In this episode of our Mid Tenn Listens podcast, we chat with Camino 84 about his fresh style of disco, his newest project, influences and much more.
Full audio interview along with the transcript and a stream of his album New Mutant Disco can be found below.
Listen to New Mutant Disco
Where are you from and what style of music do you create? (In your own words, not necessarily in marketing terms or by popular genre classifications.)
I’m from Boston, and I make disco music. I kinda use disco as a catch-all, in the spirit of legendary DJs like Larry Levan who would play anything that they felt worked on the dancefloor, from the Police and Talking Heads to afro-cuban jazz and disco. I blend a lot of those influences together into my music.
What led you down this path of music and what motivates you to stay the course?
I’ve always been a fan of disco-influenced stuff- growing up with Deee-lite and Sugarhill Gang CDs, getting into jazz-funk and vinyl as a teen, and then while I was finishing college I decided to start a project dedicated to producing and DJing disco. A big part of what keeps me in it is the historian/archivist angle- I’m unearthing a lot of rare and largely forgotten records from the late 70s and early 80s and breathing new life into them. I think it’s important work to be doing.
How is your new release different than previous ones? Did you set out to accomplish anything specific?
Yeah so the new album is New Mutant Disco (https://camino84.bandcamp.com/album/new-mutant-disco) and it’s pretty wildly different just because it’s so punk-oriented. I specifically set out to make something that I thought was really visceral and exciting, it was a reaction against all this really well-done and well-produced music I was hearing on my Spotify Discover Weekly or whatever that I still found boring. So I started to develop this anti-perfectionist streak almost, and when some of the tunes started taking after the late-70s post-punk scene in NYC I consciously chose that as the direction for the album. So there’s lots of loud guitars, distortion, mistakes left in, stuff like that. I think it turned out great, it’s a very fun and relentless album.
Do you face challenges as an indie musician in a digital age? How has technology helped you (assuming it helps)?
I’ve never been an indie musician in a non-digital age, so I can’t really say if I face unique challenges or anything. I think monetization is one of the things I’m still figuring out, how to balance the ever-important free access to my music and getting new ears on the tunes with monetizing that audience… I think I’m starting to get the hang of it. Spotify has been really good to me, some of my previous singles got picked up by the Discover Weekly machine and that brought in a great stream of new fans and revenue. For the most part I see technology as an awesome tool to connect with my fans. I try to be super responsive, talk to people in DMs and chatrooms all the time. Nothing beats forming personal relationships, I think that’s priority #1.
Where can we connect with you online and discover more music?
If you wanna connect with me, I’m really big on Twitter, hit me up @caminodisco. Also on Facebook too for sure, and my email list- I reply to anything somebody sends in response to emails (you can sign up for it at camino84.com) As for checking out my tunes, I love Bandcamp and also Spotify. Those are my big two.
Anything else before we sign off?
Yeah just hit me up on the net and chat music! I love to hear about what people are listening to lately, get and give recommendations, etc. Would love to hear from your readers.