YRB Interview: DJ Cam

Laurent Daumail, otherwise known as DJ Cam, is a French DJ that has definitely been making his mark in the world of music since the ‘90s. With his unique style of mixing samples of jazz along with old school hip-hop on the turntables, Cam is undoubtedly a force to be reckoned with. Recognized as one of the founders of the captivating trip-hop/electro scene back in 1995, his fans can’t help but idolize the work that he has continuously put out throughout the years. Jumping back on the scene after taking a hiatus following the 2001 release of the highly acclaimed album, Soulshine, Cam is set to drop his newest full-length, Seven, on October 24th. YRB got the opportunity to catch up with Cam and get all the info about his fresh material, as well as the other projects that have been keeping the unstoppable artist busy.


YRB: Given that your birth name is Laurent Daumail, how did you come up with your DJ name?

Cam: I used to be a graffiti artist and CAM was my name. So I decided to keep the same name.


YRB: What inspired you to start spinning?

Cam: DJ Premier and Public Enemy. I remember I saw Terminator X, the DJ from Public Enemy, during a live show, and I was amazed by the scratching. It was so new and powerful. I was like, “It’s dope.”


YRB: You are said to be one of the founders of the trip-hop/electro scene. Could you clarify what “trip-hop” consists of?

Cam: To be honest, I don’t really know. The genre was created by a journalist in England. It’s a mix of instrumental music, downtempo beats, haunted vocal tracks, slow hip-hop . It’s between Massive Attack to Air and DJ Shadow!


YRB: From listening to your albums, you can definitely feel the jazz influence in your music. Who were some of your favorite singers to listen to growing up?

Cam: I was a big Miles Davis fan. I did a remix for Miles [and] it was a great honor. When I was really young, I was really into funk, the 80’s funk – bands like Kool and the Gang, Earth Wind and Fire, Maze. That was my favorite style of music. In 1986, I discovered the first Public Enemy and Eric B & Rakim record; it was a revelation for me. I fell in love with hip-hop.


YRB: It’s been a while since you’ve released an album. What are some of the projects you’ve been keeping yourself busy with?

Cam: I produced some bands, did some remixes and some music for TV shows and movies.


YRB: What can your fans expect from your new material?

Cam: Seven is like the following of Substances, released in 1996, but in a “modern” way. Seven is like the Protection of Massive Attack with my background and influences.


YRB: How is Seven different from your previous albums? 

Cam: It’s a mix of all my skills and influences. There is a pop/folk side in Seven. I did three tracks with Chris James from Stateless, and Chris brings some pop melodies into my music. It’s brand new for me.


YRB: How have you seen the electronic music industry change since you started your career?

Cam: It’s so big now. All the big records are “electronics,” even the hip-hop music records are electronics.


YRB: Who are some artists we should be looking out for now?

Cam: Holy Other, FaltyDL.


YRB: Are you working on any other projects?

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