LA-based actress, singer/songwriter, Camie Llano has a unique way to express herself and create through her imagination. Born and raised in Colombia, her passion for music started from an early age, realizing she had a remarkably good ear, she began self-teaching herself piano and guitar. Camie took every opportunity she had to sing, participating in all sorts of music events/festivals in her hometown and school, winning all of them. She wrote her first song at age 14.
Being always a daydreamer, Camie also had a huge passion for acting, which is why soon after she graduated high school, she moved to NYC, where she attended the prestigious acting school, The Lee Strasberg Institute where countless celebrities studied including Marilyn Monroe, Angelina Jolie, and Laura Dern (just to name a few). Soon after finishing her two-year program, she moved to LA to pursue her acting career, doing a variety of music videos, short films, commercials and even played the lead role in an independent feature film.
Giving most of her focus to acting for about three years, Camie never really stopped writing and making music on the side, which led her to meet talented musicians that encouraged her to take singing on professionally.
Hi Camie, welcome to OLC! Now I read you began self-teaching yourself guitar and piano, I mean how difficult was that? And what prompted you to want to learn these instruments?
- I remember taking piano lessons when I was about 5 or 6, but it was so technical and just found it boring because I saw it as an obligation, more than a passion… So, I told my mom I didn’t want to have more piano lessons, but the little keyboard they bought me, remained in my room… I was always very sensitive to music, especially classical music, it just gave me goosebumps even made me tear up. Being an 8-year-old crying to Chopin was pretty telling me that I had a very unique connection to music from a very young age. So, I wanted to play those beautiful notes, somehow, I understood them, I knew what they were, so one day I sat down in that dusty old keyboard and began playing “Für Elise” and my mom just walked in pretty amazed… So, I told her “I think I’m ready to go back to the piano lessons now.” I never really learned how to read music, but did learn the basics, enough to learn almost any song by ear and understand which chords are which, that’s all I really need anyway. I wish I had more patience to learn the whole theoretical side and read music, I guess it’s never too late anyway. A similar story happened with guitar, but a little later in life, I think around 12 when I started with it.
Music was a massive part of your childhood, what gravitated you towards wanting to sing and perform?
- I would sing to my family a LOT and it seemed like they enjoyed it a lot because on every special occasion they would ask me to sing as well. I became more and more confident that I didn’t suck so when I auditioned for a school musical and got a solo part, which was pretty cool. I would always get stage fright (I still do) but right after I start performing that fear instantly goes away, and I just feel complete and get very present in what I’m doing.
You wrote your first song at 14, do you still remember it and what inspired it?
- I was actually listening to a recording of that specific song a few days ago, obviously, I was 14 so I was very critical of it, but looking back at it I still have a lot of love for it because it gave me that start and that will to write more music. And even though it is a teenage song, it’s not bad at all, maybe someday I’ll release it for fun. 😉
How has Colombia influenced your music?
- Even though my current songs are in English, my Colombian upbringing has made me very joyful and in touch with different cultures, I love to listen to all my fellow Colombian artists and would love to work with them one day.
From music you went into acting. What prompted the move towards a different art?
- I always had both, the difference is, showing your acting skills is a bit more challenging that showing your singing skills… So naturally, people notice the music side first. But I always knew I wanted to act, I wanted to be on the screen living out the adventures I would play in my room or in my mind and see them turned into almost a reality ( at least visually) Since my imagination is HUGE, what a great way to use it than by acting! That’s why I when to New York, to study acting, I’ve been pursuing both the whole time, but depending on the opportunities that get presented to me I would give a different focus momentarily. I’ve always thought If I succeed in one, the other one will come eventually as well.
Now you have a brand new single out called “Camieland”, what inspired this song and who helped you work on it?
- My imagination! This song is a full representation of what its like to have the imagination of a child as an adult, a lot of people lose it as they grow older, and they shouldn’t, we should never forget the kid we have inside and we should explore that world more often. My friend and producer, Beto Vargas came up with the idea of writing a song talking about that very subject, because he found it so interesting, and told me to embrace it and to not be ashamed of it, but rather proud.
Do you have plans to make an accompanying video for the song?
- Definitely! The music video is coming out on September 17th!
Is there an EP in the works to follow the single? And if so what can you tell me about it?
- Yes. This is actually the second song of the EP called “Welcome to Camieland” The first song is called Visitor, is out already, the next song is coming out on October 16th, and another one in November. The whole EP gives people a little introduction of myself, the different versions, the ups and downs, and my imaginary world, digging into even the supernatural.
You’re focusing on music at the moment, do you still plan on acting if the right projects arise?
- Absolutely! Like I said I’m always working on both simultaneously, so I’m very opened to new acting projects as well since they are equally important in my life.
Who are some people in the Entertainment Industry you’d love to work with both music and acting, and why?
- Music-wise I would love to work with Billie Eilish, Demi Lovato, Sia, or Dua Lipa, they are currently some of my favorites. In the acting world, It would be amazing to work in a Tim Burton, Steven Spielberg, or Quentin Tarantino film, perhaps with Leonardo Dicaprio, Tom Hanks, Natalie Portman, or Nicole Kidman. My dream role would be in a fantasy or a superhero movie.
What does the rest of 2020 hold for you?
- Lots and lots of new music, finishing a script I’m currently working on, and just keep going on adventures in Camieland, exploring the exterior world as well as the mystical world.