Camille Jones – the Danish dance diva from Aarhus is no stranger to music business. She has come a long way – from writing acoustic guitar music and singing background for famous Danish musicians, to becoming Madonna’s favourite.
Today the singer represents Denmark’s dance music. She has four albums under her belt and has been successful in many ways in her long career – successful in her native Denmark as well as internationally. Camille’s latest studio album Did I Say I Love You (her fourth album) has been released in February 2011.
But let’s have a look at what she has achieved already.
Camille has music in her heart. If people asked her what her job was, she probably would have to answer: „I’m a singer-songwriter, guitarist, drummer, keyboard player, pianist, trumpet player and a female MC“. To make it short: she is a multi-talented artist like no other.
The place was Skanderborg, where the little girl grew up with mainly black music around her. Her American father was a jazz musician and the brothers always played music. The music flowed merrily in the musical home, which buckled with albums from names such as Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind & Fire, Kool & The Gang and Johnny “Guitar” Watson. In fact, Camille remembers how she, as a quite small girl learned different things, such as to cross the street or the weekdays, through music.
She also wanted to be a musician and started at Aarhus Friskole, where music and other creative disciplines were at the top of the schedule. Here Camille learned to play the trumpet, piano and guitar, and her musical dreams started to get serious when she smashed her piggy-bank and spent all her savings of 2,500 DKK on a shiny new guitar. She formed various bands, but was not afraid of being other places too, so during the 1990s she was in the studio with Elisabeth, Østkyst Hustlers and Thomas Helmig, and she also toured with Soren Shoes and Anne Linnet amongst others.
Camille Jones was noticed, and landed a record deal and made her debut in her own name in late 2000 with the self-titled debut album Camille Jones. The album received many fine words along the way by the critics, it got a large radiohit in the form of the song Nothing Comes From Nothing, and Camille was nominated for a Danish Music Award as the year’s Danish female Singer.
This was the entrance to some instructive years for Camille, who wanted to know more about the mechanisms of the music business. She wanted complete control and therefore established her own record company, where she in the spring of 2004 released, Surrender. The album’s theme-song was called The Creeps, and a successful electronic remix of Gauzz (Per Ebdrup) was the opener for turnover in Camille’s musical career, when A&R Jan Meedom of the record company Lifted House called her after hearing it on the radio. “Give us 3 month and we’ll make it global” the promising words sounded from Jan Meedom and the cooperation between Camille Jones and the Danish based record company Lifted House was established.
The result was a new, more electronic-based version of the album Surrender, which was released internationally in late 2005. And The Creeps really became famous abroad: Madonna – one of the most famous pop artists of our time – picked the song as one of her favourites at that time.
Lifted House did a deal with Flamingo Recordings, where sound magician Fedde Le Grand threw himself over The Creeps. The „Fedde Le Grand Mix“ took the song to another level. The house remix ended up being playlisted on BBC Radio 1’s A-rotation and selling more than 100,000 copies in the UK. It also peaked at #13 in the US Billboard Club Charts and inside the Top 20 charts across Europe and Australia. It became one of the largest international clubhits in 2007.
At the time, Camille Jones had just completed five months of action in the show Gasolin’ at Oestre Gasvaerk, but there was no time to relax. She moved to London, and with the English capital as a base, she worked for success. In her own words, she appeared in “all the discos on the British Isles”, and although it was often physically tiresome, she could each week see the tangible result in the charts, where The Creeps creeped upwards to peak on number seven.
The stay in England – and a previous stay of four months in New York – lead Camille to ask herself whether it was really necessary to live outside of Denmark? The answer was no, “there is as much happening at home”, was her conclusion, and although some of the ideas were conceived abroad, Barking Up The Wrong Tree was created in Denmark with a strong team of some of the country’s most innovative musicians, mixers and producers as DJ Buda (Lulu Rouge), Copyflex / Fast Brothers, Thor Madsen aka Mazza and Abdullah S, who Camille Jones has worked with for years.
Barking Up The Wrong Tree was finally released in September 2008 and was nominated for “Best Danish Electronica Release” at the Danish Music Awards 2009. The album spawned the hit singles „Difficult Guys“, „I Am (What You Want Me To Be)“, „Get Me Out“ and „Someday“.
Now it’s 2011 – The new year started with a #1-hit for Camille: Sjus – a collaboration with KATO, Ida Corr and Johnson – became a huge club, chart and radio hit in Denmark.
Later Camille continued to create her personal history by shooting a critically-acclaimed music video for her single The Streets. She literally strips down in the video, but in an aesthetic way.
It was a new experience for her. During the video shoot she refused to let anyone besides Maya and the camera man see her almost naked, so the whole camera crew had to walk outside while this scene was shot.
The video was directed by Camille’s long-time friend and fellow musician Maya Albana and features Danish dance sensation Toniah. Maya has only good things to say about Camille: „I’m like the rest of her audience excited of everything she can do and stands for. Her beauty is unquestionable. Her charisma emits both power and vulnerability. Her musicality, integrity and willpower are unique. The video for „The Streets“ is my small tribute to Camille. Respect is not an adequate word for what I feel for her.“
Camille’s latest album Did I Say I Love You is packed with house songs, you can dance to – until the break of dawn. Unlike her previous album Barking Up The Wrong Tree, Did I Say I Love You focuses more on love in various guises. For her it has been quite a challenge to record the album, because when it comes to love, it becomes difficult: „My last record was all about sex. It was easy enough to write about. I had no natural barriers. But the new album is about love – love is the next step and it was really tough for me to open up. There are many things I’ve never said before, when it comes to love. But with this album I have revealed them now.”
The album features the singles The Truth, The Streets and Better Forget as well as collaborations with Buda, Rune RK, The House Keepers, The Egg and AFTC.