The Story Behind the Song: Cam, “Girl Like Me”
Cam’s second album, “Girl Like Me,” sounds like a heartbroken ballad – and it is, but it’s not necessarily a romantic relationship. For the singer, the song is more about her journey in the world of music and the need for her to fall in love with her career again to pursue it.
Cam released his first major album, Wild, in December 2015, winning second place on the Country Albums chart and a # 2 single with “Burning House”; however, subsequent singles only appeared in the 1930s and 1940s. At the same time, she was facing issues with her label, Arista Nashville, which eventually led her to part ways with the label owned by Sony Music Entertainment. and working with Sony’s RCA Records in New York.
Cam has used her platform to advocate for equality in the music industry and has therefore been named to diversity-focused task forces set up by the Recording Academy and the Academy of Country Music. But the toll of her label’s troubles and the reality of what the disheartening data these task forces were examining meant for her own career left her almost ready to give up her music career.
Below, Cam explains how she channeled all of those emotions in “Girl Like Me,” a song co-written with Natalie Hemby. Read on for the story behind the trail, in her own words.
I remember Natalie Hemby came in, and we were writing together, and we’re at my house, and she started playing “Girl Like Me” – like, the piano part – and singing the verse.
I was like, “Oh, my God, what a sad story.” She’s like, “This is your history!” [Laughs]
I was like, “Oh my God, it is.” She said, “It’s your comeback story. It’s your story” …
I think sometimes you’re not quite ready to – you know, that’s all: you’re not ready to see it for what it is in the light of day, but in music, it’s ‘s like, “Oh, no, it’s just a song; it’s just a love song,” but then we get to the chorus, and she says, “What do you think belongs? to this melody? ” And I was like [singing], “They will abandon you / You will abandon them …”
And it was just like – I mean, it’s depressing, which, you know, some people are like, “Why are you playing music so depressing?” But it’s just – I hadn’t heard that in a song, and I needed it. I needed someone to tell me: you are going to grow up with ideals and expectations about how the world is going to work and how people are going to treat you, and some of them are completely unrealistic, and some of them are. between them are realistic, but they simply will not be met. And it’s going to break your heart. Because, if you really believe in these things, of course, it’s going to break your heart not to live up to it.
And then what do you do? Like, there’s more to the story: you have the rest of your life! What are you going to do? Like, are you gonna be jaded and heartbroken the rest of your life? Or will you realize that part of it has nothing to do with you and you can’t take it personally? You have to keep moving forward and find a way to accept that there will be good people who will do bad things and bad people who are always in your life when you do your best to avoid them. And that’s the deal we made to be here, I guess …
So this song is telling me, like, I basically had to fall in love with the music business again – not the music. I didn’t fall in love with music, but with the music industry – to feel like it was worth my time and energy, because in the darkest of darkness I fell in love. remember texting Lindsay [Marias], my manager, saying, “I could make money some other way.” I’m a privileged person who doesn’t have to put up with things that I don’t want to put up with, you know?
And that doesn’t mean you should walk away from the tough stuff, but I think it’s good to know that as much as you can – especially if you’re in a position where you can make a choice – – do the things. choices that suit you …
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