AARON CAMPER INTERVIEW
We had the chance to sit and chat with the amazing Aaron Camper. For those who are not familiar with the Salisbury, MD native, he is a singer-songwriter that has worked with the biggest names in music such as Justin Timberlake, Jill Scott and Stevie Wonder. With an amazing career so far and an incredible mixtape in 2011, he is now ready to show the world what he is made of!
Now on to the interview! Read On.
Soul Society 101: Thank you so much for taking the time out to speak to Soul Society 101 today. We really dig your music and what you bring to the music industry! You have had a great career working with some of the best names in music such as Tye Tribbet, Justin Timberlake and Jill Scott. What was the most important thing that you learned from them and how have you applied it to your career?
Aaron: I was a sponge! I was just learning everything that I could. I used every experience to learn and to help me navigate in making my career. Honestly, there isn’t just one thing that I learned. Any situation that I was put in, I had to adapt to it and make the best of it. Every person that I worked with gave me great insight in the industry.
Soul Society 101: Do you think it was vital to have worked with these seasoned performers before your started your journey as a solo artist?
Aaron: Most definitely. Just being around, working, and trying to make a living taught me a lot. You know, you really have to be a chameleon of sorts. For instance, we would be so tired and then be called to do a Jessica Simpson record. So we had to immediately adapt to a pop style of singing, which we weren’t doing every week. So what was presented to you, it had to be executed.
Soul Society 101: At what point did you feel it was time for you to start creating your own music?
Aaron: It was in 2011. My partner, Adam Blackstone, and I, were writing songs for any R&B artist that we could get placements on. We would write these songs, and people would send them back, and it wouldn’t sound as passionate as we would have like. Adam then suggested that we put out a mixtape with all the tracks that we wrote. By that time I was with it and it happened to be a good year to put out a mixtape. Frank Ocean, Dawn Richard and myself put out mixtapes that year, so I was able to be a part of a good wave of music. So, forty thousand downloads later, it worked out and here we are!
Soul Society 101: So what separates you from the other young R&B artist out like Chris Brown, Trey Songs and August Alsina?
Aaron: R&B is weird now because, for me, I feel that I don’t sound like them. However, if you heard my music on iTunes, it all has to funnel through the same channel and all has to sound alike and I really feel that all three of those artists sound similar. For me what separates me is my musical knowledge and my dictionary comes out live in my show. My shows are way more musical and spiritual than any of them. Performing live is the only chance you actually get to be an artist because we don’t have the budget to pay for our songs to be on the radio. So people like myself who do well on Instagram and Soundcloud, you build your following by people liking your shows. People who come to my shows know the difference but, if you only know my music through iTunes, you won’t know what makes me different.
Soul Society 101: Nice, so your latest single that was just released "My Heart" was written by PJ Morton. How did that collaboration come about?
Aaron: I actually had that song done when I did my mixtape in 2011, so that’s when I first heard that song. Adam played the song for me and he expressed that PJ Morton wrote it and wasn’t going to use it. I was like, “Are you kidding me?” so we went and recorded the song and put Dante Winslow on horns and put Aaron Draper on percussion. It’s a Warren Campbell record so that’s a win-win for me because I am a fan of both Warren and PJ, I look up to those dudes, and to even be on a musical side with them on a record is major for me. I love the song and I have never stopped liking the song since I first heard it, so that’s a good sign for me. I record stuff all the time and get tired of hearing it, but this song in particular I never grew tired of it. We also added Clay Sears and I love what we did with the track and am very proud of it.
Soul Society 101: “My Heart” is a different sound from some of your other music, the heavy instrumental and funk that oozes from this song really feels good! Is that what you were going for and is this a taste of what your upcoming album will sound like?
Aaron: There is definitely going to be more instrumentation, but at the same time I got songs with one of my favorite west coast rappers, IAMSU, who has done all of the Sage Gemini records that we all love and I still have a good amount of R&B stuff. I have a song called “Guilty” with Carl Thomas and Que Parker from 112, and I’ve got a Power Ballad with Jojo called “Hypnotize.” I just want to be able to express what my music sounds like and that’s it. For me, I want as much as I can put into a song, and that’s what I strive to do. I just have a lot of music to get out and I’m just trying time it right!
Soul Society 101: Awesome. So when you’re home in Delaware, what are some restaurants that you love to go to?
Aaron: I just moved downtown and there are a lot of places to choose from. I used to live in Newark, where it’s quiet and its not that many places in the area. So I wanted to change my energy up a little bit, so I moved downtown. There is this one place called Scratch Magoo’s and I love it! I love Mexican food and they have amazing chicken tacos and nachos over there.
My area has a lot of bars and pubs down there, which have good crafts, ale’s, and cider, and there is this place called Extreme Pizza, which is incredible, and has the best pizza I have ever had. So I’m still getting acclimated to the scene myself and will be eating at more places soon.
Soul Society 101: Here at Soul Society 101, we are adamant about our food and trying new things, being that you are fresh off tour with Justin Timberlake, were you able to try new foods while you traveled?
Aaron: I was in Sydney, Australia and I tried this food called Paella. It’s laced with chicken, and chorizo drizzled with aioli, and paired with lamb that was the best I ever had. It was incredible, the place was called El Bulli and I will never for get it!
Soul Society 101: What were some dope spots that you traveled to that you loved and may want to go back to?
Aaron: Well, Australia of course, I really enjoyed my last days there. I was able to go to a lot of Australian shops and see their stores and I really love some of the new Australian designers. I was able to pick up some great denim, boots and a coat, so I was good with that.
Soul Society 101: Great, what can your fans be expecting next from you?
Aaron: They should really look out for everything because I plan on putting out a visual for every song. I want my songs to be visually expressed a certain way. My next single is called “Hypontize” and it’s with one of the great Philly writers, Typewriter and DJ Camper. It’s going to be an amazing record for the winter. I’m not too sure when I am going to put it out, but I am dropping another single soon.
Soul Society 101: Well we will be looking forward to that! Again, thank you so much for speaking with us today. We wish you the best of luck in everything you do and cant wait to hear your new material!
Interview by Branford Jones
IG: @branfire / Twitter @branfire