“Performing is the reason I was put on Earth and I don't see myself doing anything else,” says young singer and actress Camille de la Cruz. At the age of only 15, Camille de la Cruz is a potentially strong force within the pop industry. She is more than a performer; she is a powerful voice with the potential to lead a wave of innovative pop music for our generation as a musician and give meaning and depth to her role as an actress. Read on to learn more about this promising young & upcoming artist, who The Teen Magazine had the pleasure of interviewing over Zoom.
And So It Begins…
Camille de la Cruz was born on July 20, 2008, in New Jersey. An only child, she spent much of her childhood watching Disney Channel shows and wanting to act and perform. “I feel like my parents would say that I'm a drama queen and that I'm very overdramatic and animated. I would watch Disney Channel shows and be like, I want to do that too.” When she was ten, she finally got her wish to perform when she was cast as Tomika in the School of Rock Broadway musical. “It was surreal because that was my first professional acting and singing job and it was crazy, because I was about ten at the time, but it was still super fun.
I loved live performing in musical theater because you can feel the audience and their emotions as opposed to if you're filming a TV show. It's a little different - you don't feel the same energy. So it was really fun.”
Photo by KXSH Media
In addition to reflecting on her past in acting, she also recounted her first experiences writing music and her experience as a Kidz Bop kid. “I wrote my first song when I was 10. I was on tour. I was learning how to play guitar from one of the instructors on tour with us, and it was raining outside.
So I wrote a song called Rain.” She spoke about her experience as a Kidz Bop kid fondly, saying, “I grew up watching Kidz Bop and we would watch it all the time in school and it was really fun. I loved all the kids I was working with because usually in the industry, you're either working with older people, and we were just friends and it was so fun.” As a musician, many things can inspire and influence your work. One of Camille's biggest musical influences is Ariana Grande. "I'm such a huge fan of her," she stated. “I really want to see her live. I watched her Netflix show and it was so good. Her dancing, all the effects, and her voice were amazing.” However, her roots in acting aren't the only thing near and dear to Camille's heart. Let's get into her art as a whole.
Photo by KXSH Media
All About the Music
Music is a core part of Camille's identity. She plays guitar, bass, piano, and saxophone as a multi-instrumentalist. She describes what her creative process is like stating, "It's just based on what I'm feeling. So if I have a bad day, then I'll write about that, if I had a good day, then I'll write about that." She went in-depth about the music she typically makes saying, "I feel like there's a lot of different genres that I love, like rock, 90s music and the 80s vibe. I feel like currently right now, I like writing mostly pop and R&B because I feel like I'm very influenced by SZA and artists like her."
Performing live is something that gives Camille happiness, and she discussed her favorite song to perform live. “I just performed one of my songs, Mirror. I love that song so much because there's a part in that I try to teach the audience how to sing. I was teaching it to them and then during the song, and they start singing it and I'm like, 'Oh, they're singing my song!'” As a teenager who uses social media, she talked about the impact apps like TikTok have on the music industry and musicians.
Photo by KXSH Media
“Social media is such a big part of growing a fan base and kind of connecting with people. And I feel like it's a really useful tool because you get more exposure and I feel that you can relate to more of Gen Z.” However, the entertainment industry isn't all glitz and glamor. When asked what her biggest obstacles were, she said, “I feel like social media has its benefits but also can if not used correctly, very negatively affect your mental health and stuff like that.
I know a lot of people get 'Hey, and it's a normal part of life' but I think it's something to overcome is just staying true to who you are and knowing who you are and not listening to like what other people have to say about you.” She has two songs out already this year. “One of them is called ‘Daydreaming’, and then the other one is called 'Don't Tell Me I'm Pretty'. It's about a girl saying to a guy, 'Don't tell me I'm pretty, if you're just going to walk away, just say what you mean, and don't set expectations.' 'Daydreaming' is the opposite. It's about a super sad girl, who just wants love and she's always daydreaming about it.” Let's get into what Camille is like as a person.
Get to Know Camille de la Cruz
As important as the art is to an artist's identity, it's also important to know the person behind the art. Here are some fun facts about Camille!
Q: What's your favorite food?
A: “Popeyes chicken. I love Popeyes and Chick-fil-A. I could talk about chicken all day.”
Q: What's your dream acting role?
A: “Eponine in Le Mis. It would be a dream come true to play her.”
Q: What does a typical day look like for you?
A: “I wake up. I check my phone, and then I get ready. If I have school, then I go to school, and then I get back home at about three and then I usually go on with my manager Wes and we figure out what to do for the day. Most of the time we sit down, and write songs or sometimes we have to record a song that we've been working on. And then after that, I like to go to the gym, and then after I have to do schoolwork.”
Q: How do you balance your career with other obligations?
A: “It's a little tough. Because sometimes I'll have a show on the weekends. I won't get home until late and then I have school the next morning. But I think it's just all about having balance in your life and just really being able to know when to rest.”
Q: What's your favorite music venue you've performed at?
A: “I was in Boston, Massachusetts one time and we went to this opera house. I think it was called Opera House. It was just so beautiful. I've never watched opera, I really want to but the venue was huge because you need all the acoustics. It was so cool.”
Q: “What’s something you couldn’t live without?”
A: “My parents. They’ve been very supportive of me. I'm very grateful that they take time out of their day to drive me to events and stuff like that.”
Q: "How do you energize your audience while performing live?
A: “Something important is being able to relate to them. And I feel like it's just reading the crowd - if it's a bunch of younger people, and maybe I change it for them, you know, and I think it's all about being hype.”
Q: If you could trade places with any musician, who would it be and why?
A: “Michael Jackson. He had an insane stage presence, he was just so talented.”
Q: What is the best advice you've ever received?
A: “I saw a quote by Albert Einstein that was along the lines of, ”Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration."
Q: If you could open for any artist, who would it be?
A: “Taylor Swift. I love her, she's so cool.”
Q: What is your dream vacation?
A: “I really want to go to the Maldives.”
Now that we know more about Camille, let's see what's next for this rising star.
Photo by KXSH Media
What's Next for Camille?
In summary, Camille de la Cruz has a bright future ahead of her. The artist considers herself lucky, saying, “I'm really grateful. But I also think there's a lot of work put into it that adds to the luck.” So I'm super excited to release those songs." Camille de la Cruz is a star in the making.
A bubbly and kind person, she has an infectious energy and a girl-next-door type of personality that makes you not only love her catchy and relatable music but the person behind it, too. Her new song ‘Don’t Tell Me I'm Pretty' is out now on all streaming services. If you want to keep up with her endeavors, be sure to follow her on Instagram and TikTok.