HomeEF CountryInterview: Kameron Marlowe talks inspirations & new album 'We Were Cowboys'

Interview: Kameron Marlowe talks inspirations & new album ‘We Were Cowboys’

Before taking his chance in the music industry Kameron Marlowe sold car parts at General Motors. Then NBC’s hit TV show ‘The Voice’ offered him a fast-track to the live auditions after chancing upon his YouTube videos. Fast forward to 2020 and Marlowe, signed to Sony Music Nashville’s Columbia imprint, releases his debut EP with break-out hit ‘Giving You Up’ garnering him all sorts of attention. That track, and follow up release, ‘Burn ‘Em All’ have since been certified as gold records and Marlowe completed this phase of his career journey with the release of his accomplished debut album, ‘We Were Cowboys’ last month. You can read our review of the album now.

We were thrilled to grab some time with him recently to talk all about it.

Great to talk to you today, Kameron, thank you for your time. It must be such a great feeling having ‘We Were Cowboys’ out in the world now?

Likewise, thank you for your time. Oh my gosh, man, it’s kinda surreal really because I’ve been working on this record for two years now and people seem to be responding to it so well! I can’t wait to see what’s gonna happen with it.

Congratulations on ‘Burn ‘Em All recently being certified as a gold record. What does that milestone or achievement mean to you?

Oh man, that’s now my second gold record so I am VERY, VERY blessed. It’s awesome to see my songs resonating with people so much. It means a lot to me.

How do you define success at this stage of your career. Is it gold records? Chart hits? Tours with big artists?

For me, success, is the fans. Whether that’s responses on social media or ticket sales for the shows. There is nothing better than selling out all the tickets to a show. The fans are everything to me so as long as I’m doing what’s right and the fans are coming out to see the shows, I’ll define that as a success.

What did your stint on ‘The Voice’ teach you about yourself and the music industry?

It kinda opened up the whole world of the music industry to me. ‘The Voice’ was a fun thing to do and I enjoyed being on the show but it taught me more about songwriters and finding out that being a songwriter could be a job. I’d never seen that side of the industry before and I was, like, ‘I wanna go to Nashville and do that then!’ (laughing) After the show finished I started coming to Nashville as much as I could and now I live here, so that’s cool!

Was it an easy decision to make to move to Nashville?

It was! (laughing) Randomly I found a couple of room mates in a bar in town! I was down there meeting people and writing and these guys said they were getting a house and moving down and asked me if I wanted in. I honestly thought I’d never hear from them again but they hit me up a couple of weeks later and said that moving day had been arranged and I was, like, ‘Oh man, I guess I’m moving to Nashville then!’ (laughing)

My favourite song on the album is ‘Over Now’. You’ve been saying on Instagram that yours is ‘Does It Have to be Over’. What is it about that track that you love so much?

I think it has something to do with the day we wrote that song. It really felt so special. It felt like the kind of song I hadn’t written before and a big step forward in my career as a writer. Sometimes writes are super-hard and sometimes they are super-easy. This song was one of the hard ones, which is crazy because it is a simple song, but the words have to matter and we worked so hard on them so I think that’s why it means a lot to me.

My favourite line on the album is in ‘Steady Heart’ when you sing, ‘God only knows where we’ll end up when you mix my callous ways with her sweet touch’. That’s so evocative and powerful. Do you have a favourite line, bridge or chorus?

Thank you. My favourite line is probably in ‘Girl on Fire’. It’s the opening line of the song. ‘I wonder if those whispering pines ever tell our secrets.’ I don’t know where that line came from or how I even got to it but it fits the song so well and creates a wonderful atmosphere for storytelling in it.

There’s a wonderful mix of Country, Rock and Blues on ‘We Were Cowboys’. What’s your default position with those genres? Which one would you automatically gravitate to or does it depend on the mood you are in?

I think it depends on the mood. I enjoy writing all kinds of music. I’m always going to be ‘Country’ because that is who I am, at heart. I do have all these different sides to me from listening to all sorts of different kinds of music over the years, I’m not just a one genre guy, I like to listen to lots of different things.

I think that kinda shows on ‘We Were Cowboys’ because there is a little bit of everything on there.

When I listen to songs like ‘Country Boy’s Prayer’ or some of the structure and guitar sound on ‘Fool Me Again’ I hear Bon Jovi. ‘This Old Town’ reminds me of Tom Petty. Who are the musicians and artists that have influenced you in your career so far?

Well, you just named two of them! (laughing) I was brought up on a lot of Bon Jovi, my mum is probably one of their biggest fans in the world! Tom Petty is one of my personal heroes, one of the most incredible writers and performers we’ve ever had, I loved everything he did.

After that I would say Ray Charles, for the Blues, George Jones, Keith Whitley, George Strait – they are all in there, man.

For a younger guy, that’s a lot of old dudes! That might explain some of the wisdom that can be found on ‘We Were Cowboys’. Did you find yourself drawn to older artists?

I always did. People would hate it when I got my turn on the aux cord in the car because I would always play the oldies! (laughing) For me, they were cool, even if no-one else thought the same!

The title track is such an impactful, atmospheric song. You’re singing about older dudes and John Wayne on there too!

That song came out so well. No-one involved in the writing of that song is a cowboy! We all talked about wanting to be cowboys when we were younger but none of us had worked on a ranch or anything like that, we were all just normal country folk!

When we started writing the song I think it was Tyler Farr who said ‘What if we write a song about how we all wanted to be cowboys?’ based around the idea of wanting to be cowboys when we were kids, even though we had no idea of what that actually meant and the hard work that goes into that job and lifestyle!

Did you get any pressure from the label to change the title or chorus of ‘Money Ain’t $hit’ or were they okay with it from the off?

No, they didn’t fight me at all, not that I would have let them! (laughing) That is such a fun song to play live, we really rock that one hard on stage.

What’s your favourite song that you sang in the studio and your favourite to play live? It’s often not the same song.

My favourite song to sing live is possibly ‘Fool Me Again’, that is such a good song. When we do ‘Fool Me Again’ live we do the first half acoustic and then the band kicks in and those Bon Jovi guitars that you mentioned earlier push the song to a big ending.

In the studio, my favourite to sing was ‘We Were Cowboys’ – it was fantastic to hear the song come together that first time we played it. When we first started getting into it I was a little bit, like, ‘This is not how I expected it to sound’ but I’m so glad we recorded it the way it is now because it’s such a joy.

I can see why you put ‘We Were Cowboys’ as lead track. With 16 songs on the album, that’s a lot to sequence and try to get a flow going. Did you put a lot of thought into the sequencing of the tracks?

I did! I wanted to make sure there was a flow and a story that was being told. I tried to line up some of the songs in the same timeline that they happened to me in real life, so that I was telling a story. I wanted there to be that flow with the album.

You’ve just appeared on the Bobby Bones show, which is a big milestone and step for emerging artists. Did you enjoy it? Were you nervous?

(laughing) I don’t usually get nervous for interviews anymore but, yes, I was a little bit that day. It was a case of ‘If I mess this up, a lot of people are going to hear it!’ (laughing) I enjoyed the heck out of it, it was great and Bobby is such a great person, it was awesome day.

Another milestone is your headline tour, which begins early September. Do you feel a pressure being a headliner artists that you wouldn’t have felt as the support?

I’m definitely feeling the pressure a little but I will say that I’ve learned so much from all the different artists that me and the band have been out on tour with so far. I’m gonna take that to learn how to run our shows and make sure that we put on the best show that we can.

I’ve been out with some incredible artists in the last two years and have learned so much. The best touring artist I’ve seen in the last few years would be HARDY. He puts on these incredible shows, he’s got everything dialled in and he really knows what he’s doing backstage and onstage too. Every time I got a chance to watch him we sat back and soaked it all in, man!

You’re going to get a chance to see what Thomas Rhett is like out in Canada next year too. Do you think there might be space in the itinerary to come to the UK some time next year as well?

I’m so excited about the Canada shows and stoked to be playing with TR too! I’ve not had the chance to meet Thomas yet but I hear he’s an incredible guy and I can’t wait to see his show too. Jordan Davis is on that tour as well, so that will be a fun tour!

My next goal would be to come over to the UK and play for y’all. I have never been over to the UK and that would be a dream come true for me, I’ve always wanted to see that side of the world, I hope that gets to happen next year. I appreciate all the support I am getting from folks over there who seem to be really digging the album.

Check out Kameron Marlowe’s debut album, “We Were Cowboys’ – out on all platforms and in stores now.

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