Whether as That Kid Cam, or fronting his band Cure For Paranoia, Dallas-based Cameron McCloud is fast going from a staple of the local music scene to a nationally recognized name.
It’s not only his music this trend-setting fashion-forward artist is known for. We chatted recently about performing with the likes of Erykah Badu, his #KeepIt100 challenge — where he wrote and performed a new verse daily for 100 days, and his new projects.
Where in Texas are you from?
I’ve lived in Texas my whole life, but for almost a decade I’ve been living here in Dallas with my band Cure For Paranoia.
How would you describe yourself?
I’d like to think of myself as an extremely ambitious person, but sometimes I feel that I take on more tasks than I should… However, I ultimately find a way to achieve whatever piece I’m trying to see through to fruition. Back in 2015, I created the band Cure For Paranoia and I’ve since fashioned it into a brand in order to adjust to a post-pandemic world.
How did your music career get started?
I knew at 16 years old that I wanted to pursue a career in writing and performing music, and I never lost sight of that goal. Going so far as to sometimes neglect my studies so I could write the music to put my first mixtape together. A mixtape that I would sell at malls so I could pay rent after being fired from Olive Garden for skipping work to play at the historic venue “Trees.” Fortunately, that was the performance that ended up establishing my name in some local circles, and would eventually lead me backstage at the Bomb Factory rapping for Erykah Badu. (Okay, I kind of snuck backstage, but nevertheless!) I was later asked to perform at Erykah’s next birthday party, and since then, it was no longer just Dallas’ underground scene giving me recognition, but the heavy hitters as well.
Did that success bring challenges?
My name was beginning to get mentioned in bigger and bigger rooms around the city, but only a handful of people knew about what I was dealing with. A year prior, I’d been placed on medication for bi-polar depression and paranoid schizophrenia, on top of already having anxiety and a very unhealthy relationship with alcohol. But once I created Cure For Paranoia, I finally had an outlet to be more open and upfront about my struggle with mental illness. The response was kind of overwhelming, and we quickly began touring and playing shows with some of my idols.
Tell us about the #KeepIt100 project.
I really wanted to create a ton of solid music and content to one day take on the road. To keep from procrastinating, I decided to challenge myself. That’s why I started the #KeepIt100 challenge where I pushed myself to write, record, and post a verse every single day for 100 days in a row.
Without a doubt that challenge was one of the biggest game changers for my career. I started getting reached out to for speaking engagements, modeling, even acting gigs. As day 100 got closer, I knew I had to create something to cement this moment in time, so I decided to publish a book from all my new verses and release it as a limited series.
Any recent releases?
I hit the ground running once the book went into production and recorded my first solo project “7 Days In The Life.” I traveled to Austin the same week I completed the challenge and recorded the entire 7-song EP in less than 24 hours with Angelica Rahe. It was insane, but we got it done and we’re set to release the project in spring of 2022.
Do you have a mantra for 2022?
I’ve got a couple, but my main one is an oldie but goodie. I’ve said it to myself since I first spit to Erykah Badu back in 2015: “I’m never not where I’m supposed to be.” I really do try to not stress about how things work out moment to moment, and just remember to focus on the end goal, that way I won’t ever be headed in the wrong direction.
What’s top of mind for you this year?
As corny as it sounds, this year all I’m worried about is doing everything I can to be the best version of myself I possibly can.
Fave places in Dallas?
I can’t lie, Deep Ellum has an extremely special place in my heart. ThreeLinks, Ruins, The Freeman, Booty’s, Wits End — I could name too many spots. It’ll always be home. There’s so much love and family there.
Cover photo courtesy Amanda Jacobs
Julie Tereshchuk is the Editor-in-Chief of Texas Lifestyle Magazine.