Kamille talks her Ivor Novello win, AI music and working with Nile Rodgers
Kamille has spoken to NME about her Ivor Novello win, her latest single ‘Muscle Memory’, working with Nile Rodgers and Little Mix, and her thoughts on music created by AI.
The artist spoke of how she was “blown away” that she had been honoured with the Outstanding Song Collection at the Ivors ceremony in London today (Thursday May 18).
“Being amongst winners like Queen, U2, Noel Gallagher — I’m like, ‘Really? This is ridiculous,’” she said. “I think I’m the youngest Black women to win the award as well, which is mad. I’m here for it and I’m so grateful to be honoured in this way.”
A friend of the Ivors Academy, Kamille was enthused by the variety of music celebrated by the awards. “I think the Ivors is definitely a flagship for diversity,” she said. “I’ve never sat there and felt like I couldn’t win due to who I am. If anything, they want to celebrate everyone and be as fair as possible.”
She continued: “I think the issue with the Ivors is there’s so many incredible songwriters and artists, it’s really hard to honour everyone and give everyone a win. That’s the issue. I think the talent is just so incredible in this country that it’s really competitive.”
The Londoner received the award over two weeks after giving birth to her first child. Her new motherhood has left her “a mess” while feeling “tiring, amazing, exciting, emotional.” However, whilst pregnant, she made music for herself — including her latest single with Nile Rodgers.
“It was incredible,” she said explaining how ‘Muscle Memory’ came about. “I had written and produced this song, ‘Muscle Memory’, in my first trimester. I was really, really sick with morning sickness, and I was just at home making loads of songs.
“When I finished this particular song, I played it to my management, and we were like, ‘This needs someone legendary on it, it’s got that kind of sound.’”
Kamille was apprehensive at first to ask the Chic icon to collaborate, despite working with him before, citing that it was her imposter syndrome getting the better of her. However, Rodgers “loved the song”.
Although she has original music on the way, Kamille said that she still loves the duality of being a singer-songwriter. “I’m quite a weird case because my songwriting and artistry tend to go hand in hand,” she said. “I don’t see it as now I’m an artist, I’m not a songwriter anymore. It’s a weird hybrid of all the creativity in my mind. If someone wants a song, I love that. If a song is for me, I love that.”
Im in the studio w @kylieminogue and I’m losing my entire LIFE
— Kamille (@KamilleXX) July 20, 2022
She also spoke about working on Kylie Minogue’s upcoming sixth album, ‘Tension’.
“She brought out all this Kylie Minogue wine and that was a moment,” she said. “Then I started singing [the 1990 single] ‘Better The Devil You Know’, and Kylie sang back to me across a table of food and Kylie Minogue wine.”
She also worked with rising R&B girl group FLO for their latest single, ‘Fly Girl’ – admitting to feeling starstruck since she’s “a huge fan.”
After writing over 30 songs with Little Mix, including the two UK Number One singles ‘Black Magic’ and ‘Shout Out To My Ex’, Kamille is also involved in all three members’ new solo music careers. “I’ve been blessed to be a part of [the girls’] new projects,” she said, “but I can’t say much because, honestly, they are so deep into it and I don’t want to ruin any surprises for them.
“It’s been a very interesting era of creativity for them,” she continued. “Obviously, they’re all growing and making their own bodies of music that sound so different to each other. They[‘re making] lots of different styles of music I think everyone will enjoy from girls that they love.”
When asked about the genre of the solo songs coming from Jade Thirlwall, Perrie Edwards and Leigh-Ann Pinnock, Kamille said that they were “pop-relevant”, but their music is “changing all the time.”
“I’d definitely say they’re all delving into different kinds of sounds and sonics,” Kamille said, “but they all [sound] massively major and will lend to any pop playlist. You can say they’re gonna give us what we need and what we’ve been missing.”
Being an esteemed songwriter, the ‘Mirror Mirror’ star explained how she feels about the recent musical phenomenon of AI-generated music.
There has been an AI-generated “lost” Oasis album, which Liam Gallagher called “mega” and “better than all the other snizzle out there”, and – earlier this month – another AI cover of Kurt Cobain performing Hole’s 1998 track, ‘Celebrity Skin’ has surfaced.
Commenting on the phenomenon, David Guetta said that the “future of music is AI” after showcasing a new song with an AI-generated Eminem verse. In contrast, Nick Cave argued that ”ChatGPT should just fuck off and leave songwriting alone” after a fan share lyrics generated in his style using the AI computer program.
However, Kamille said she finds the use of AI covers “quite funny”.
“I find it so interesting hearing a voice on a song that you never would have heard them on,” she said. “I think it’s opened people’s eyes to the scope of things that they could try as artists. Like if I was Drake right now, I definitely would have a different perspective having heard [the ‘Last Last’ cover].
However, Kamille admitted “super-intelligent technology freaks [her] out” and finds it “scary when you hear things that are just completely unfathomable,” like Timbaland creating an AI-generated verse using the late Notorious B.I.G‘s voice.
She’s still intrigued by the technology, though, but will not use it any time soon: “Personally, I have too much joy in [songwriting] myself, so I wouldn’t want to share that with AI. However, I definitely understand where it could be a really helpful tool. Like you’re stuck on a melody or a lyric. If you want to use it, use it. But be aware that you might be losing that bit of creativity that you would have enjoyed for yourself.”
When asked what’s next for the BRIT Award-winning songwriter, she revealed that her debut album ‘K1’ will be released soon. She said it is “the first chapter” in her musical journey and is self-produced. “It’s an exploration into nostalgia for me,” she said. “What music do I really love and what was I brought up on? [That’s] soul and funk music.”
Following up on from the success of ‘Muscle Memory’, there’s “another single is coming very soon”, which she describes as the ultimate “girl power anthem.”