July 26th, 2012
Danish-born Cinnamon Girl mashes up the best parts of the 80s – big synths, shouty vocals, a whole lotta neon – and filters it all into near-perfect pop, hence the comic book hero name. We catch up with the superpowered singer and find out why she’s too scared to do the Cinnamon Challenge.
Cinnamon Girl: where on God’s green earth did she come from?
I’m Camilla Roholm, originally from Denmark but based in London. Denmark’s pretty green and has an abundance of cool gods actually. Thor, Odin, Freya…
Where did the musical adventure begin? Have you always been a solo songstress or were you in a previous band?
I’ve been making music my whole life. I wrote my first song age ten, about the different parts of the body. It was a heavy metal tune – it was meant to be educational. The first one I wrote with real chords and lyrics on paper was at 12, just after I started to play the guitar. I’ve sung and played in tonnes of awful bands too. Mainly noisy punk bands.
Cinnamon Girl is an interesting choice of name. What made you choose it?
I wanted a name that sounded like a super hero. I like the idea of pretending to be some kind of terrible spicy super hero all day.
So it wasn’t a Neil Young ode?
Nope. Although I do think he’s great, and the lyrics to Cinnamon Girl are beautiful. Maybe his lyrics were floating around in my head at some point too.
Have you ever tried the internet frenzy that is the Cinnamon Challenge?
I’ve had so many emails from people suggesting I do that! I keep telling them I’m not hard enough.
Your last single Friends was received with industry applause. Tell us about the new single Devil In Me and it’s stylish new video.
They’re both free downloads of demos rather than real singles, so I was over the moon at the reception Friends got. I really enjoyed writing and recording Devil In Me. The song just sort of fell out of my brain really easily. Despite not having any kind of budget, I have been ridiculously fortunate that a bunch of talented people are working on the project because they believe in it. I know how lucky I am.
Who are you working with on the album?
I’m writing and recording in preparation. So far I’ve produced everything myself, and a talented guy called Ric Levy has done the mixing. I’m still figuring out how everything works.
You’re clearly influenced by pop. What else can we expect from the record? Is it going to be a hodgepodge of sounds?
I want to create something that has an interesting sound, but it has to be based on writing strong pop songs. I want to make fun music that people can get sweaty to on a dance floor, but it’s still got to have some depth and honesty.
You also have a very distinctive, colourful, pop-art esque image. Is visual aesthetics important to your music?
Definitely. It’s all part of how you interpret yourself and how other people see you. I try to go with my gut feeling, whether it’s concerning style or music. I like experimenting with stuff. I never want to take myself too seriously.
With the influx of female artists at the moment, what’s going to set Cinnamon Girl apart?
I just want to be a musician, and I can only hope that people will like what I do. Artists like Rihanna and Jessie J corner so many different genres of music that it can cater for all types and tastes and surely that sets them apart enough.
What else is in store for you?
I can’t wait to start playing gigs and begin working on an album. It’s all so exciting.
Words: Shane Hawkins
Images: Helen Kirkbright
Styling: Heather Falconer