Vaulting over the wall that separates the underground from the mainstream is a task that takes most artists years, regardless of how much talent they do – or don’t – bring to the table with them. To say that Cammi Summer is an exceptional case would be putting it quite mildly when you consider that just a couple of years ago no one would have even recognized her name, and now thanks to the massive success of her new single “Stranger,” she’s on the cusp of international exposure unimaginable to most artists in her peer group. Her sound is catching fire and is proving to be impossible for even her hottest competitors to extinguish.
“Stranger” is exactly the kind of single that millennials want right now; it’s sleek, vivaciously raw and features a stone cold vibrato from Summer herself, who is starting to look like the most compelling vocalist to come out of the woodwork in over a decade. While her music doesn’t go as far as to break ground on a new subgenre of pop, what it does do is capture all of the hallmarks of a great club song and compress them into an intimately organic ballad that is nimble enough for night and smooth enough for the morning after.
I started thinking, if Cammi Summer is this talented and capable of owning an entire audience in a song that doesn’t last longer than two minutes and change, just imagine what she could accomplish with a full length album where all the restrictions are removed and she’s allowed to cut loose. There are so many different angles she could explore, so many lyrical devices she could manipulate and shape into her own unique style. When just one song provokes this many questions about an artist’s identity, you know you’re onto something special.
I’d really love to see her expand her sound further and add some additional instrumentation, especially considering how versatile of a singer she obviously is. You could put her in front of a rock band or even a hip-hop crew and she would likely exhibit the same riveting command over the music that she does with “Stranger,” and personally I don’t know why anyone with that kind of skillset wouldn’t want to see how far they could go with it. Everything is in front of her right now creatively and professionally, and with so many options at her disposal the possibilities are virtually endless.
You can’t teach the kind of talent that this young woman possesses, and although many have already tried to replicate its tenacity, you can bet your bottom dollar that none of them are going to ever find any success in coming close to what she’s accomplished just in this one single. Anyone can learn to play a guitar or sing a song on key, but having an ear for music that is as dexterous and advanced as Cammi Summer’s is, unfortunately for some, a god given gift. Thankfully she’s decided to share her gift with us, and hopefully she doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon.