Interview With Cam Gnarly

San Bernardino, California rapper Cam Gnarly presents the official music video for "I Don't Play Bout U", the Du Noise-produced single from Northend Gnarly, his forthcoming album set to also feature production from Asend Beats, Nabeyin, OhGoshLeotus, AudioKing, Waju, Lil' Power and Skywalker Mike. As the face of the Posi Movement, Cam has performed at SXSW, BrokeLA DIYfest, PayDayLA, and THOPfest, and shared stages with Kendrick Lamar, Dom Kennedy, Curren$y, Casey Veggies, Overdoz, Pac Div & many more. He has a slew of releases under his belt, his most recent being 2021's Love Really Is EP (stream on Spotify), inspired by the Precious Moments cartoon characters his grandmother used to give his grandfather. Continuing the theme, Cam says "I Don't Play Bout U" encourages couples to "embrace your history, be lowkey yet intriguing, and remain solid even when faced with challenges."

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TurnMeLoud: Your music video for "I Don't Play Bout U" carries a strong message about embracing history and staying solid in a relationship. Can you tell us more about the inspiration behind this song and its visual representation in the music video?

Cam Gnarly: The inspiration behind "I Don't Play Bout You" was to create a song and visual that emphasized the importance of valuing partnership & remaining committed in a relationship. The song itself is about the kind of love that endures and remains solid even when faced with challenges. Referencing Lauren and Nipsey's legendary love story serves as a reminder of the kind of love that withstands the test of time, just like the history we carry with us. The music video was designed to mirror this sentiment by juxtaposing scenes from the past and present in an Inland Empire Summer Love story, highlighting staple locations of the Northend of San Bernardino; Bakers restaurant, showing that our history is an integral part of the memories we create & the music that accompanies it. It's about acknowledging the roots of a relationship and cherishing it as it grows.

TurnMeLoud: Northend Gnarly, your upcoming album, features a diverse range of producers. How did you go about selecting these collaborators, and what can fans expect in terms of sound and style from this project?

Selecting the production & collaborators for "Northend Gnarly" was a very organic creative process. I wanted to work with producers who could bring diverse sounds and styles to the album, helping me explore different sonic landscapes. Each producer I chose brought their unique flavor to the project, resulting in a dynamic and eclectic sound that I believe fans will appreciate. Expect a blend of hip-hop, R&B, and experimental elements that showcase my versatility as an artist.

TurnMeLoud: As the face of the Posi Movement, you've been involved in various performances and events. Could you share some memorable moments or experiences from your journey as an artist that have helped shape your perspective on music and positivity?

Cam Gnarly: Being described as a face or leader of the Posi Movement has been an incredibly enriching experience. I've had the opportunity to perform at various events and connect with people who share a passion for spreading positivity through music & align with the unique way of expressing my perspective and mindset musically. One memorable moment was when I performed at an event in Tuscon, Arizona ... the crowd's energy and enthusiasm were contagious, and I started a call-and-response of "Very Positive" & by the end of the set the crowd was chanting it on their own. It's moments like those that shape my perspective on music and positivity, seeing how impactful it can be when we are able to connect in a way people aren't used to seeing at rap shows. 

TurnMeLoud: You've had the opportunity to share the stage with some prominent artists like Kendrick Lamar, Dom Kennedy, and others. How have these experiences influenced your own approach to live performances and your growth as a rapper?

Cam Gnarly: Opening for artists like Kendrick Lamar and Dom Kennedy was an incredible learning experience in the earliest parts of my career. These opportunities have pushed me to elevate my live performances and stage presence. The ability to create athems for my city while actualizing my visions for how far my my music can reach. Observing their mastery of the craft has always motivated me to keep on refining my skills as artist and performer. It's taught me the importance of connecting with the audience and delivering an unforgettable live show.

TurnMeLoud: Your 2021 EP, "Love Really Is," drew inspiration from Precious Moments cartoon characters. Could you delve deeper into how these characters and your personal experiences with your grandmother and grandfather played a role in shaping the EP's themes and sound?

Cam Gnarly: The "Love Really Is" EP drew inspiration from the timeless and heartwarming Precious Moments & the Love Is... cartoon characters. These characters symbolize innocence, love, and the special moments we share with loved ones. My grandparents played a significant role in shaping my appreciation for these themes. They taught me the value of love and family bonds, life long relationships, how treat others and how we treat ourselevs. The EP explores the spaces and phases traveled through on the journeys of both Self and Romantic Love. Each song title finishes the sentence of what Love Really Is... creating "Boundaries", so you can go through "The Healz".  Finding a zone where you're comfortable to be "Sweet" with someone again. Having an intimate "Exchange" of sexual energy, but always having the necessary "Heart Talks" that prioritize Self, so you can give and receive pure "Love" again. The concept is expressed a brand new sound palette from my previous works—expanding into more melodic and harmony-driven styles. 

Interview With Cam Gnarly Interview With Cam Gnarly Reviewed by Albert Miller on 11.11.23 Rating: 5

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