What happens when a group of determined young men have a dream they wish to fulfill and a goal that seems somewhat unreachable? In the case of this story, CampSoul Music was born. Known collectively as CampSoul, the songwriting / music production trio, dropped off a nice interview in my inbox and I had to share it with you. Big beats and catchy grooves are what this group are all about, so peep what they had to say…
Who does Camp Soul Music consist of?
Production team and a production/independent label ie Joe Louis, Russel Morgan, and Omar Hinds.
Is that the name of the label and the group?
CampSoul productions (Omar, Joe and Russell) make up the songwriting, production group. And our main roster of artist we work with make up the label side.
Are you guys even a group or just individual artists plus a producer who make up a collective known as C.S.M?
Yes we are a group… A production team. Their are 2 entities. The production team and the artist on our label.
What kind of flavor are you bringing to the music game?
Something original, right now they call us the southern boys from the north. So we attack both markets, we have the dirty south sounding stuff as well as the up north Harlem type then back to RnB, not many production teams can cross those genres successfully. We are big on drums here, you know when you hear a CampSoul track. Its a fresh sound.
Would you say you have a particular sound?
No, we try to switch it up all the time, we give each track what it needs at the time, but still has that campsoul standard.
What makes C.S.M unique?
Our backgrounds and experiences combine well O and Joe could come with a hook to a song or even a whole song written then we would go to work on it. Or vice versa. We might start with a beat then write the whole song then produce the whole track at that moment arrangement and all. Majority of our music is sample free so creativity and uniqueness is 100 percent.
Who are your artists?
Joe Louis (rapper), With shows all over Canada, his single "Dip Low" is currently on the radio flow 93.5, and of course on mixtapes, local and in New York, right now Joe is managed by A.Shaw who is the owner Shaw Originals Clothing out of New York www.shaworiginals.com. Joe is also a part of the production team and cofounder off CampSoul Music.
Monique (RnB) princess of campsoul. We have been doing a lot of meetings with mangers and label about Mo. She will be out real soon and she has been doing shows all over North America. Sshe recently came back from Japan doing her thing over there.
Tonya Renee ( Neo Soul) Tonya just came off tour with Black Eyed Peas and Jully Black in the summer and right now is on tour with Jully Black who had a hit song called Heaven with Nas. She is Jully’s back up singer and she is on the Neo Soul tip, crazy vocalist. Right now Universal is interested in her so you might hear a lot about Tonya Renee very soon.
Bonita L (Rapper) Bonita L just wrapped up the movie shoot this summer of Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ with 50 cent. You will see her on screen later this year. Following that expect to hear some music from her as well on mixtapes everywhere. We are in talks with a couple DJ’s all over, promotion will be heavy.
What artists have you already worked with?
Tons of Canadian artists on the mixtape scene, right now we are in talks with Akenyelle, DTP, Dylon (making the Band). We did a track with a ATM from Making the band. We recently completed a reggae artist called Chrome 9, whom was a part of the Beenie Man family back in Jamaica, he we was in Toronto for a minute. And a lot of other stuff, which we are keeping on the low right now.
How are you working on getting your name known outside of T-dot?
We travel a lot always on the go New York, Chicago all over. We have solid links in the States who we do business through. A.Shaw is also the manager of the production team and Slim who is an agent of Campsoul so he grinding always as well.
Do you think being from outside of the country affects the progress / success of C.S.M?
It may, but what is hot is hot and real heads wont deny hot music. We met up with Big Face Gary from Rocafella earlier this year and he was surprised that we came from up north with the beats we had.
What is the music scene like in Toronto?
On the international scene, it hasn’t really made a mark. There’s are a lot of talent out here but they don’t get noticed. We are reppin’ our city through our own artist and local artst but most of the business we do is below the border. Its only logical, we go where there is demand.
Describe the experience of being signed to Onasys Records. That’s what led to the formation of C.S.M., right?
Being singed to ONasys records was an experience that in that short time some artists would have been able to hold their ground and some would have lost track of their dream and desire. Our R&B group Selfish who consisted of Omar, Joe and another member "Stevie" were signed to Onasys. With Onasys records everything moved so fast, and at the time we were not ready. In one summer we wrote over 60 songs, people saw our dedication. We had gotten everything; it was like being in that T.V. show "The Band" with Diddy.
People were intrested in us we had a strong team out there. We were in meetings with Atlantic, Def Jam, Roc A Fella, people wanting to sign our group and Onaysys records to be a sub label. They moved us out to Washington Heights with another artist. He was a rapper named "D Brown", we knew each othe previously to the move because he was also from Toronto. We heard numbers ourselves, we had a Cadillac truck, a duplex, we even had security. Anyway to end the story short, understanding that the label had spent an undisclosed amount on Selfish and of course D Brown’s living expenses we later found out they ran out of money and investors pulled out. What we left with were connections. And that is one of the most important things when meeting all these people on the regular, you shake a hand and get the numbers.
What did you learn?
It is important to work hard and put the music first and money second. You have to learn the business of music if it is your craft you should now it inside out, or you will get hustled, do the math! We learned that networking is key in this business and don’t take things for granted. You have to have the drive, desire and patience. We also learned to watch out for snakes no matter where you are from; Toronto, New York wherever, someone will always try to hustle you in this business and there is no easy way. If you think something is wrong you need to get out quick, too many artists get sucked in to the fast life and end up with nothing. One more thing!!!! GET A DAMN LAWYER. Managers are managers and Lawyers are lawyers never confuse.
Also we travel with our DJ from NYC DJ Dallas Green.