Hailing from southern New Jersey, a region known as much for its musical pedigree as it is for its rough-and-tumble attitude, Camille Peruto is not your typical pop princess.

Counting opening slots for everyone from Anna Nalick (admit it, you loved “Breathe (2 A.M.” in 2006) to members of the Dave Matthews Band, this young songstress is giving her listeners a glimpse into the future of music.

Her stunning debut album, Sparrow, quickly sold out everywhere except for iTunes, and just recently, this American Idol alum released her second album, From the Sea to the Sky, showing her maturity as an artist through its brand of infectious beats and catchy hooks.

Lead single “Crooked Roads” is comparable to what Michelle Branch might have put out at the height of her career: a powerful female-led track that digs a little deeper than typical teenybopper fare.

On the eve of her album release, Camille chatted with us about her music, influences, and which of the 300 cover songs in her stable are her favorites.

How did you get started making music?

I’ve been singing since I was little! I was obsessed with my karaoke machine for years and probably drove everyone crazy with it. I’d write short stories growing up, and when I learned to play guitar at age 12, I started writing songs. I have always been a writer, I guess. I love making melodies and telling stories through my music. I also played piano and violin when I was younger and did choir and theatre when I was in middle school. Music has always been in my life!

Your music draws upon a long legacy of female-driven songwriting from Joni Mitchell to Taylor Swift. What does it mean to you to be a woman in music today?

I feel like I am given a great responsibility being a woman in music today. It is up to me to be a role model for younger girls (and boys!). I know that people look up to me when I am onstage, and I want to spread a good message to my audience. As a woman, it is more important now than ever to be confident up there and exude positive energy.

You auditioned for season 14 of American Idol. What was that process like?

I have to say, the auditions were probably my favorite part! It was so exciting to take a new step in my career. It was extremely surreal being in front of the judges, and I learned a lot about the industry.

My favorite part was during the “lines of 10” stage. I got a standing ovation from the huge audience of contestants! We were all hopeful and very loving toward each other under all the stress. I’ll never forget those couple months.

After filming, when the show was airing, the support that I got from my hometown was unbelievable. It absolutely made me very determined to succeed in my career.

It’s rare for artists to completely sell out of their albums these days, and yet, your debut sold out everywhere except for iTunes. How does that make you feel?

Selling out of “Sparrow” makes me so proud and grateful. I am honored that so many people bought it, and I am very happy that it means something to so many people out there.

I think the new album, From the Sea to the Sky, will mean a lot of different things to different people. I can only hope that it will do as well (hopefully even better) than my first album.

What are your favorite cover songs to perform?

I love doing “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music! That’s the song that I got a standing ovation for on American Idol. I try to make all of my covers my own. I love doing Beatles songs especially. I grew up listening to them all the time!

What’s next for you in 2017?

I am working on some big things. My first CD release party sold out which was awesome! I’ll be doing a second concert on March 4th in New Jersey as a thank you for the sell out and an opportunity for more people to come out and hear the album live with a full band. I hope to start sending songs into TV shows and movies — something I have always wanted to do.

Visit CamillePeruto.com to learn more about Camille and her music.

About the Author

Allison Johnelle Boron

Allison lives in Los Angeles where she is a freelance music journalist, jug band enthusiast, and industry observer. She is also the editor of REBEAT magazine. Find her on Twitter.

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