Corrin Campbell is swooping in and taking over the music industry one song at a time! She’s a fierce music industry competitor, and if you haven’t heard of her, the time has come for us to introduce you!
Corrin is a Nashville-based artist who CNN called “the Singing Sergeant.” She is not only an ARMY veteran but a veteran to the independent music industry. She first rose to prominence as part of a unique recruiting initiative, that gave her the chance to perform next to Toby Keith and Ted Nugent. She’s also performed alongside our other big-name faves— A Day To Remember and Black Veil Brides! Check out her video below and see what all the hype is about!
Corrin Campbell is a badass force to be reckoned with. That’s why we jumped at the opportunity to interview her; we wanted to get a sneak peek inside her mind. So, hold on to your wigs, Honey Poppers, because we’re about to snatch them!
You juggled rock music with life in the service for a long time, what made you decide to step down from army life and how was that process?
I found that, as fun as it was to tour for the Army and meet all kinds of people, it was pretty grueling. The travel was over 300 days a year, with about 200 shows. Doing that for 6 years was exhausting! I also had a lot of restrictions. Because I was a public figure representing the Army, I couldn’t express any views that conflicted with what the Army would want me to say. I felt a bit censored, and it was sometimes a challenge to be open with my true thoughts. I never said anything that I didn’t believe, of course, but it was always filtered. I also wasn’t allowed to sell my music or benefit from it in any way. That wasn’t a big deal, but I did want an opportunity to pursue a “real” music career.
To be honest, leaving the Army was difficult. I was really starting my music career over from scratch, since I wasn’t allowed to retain any of the fans’ contact information from that 6-year stint. So it was almost like I had dropped off the radar and had to start from ground zero. I also missed my band (they were still active duty and couldn’t come with me, obviously) and the built-in commraderie that comes with having a built-in family in the military. I struggled with depression, general loneliness, and anxiety that resulted from this sudden change. But I was able to push through it, and though I still have to battle with some PTSD and other mental health issues triggered by my time in service, I’m a lot happier overall.
What is the one thing that the Army band taught you that still sticks with you today?
Enlisting in the Army as a bass player really pushed me to improve my chops and become a more competent bassist. I had to be well-versed in many genres, and bass parts really differ between jazz, salsa, and pop/rock music. 🙂 I’ll always be grateful for the leaders that pushed me to be uncomfortable and better myself as a musician.
If you had to give the same advice to someone entering the military and someone entering the music industry, what would it be?
Oooh, good one. I think one thing that applies to both is the need for nose-to-the-grindstone work ethic. Better yourself. Roll with the punches. Increase your skills, never become complacent, and always be open to change. Otherwise, you’ll never pull ahead.
How did it feel to grace the same stage with so many well-known artists during the recruiting initiative for the US Army that you got to be a part of?
At first, it was completely unnerving. I didn’t feel like I “deserved” it and was only handed it because of my military service. I had serious imposter syndrome for a while. But eventually I got over that. I realized that if people didn’t like the music, they wouldn’t be there, regardless of my Soldier status. I really felt I was earning my keep by the end.
By releasing your Greatest Hits Dual Discs, are you trying to convey a different message? How was it to revisit some of your old songs?
I loved giving the songs some new life. The Army issued over 250,000 copies of my music over the 6 years, and they were always “packaged” in a military-friendly way – both in the packaging and in the narrative. So I felt really redeemed by giving them their own voice. I was also really surprised at how much I had grown… and stayed the same since they had been written. In some ways, I can still totally relate to 22-year old me, and in others I have this “Aw, I was so young and emo back then.” It was a weird, but cool, self-reflection experience.
Is it different working on remixes than new projects? If so, how does that process differ?
It’s definitely a chance to get more “musical” about it. In the same way that I had to stretch my skills to learn bass, I had to stretch my understanding in all these different arrangements and the genres they fit into. I wasn’t an expert in classical crossover or in the differences between Trap, IDM, and Deep House. I’m still not, but I definitely did a ton of ‘character’ research to get these songs to sound like me, but still be appropriate for the fans of these two very different styles of music.
What made you label the remixes the cinematic versions of the tracks, and which song was your favorite to remake?
The inspiration behind the orchestral versions were all the amazing soundtrack work that had inspired me lately. The Game of Thrones soundtrack, all the amazing music in Westworld, and other larger-than-life movies and TV. I listened to a lot of Ramin Djawadi, Hildur Guðnadóttir, Alan Silvestri, and Danny Elfman. Epic, larger than life compositions. Their incredible catalogs were a huge influence on me and working with my producer, R. Aaron Walters, really helped bring that to life. I’d have to say that “Not for Sale” is my favorite ‘child’ on the cinematic side. It’s the last track on the album for a reason because it has so many ups and downs… which was really my head space when writing the song originally. It also feels very open-ended, which kind of communicates the pregnant pause that exists while I get my follow-up rock record completed.
Why did you decide to release the songs in pairs? Do you think the music industry needs more creativity regarding song releases?
I definitely wanted to push the boundaries of what’s expected from artists when they release music. Sure, the fans love to hear a new album, but there’s also a bit of stigma when an artist changes direction in an aggressive way. I’ve seen so many artists and bands get push-back for expressing their growth and releasing something that is a bit different… or drastically different. But I don’t think that fans realize – most creators are influenced by so much art that is out of their own ‘genre’. I think the construct of the traditional music industry has forced artists to do something consistent for their whole career. But as much as we have diversity in the world, I think artists should be able to also create and release diverse music, if they feel so inspired.
What would you like someone to come away with after they’ve heard this ‘Greatest Hits Dual Disc’?
I hope that these releases allow the listener to enjoy the songwriting and reflect on the meanings expressed in these different “languages”. I was a little proud of myself that the songs really survived being ripped apart and interpreted in totally different ways. Hopefully, this allows the message of each song to really ring out in a way that stands the test of time.
You are releasing this album in the middle of a world pandemic, what do you think will be different this time when your fans first listen to it?
Though the world is confusing and even a little scary right now, I hope that the stillness allows listeners to experience the same self-reflection that I felt when compiling the project. I think we’re all kind of examining ourselves right now: what do I think of myself when I have less to distract me? Where do I fit into the world? How can I make my little sphere of influence a better place? I think a goal for all us, individually and collectively, is to examine what we’re bringing to the world and the people around us – and each of these songs can speak to our ability to shape the conversation and environment around ourselves. That’s my hope for a listen through these albums – to influence and provoke inspiration.
Wow, she is literally so inspiring and down-to-earth. We love stanning such a fierce queen! What do you think of Corrin Campbell? Do you have a favorite song? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @TheHoneyPop! You can find us on Facebook or Instagram!
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Featured Image Source: Courtesy of Big Picture Media