“I’ve faced many painful life occurrences as most people do, and when I listen to music I tend to relate the most to the songs that capture the emotions I felt in those situations. Maybe I’m wrong, but I feel like a lot of people tend to hold on to the memories of hard times more often than the happy ones.”
Maybe it’s the hard times that make Brazilian-born songwriter Camila Paiva sing, but there’s no despair in the way she earnestly distills a sense of beauty from the sadness and hardship with her raw, euphonic vocals and forthright lyrics.
“I don’t write a lot of songs about being a winner in a situation… there are plenty of great pop songs for that” she says with a playful grin. After growing up in East Boston, Camila moved to Lynn, Massachusetts during high school. “I was the weird little Goth chick that listened to metal and pop rock,” she recalls. “I owe a lot of who I was and am today to my cousin Sydney Andrade. As a kid I was around him a lot and looked up to him so much, always wanting to be accepted by him. So where most girls were playing with doll houses and listening to Nsync … I was playing Zelda and listening to bands like System of a Down and Korn. Not gonna lie … System is still on my playlist constantly.”
At age 25, Camila has spent the past six years as a session vocalist at Split2nd Entertainment, working mostly on pop and hip hop tracks. “I was doing this because I wasn’t playing any instruments yet, but once I began playing the piano and guitar I finally was able to write the songs that were in me that truly captured my identity as a singer and songwriter.” Today, Camila is expanding her music and talent thanks to boyfriend Dan Laird, longtime friend producer Mike Cip at Split 2nd, and pianist David Cooper. Smart girl for surrounding herself with guys who believe in her.
But you can’t really understand Camila’s motivations without knowing about her friend Holly and the night they shared laughing and playing (celebrating Camila’s 16th birthday) until they were hit by a car while crossing a street. Camila woke up with a broken neck, broken shoulder, and extensive ligament damage in her knees. Holly unfortunately wasn’t as lucky, and passed away the following day. The usual and wonderful teenage support was great, until it dissipated with the usual and hurtful “you think you’re so special” and “it should have been you who died”. Camila says: “It was a hard time socially. I was depressed and unproductive, and I wanted so badly to make something out of the only thing I felt like I was good at, to make sure I didn’t waste my second chance at life. I use Holly’s memory as my motivation to fight against negativity in my life. That day is the constant underlying voice that pushes me to do my best and never give up, and I want to share that message with the world.”
Though her vocals sound confident, Camila says growing up she was a “closet singer” who was often nervous to share her passion with others. “I was scared to tell anyone,” she says. “I thought I might be one of those people who thinks they can sing, but when everyone else hears, they cringe.” While her music acknowledges the hardship which most people face on a daily basis, Camila never seems to lament those hardships. “Too Late to Fly South” is about a breakup of Camila’s. “He didn’t want to continue. I responded by not wanting to move on. I was sure I couldn’t function, would never sleep again.” Of course Camila thought it was her fault. She writes “The stars never shine as bright when you aren’t here to cast your light on me” “I got over it quick,” she says chuckling. “It’s amazing what is always just around the corner.” Camila says she sometimes forgets how resilient she is. Camila’s debut demo is a mix of alternative tunes and trembling ballads meant to be resplendent anthems for the introspective and forlorn. And if that’s not you, you’ll like the music anyway.
Official Music Video.
The New Music Video for Camila’s Song “Reach”