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Ready to step out in her own name as an artist as well as a superstar producer, Kamille knows a thing or two about having it all in the music industry. Jenessa Williams chats to the Londoner about maths, motherhood and the sisterly art of smash-hit songwriting. 

When people talk about interviewing musicians, they often describe the conversation as being like one you would have with a friend. It’s a journalistic cliché designed to capture a sense of humanity, proof that pop stars are ‘just like us’. But when CPWM calls up Kamille, she really does feel disarmingly easy-going, cutting through her busy schedule with no-nonsense positivity.   

“It's been a full-on day of meetings, but I've just stuffed my face with salad and chicken so it’s all good,” she enthuses. “I’m ready to get deep with you!”  

"In being able to talk about myself and be super self-deprecating, I’ve let artists know it's okay to be vulnerable"

This instant feeling of camaraderie is a big part of what has made Kamille such a successful singer, songwriter and producer. Though she’s worked with a great many artists — Zara Larsson, Headie One, Anne Marie, Clean Bandit, Tiësto, Mabel, FLO, Jess Glynne, Kylie Minogue — her flagship hits all contain the same sense of feminine self-worth, letting women know that it’s okay to feel the whole spectrum of emotion.  “I definitely think I'm that girl who is like, ready to roll up at your ex's house with you,” she laughs. “That's just my personality — I'm here to support you if something goes wrong. Seeing girls' faces when they're like 'oh my god, this song helped me through this break up''s just imperative to me to find some way of translating these emotions to other women who could feel the same.” 

The woman born Camille Purcell has always had a good listening ear. Set on stardom from an early age, she was raised by parents who wanted her to get a solid all-round education first. They eventually reached a compromise: traditional school during the week, and classes at Sylvia Young theatre school on the weekends. Upon finishing her A-Levels, she ended up pursuing a degree in economics, beginning a career as a stockbroker. “With maths, I like the fact that there's an answer, a definite thing that you're working out,” she says. “But deep down, I still really wanted to do music.” 

Noting her restlessness at work, her dad introduced her to a friend who worked at a studio. Before long, she was heading there every evening, studying the producers and figuring out how they worked. “The more I wrote songs, the more I realised it was what I wanted to do. It was very much an on-the-job learning process, but it was so much fun that I never really felt like I was struggling.” 

With no real expectation or experience, Kamille wrote her first song — ‘What About Us’, which ended up being passed onto The Saturdays. “It had a real different feel for them - quite tropical and Caribbean. I felt so lucky to even be there and have fun that I was just like wow, this is incredible. And then bam: it went to number one.” 

Kamille’s chart-topping experience kickstarted a run of smash hits. According to official industry data, her co-writing and co-production contributions have accumulated over 6.8 billion streams on Spotify alone, as well as 25 UK Platinum certifications, 5 UK #1 singles, and hundreds of hours of global radio airplay. Whether she’s working with Fred Again or Mimi Webb, Sia or Saweetie, she’s maintained a cool head, treating every new collaborator with an equal balance of preparation and flexibility.    

“I definitely online stalk the person that I'm going to be writing with, find out their back story,” she says. “But typically, you want to go in quite open. To get the most out of a studio session environment you need to get rid of barriers; in being able to talk about myself and be super self-deprecating, I’ve let artists know it's okay to be vulnerable.” 

This vulnerability led to one of her closest musical friendships to date, with girl band legends Little Mix. Often nicknamed as their unofficial fifth member, Kamille has been the partial pen behind some of their biggest works — Salute, Black Magic, Break Up Song and of course, ‘Shout Out To My Ex’, the moment that truly solidified the trust they had in one another as both collaborators and friends.  

“I remember sending them a bunch of voice notes and then just screaming over the phone about how perfect it was,” she laughs. “I got to see everything with them - the highs, the lows, the stress, the happiness...I just became that person they could lean on. When you start to share those kinds of experiences, it tends to bond you forever.”  

A firm believer that for every good idea, you get “about 25 really crap ones”, Kamille has learnt to roll with the punches, to see every studio experience as a valuable learning curve.  

“You can put a lot of pressure on yourself; people have sent you into that room to make a smash, and if you haven't got it, you feel like you've failed. But there are so many different ways that a song can become a hit.”  

When things do work for her though, they have a habit of being quite spectacular. In 2021, she was a recipient of several GRAMMY nominations for her work on Dua Lipa’s ‘Future Nostalgia’, but more recently, she has bagged a particularly special prize in her own right: the Outstanding Song Collection award at this year’s Ivor Novello Awards. “Every year you attend and don’t win, you're like, ‘sigh, I really want one’. To finally get one not just for a song, but for my whole contributions to the industry, was just incredible. I'll never forget it.” 

This moment of recognition also helped to give Kamille the final sign that she needed to realise a long-awaited goal: being a front-and-centre performing artist. Though she has self-released singles in her own name before, the time finally felt right to produce a body of work, to step out as an artist and feel a sense of momentum. “It's a difficult industry, and there’s been a lot of stops and starts. It's only now that I've gone independent that I feel like I'm in creative control.” 

Race, and changing industry acceptance of it, have also been a factor. “I wasn't sure how accepted I'd be, to be honest with you,” she says. “It's only now you see a lot more women of colour in the forefront; friends like Ms Banks and of course Leigh-Anne and Cat Burns. It's a constant conversation, and there’s lots more to be done, but for me, it kind of had to be now with this album.” 

To mark this new beginning, Kamille’s project ‘K1’ became a celebration of good times, paying homage to the feel-good Motown and funk that she was raised on. ‘Muscle Memory’, featuring Nile Rogers, is the track that she describes as the project’s backbone, but ‘Options’, featuring good friends Tamera and Bellah, feels just as glittery, toeing a perfect balance between nostalgia and pastiche. “It's a genre that is just so rich and incredibly musically wealthy; the sonics and the instruments are just ridiculous. I really wanted to try and capture that energy. ” 

During the making and promotion of the record, there was also a small matter of birthing her child, a baby boy now five months old. The inspiration to even start ‘K2’ in the first place, Kamille began working on the album when she was stuck indoors with morning sickness, craving a creative outlet. “I maybe didn't need to go so hard and make a whole album!” she laughs. “But my baby is an incredible force in my life — the whole album for me is just one of empowerment, going above and beyond what I thought I could do. It's funny — I play ‘K1’ to my son now and he gets really frustrated, like he's bored of hearing it. He probably wants to hear Central Cee…”  

In levelling up her own artistry, Kamille is also keen to lift others. As part of the ‘She Is The Music’ campaign, she has been mentoring other female producers, hoping to shake up a typically male-dominant area of the industry. While the technical side of production might seem intimidating, she says that the best thing young women can do is to get stuck straight in, to spend time on social media and with different production software to figure out what feels.   

“There's so many different programmes for different budgets, different starting points,” she says. “When I was stuck making this album, I went straight to YouTube and the answer would be on there. I’d also say it’s important to follow some female producers who you rate; let their successes come up on your feed to give you that bit of encouragement. That's massively helped me.” 

“The luxury for me now is being able to put out as much music as I want, as frequently as I want to”

In truth, there is every chance that Kamille is already that inspirational woman to many others, admirable for both her talent and infallible determination. Though she notes that it’s important to make time to relax and be a regular human (“I love Real Housewives of Atlanta - you wouldn’t believe how much lyric inspiration I get from that show”), she’s mostly excited by the idea of having it all — a healthy relationship with her husband (fellow producer, Tazer), the love of her baby boy, and the thrill of being able to follow up quickly with ‘K2’, revelling in the hard-earnt autonomy of being an independent artist.  “The speed at which people consume music now is ridiculous — TikTok has definitely played a major part in that, but I also think there are just so many incredible artists and songs out there that you have to be releasing pretty much constantly…” she barely pauses, her optimistic smile audible. “Thankfully, that’s something I’m pretty happy to do!” 

Kamille’s ‘K1’ is out now. 


Words by Jenessa Williams

Photography by Andrew Benge

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