Get to Know... Cami Maree

 By Dave Kosciolek

 There are many reasons why songwriters become songwriters, musicians create music, and others less talented support original music in other ways. Back in 2004, my wife and I opened a small music venue in central NJ to give a stage to original music, especially local songwriters. Five years late in Washington state, Cami Maree was diagnosed with an incurable, autoimmune liver disease. With four young children, very few of us can even imagine how difficult this was. Cami discovered songwriting as a form of therapy, and as she told me, “Writing songs and creating music helped me work through the fear and anger I was dealing with. I had a strong urge to share my story of struggle and hope with others.”

 So much has happened to Cami Maree since 2010. She started performing, leading a band at her church, released her debut album in 2013 called “Run Free,” and after 5 months of touring across the country with her family in 2014, landed here in Florida. As I type this, I’m listening to her songs and lyrics, realizing she is the perfect example of why we opened that venue back in 2004. Let’s learn a bit more about this inspirational (now) Gainesville singer songwriter.

 Cami, on Cami’s Music…

“This is always a musician’s favorite question, right? (she laughs). It’s tough to label yourself with a specific genre. I call my musical style Indie Pop/Rock, but if you could combine 90’s alternative, modern rock, a little bit of pop, and soul/blues/gospel into one genre name, that would be me! Lyrically I write from the heart. I write about the struggles and joys of life. I write so that anyone can relate to what I’m singing about no matter what place they are in life.”

 On Influences…

“My greatest musical influences past and present are Dave Matthews Band, The Cranberries, Over the Rhine, and Crowder (formerly David Crowder Band).”

 About the Gainesville music scene…

“I’m a bit spoiled coming originally from Seattle, but I think there is a lot of potential for the Gainesville music scene. There are many very talented musicians and there have been some new venues and events that have made a great impact over the last few years, but I would love to see some movements that would nurture and support the local songwriters and original music more.”

 Five dinner party guests…

“Aside from my family I would love have Jesus, Dave Matthews, David Crowder, Jennifer Garner, Leonardo da Vinci.”

 What does 2019 mean for Cami? It means creating and recording (as she emphasizes the creating). She tells me that the last few years, she’s managed music and performing more as a source of income than what she set out to do back in Seattle. “I’m trying to get back to my roots and give my music it’s true purpose again, which at the core is to give others hope through what I sing about. To help them not feel alone. To make a difference in their life. I plan to record and release my second album this year!”

 Please check out Cami Maree at www.camimaree.com, follow her local gigs, watch for her new music, and get inspired like I did.

 She left me with these words. “Music has been a life saver for me. It is an incredibly powerful gift. It has the ability to reach parts of us that nothing else can. It has the ability to influence us like nothing and no one. Although I started down this path later in life than most, I believe God gave me this gift at the perfect time, not only for myself, but for others. If I can be even a small ray of light - a positive influence to the world in the midst of so much negative, then I have succeeded.”

dave kosciolek