron Interview with Jackie De Burca, Author of Salvador Dalí at Home: July 2019
Although only twenty at the time of this interview, Thomas Cameron, a classically trained tenor, has already had the following impact on the world of music and his fans:
“Already wowing the music world” BBC One
“The room fell silent and chins were hitting tables left, right and centre” Professional Music Reviewer
Thomas, can you describe yourself as a child?
I was a very energetic child and always wanted to be on the move! I suppose that is still evident now as I struggle to sit still for five minutes! Sometimes my ease of distraction would cause me to clash with the teachers and lead to me being described by all my teachers as “enthusiastic.”
I was always musical at school. Music came above every other subject and was my priority. I always performed in the school plays and concerts and in later years became the host of all the musical events.
Have your parents ever commented to you about what age you were when they first noticed you loved music and to sing?
My parents say I was always a performer. Our family living room was often turned into a theatre and regular performances were held by myself to the whole family.
Everything I did was always a performance, so my parents say they were aware of my love for performance from a very early age. I also loved to sing with my Mum in the car along to the radio from as young as six!
This would definitely be the earliest memory I have of getting that buzz and adrenaline rush from singing.
If your amazing talent hadn’t been discovered, what other career path or line of studies do you think you would have chosen?
That is a really tough question because I have always been focused on my music and have not thought of any other career paths. Having said that, I have always been fascinated with flying and I do think that being a pilot would have been something I would love to do.
What school did you go to?
Shebbear College, Devon, England.
Did you learn to play any musical instruments as a child?
Yes, I did learn instruments and still like to play them now when I have time. I learnt the piano when I was very young and then I learnt the guitar when I was a bit older in secondary school. I love playing instruments!
At school did any teachers notice your talent, if so at what age?
One of my teachers was actually the person to point out that I should be a singer! When I was eleven and in primary school, the drama teacher asked if I would like to be Joseph in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat because she thought that I would really excel in this part.
I am ever so grateful to Mrs Jones for offering me this opportunity and making me realise that I have such a strong passion for singing!
Once you realised your love of singing, how did you nurture this and who helped you on this journey?
My Mum was so supportive and as soon as she knew I loved singing, she instantly booked me in for some singing lessons.
This really helped me to nurture my passion and build my confidence, making me the singer I am today. Following this new found confidence and being more able as a singer, I could then start to perform and this grew into what I do today.
Thomas, in your BBC Spotlight interview, you mention a voice training teacher that considered you to be a classical singer even though at that stage you had been singing more acoustic songs – please tell the audience a bit more about this important turning point in your genre?
I always loved performing acoustic/pop music but when I met my new vocal coach and she helped me to realise my potential in classical singing and I started to sing this, I felt a feeling that I had never felt before. It was a massive adrenaline rush and something clicked and felt right – I knew this is what I wanted to do and it came so naturally.
Which people in your personal life have most influenced you up until now?
There have been so many people in my personal life but my parents have both been amazing role models.
My Dad has always been a workaholic and has always worked so very hard. He passed this work ethic on to me and really influenced my determined and hardworking nature. I am very grateful for this because without this I wouldn’t be able to succeed in my line of work.
My Mum has always influenced my personality and made me the bubbly, outgoing person I am now. She is my best friend and her beautiful personality has always inspired me and influenced me to be the same.
It really does make a difference to both yourself and others and not taking yourself too seriously is such an amazing thing, I would recommend it!
At the time of this interview, you are 20 – at this stage of your life and career, which other singers are your most important influences and why?
Paloma Faith – She was the first singer I ever saw live and was the reason that I wanted to perform in public. I think she is truly wonderful and her approach to life is just amazing!
Simple Red/Mick Hucknall – I used to listen to them with my dad in the car, as this was one of the only CD’s that he owned at the time. Listening to their album and his incredible voice really inspired the way in which I sing and record albums.
Scissor Sisters – The Scissor Sisters are just amazing and their track ‘I don’t feel like dancing’ didn’t exactly inspire me musically but made me love music even more and it puts such a massive smile on my face!
Was Peter Gabriel an influence on you and how did it feel to record in this studios?
Recording at the legendary Peter Gabriel’s studios was just incredible. The studio and its team has got to be the best in the world and they made me feel so welcome and relaxed – it felt like a holiday! Such an inspiration and definitely made me more confident in myself.
Working with Scott Barnett who has also worked with Peter Gabriel and Beyoncé was fantastic. I am actually back here today as I write this, recording a very special duet with an American artist!
What was it like to record at Abbey Road?
Abbey Road was such a surreal experience and it was amazing to see all of the photos and records of world famous artists that have also recorded there.
The team was excellent and made us feel very welcome and of course, it was great to see the legendary cross roads and steps.
When you are not recording or touring, how does your typical day look?
The reason I love my job is the reason it makes this question hard to answer. No two days are the same and even with meetings, performances and interviews scheduled, you can still never know what you are going to be faced with during the day.
However, my typical day always involves one of the following; performing (of which could be at a solo headline show, appearing at a festival or concert), interviews with press and radio (this could be live in the radio’s studio, on a phone or simply answering questions like I am here) or rehearsing with my pianist.
You have grown up in Hatherleigh in Devon – has the town and the surrounding countryside influenced you?
Living in the countryside is always inspirational, as it gives you so much space to think and reflect. This has given me the time to think about my shows and inspires a lot of the songs I sing.
I am always so grateful for living here as I love coming home after all the craziness of the tour and unwinding in the beautiful surroundings.
This last year has been hugely successful for you, can you talk the audience through the highlights please?
One of the highlights has to be attending the Classic Brit Awards as a nominee. I got to meet some amazing singers such as Aled Jones and Sir Bryn Terfel and they were so positive and supportive of my career. It made me feel much more confident in myself as an artist and made me see a future in my career.
Other highlights include my BBC TV interview and the incredible messages I saw afterwards, as well as confirming my show at The National Concert Hall, another early career highlight of mine.
In your BBC Spotlight interview you said that your main passion is performing live – how does it make you feel, Thomas?
Performing live is such a massive adrenaline rush and gives me such a buzz that I get with nothing else. It makes me feel very appreciated, as there are so many people that come and support me and listen to me perform – I simply love it!
Have you ever thought about music being an environment made up of the performer/instruments/voice and the physical environment and the audience?
I haven’t thought of it as an environment before but what an amazing thought, I totally love that idea! Every performer, instrument and voice is completely different and unique and this is just like the environment with no two environments being the same and being made up of many different elements.
You performed in Dublin, Ireland, firstly in the summer of 2018, how would you describe your feelings about Dublin as a sympathetic environment for music and creativity?
I absolutely love Dublin! I have been lucky enough to perform there twice now and will be returning on 12th July to perform at the National Concert Hall.
It is such an incredible environment and the support for music is amazing – there is definitely an amazing vibe that is hard to put into words.
If Dublin was a song, what song would it be?
Dublin would be a rich, vibrant song with a number of influences from a range of genres that represent its amazing diverse culture.
I feel it would definitely be an upbeat song, as Dublin seems to be surrounded by such a fantastically positive atmosphere.
Thomas, thank so much for taking the time to take part of this interview.
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