When you think of Cami Clune, it may be hard to think of anything but an angelic voice that can be compared to some of the rawest and electrifying voices, such as Billie Eilish and Birdy. As Clune wowed the judges from day one with a four-chair standing ovation, Cami Clune has been one to keep an eye on not just for her fellow contestants but for the judges as she had caught the special attention of John Legend and Kelly Clarkson. As I sat down with the 20-year-old, she admitted, “I was with John first and then Kelly, and both people are unique, and both of them helped me come into my style and helped me see what was unique about my Voice.
A Star is Born
Both coaches are incredibly humble, but it was cool to see and work with Kelly because she was on a show just like this, you know American Idol, and you can tell she understands and whats to help us because she has been in that same position. To see her where she is today and how humble she drew me to her”. When I met Clune, I noticed a sense of humility and authenticity in the 20-year old Buffalo, NY native; I asked how she maintained a humble and joyous character despite her battle with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and demanding life in the spotlight, “Honestly, it was drilled into my head my whole life to stay humble and not to have an ego. I honestly love learning, and there is always someone who is going to be better than you, and that’s a great opportunity for you to learn something from them, and you can never stop growing and learning.”
Clune may be one of the newest stars on the stage; however, “I struggled a lot when I found out that I had Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. My original plan was to go to school for musical theatre and be on Broadway, which was the route I wanted to take. Because of the diagnosis, I had to quit theatre because I would have days of excruciating pain or a lack of energy, and all I could do was lay in bed. Music quickly became my saving grace, and I jumped into my music at that point.”
Besides significant health set back in the singer’s life, the industry for Clune has been a challenge in itself. “The Industry is so much different now than it uses to be. It is extremely saturated because fame just came from being on a record and the radio for a long time. Still, now anyone can release anything any time anywhere, so you find yourself competing with a lot more people, so it can be hard because you have to keep up with posting and making new music. You are constantly competing with a million people who want to do the same thing you do.”
Clune struggles with a syndrome called Ehlers-Danlos “which is a connective tissue disorder that causes pain in my joints but primarily my neck. The ongoing battle with EDS or Danlos has made the singer stronger and motivated her in a priceless way. “There are some days that I wake up with deep pain in my joints and even my stomach, so it can be hard to find that motivation when you want to lay down all of the time. There are 13 types of Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and the kind that I have, Hypermonilty, isn’t as severe for me as some people have it. Knowing that motivates me to be a voice for those who don’t have the opportunities I have.
It’s an honor to be a voice for people with the same syndrome who can’t speak out about it or do the same things that I do. The facts of that does motivate me to be thankful and continuously be pushing myself to achieve my goals so I can encourage others to achieve theirs.”
Although Cami has made her mark on a show watched by millions of viewers, Clune has undoubtedly made a mark in her home City, Buffalo, NY. Clune is a well-known musician in this up and coming city that is the home to NFL team the Buffalo Bills, NHL team the Buffalo Sabers, and of course Niagara Falls. Clune has made many appearances at local coffee shops, film campaigns, Key Bank Center, and the Buffalo Bills stadium as the national anthem voice.
Clune loves her home town of Amherst, New York, located on the outskirts of Buffalo, and says, “at the moment, staying here is fine, and I think everything is going on with COVID. It’s not more beneficial for me to be one place over the other because most things are virtual! however, eventually, I would like to move; I am not exactly sure where that would be as of yet, but I don’t think Buffalo will be my forever City career-wise, but for now, it is a good spot.”
A Small Town Girl Meets the City Lights
While it’s true that Clune lives quite close to a city, Buffalo, New York, is undoubtedly no LAX. Buffalo, NY, is making a new mark on the younger generation due to the high volume of art, sports, and music events. This positive change has changed the environment from a strictly industrial town to a hip, innovative city. “I had just turned 20 and hadn’t been away from my family and friend for an extended period.
I had to figure out how to do things independently, even just simple things like getting food and doing laundry and just all of the adult things. Still, I think the overall experience helped me become a more independent person, and as funny as it is, I feel that I can survive on my own now!
LA is filled with some of the best food sights and shopping that our world has to offer. Clune tells me that she certainly took advantage of some of LA’s hottest trademarks. “Unfortunately, I was stuck in the hotel most of my time in LA, which had made me want to explore California even more, which I hope to do someday. Fortunately, I was able to order DoorDash almost every day, so I tried some LA favorites through that, like the Juice parlor and Coke Burger!”
Clune tells me that “My life was different every day depending on what we were working on. Practice and rehearsals for The Blinds, Battles, Knockouts, and lives took up most of my time. However, interviews and recording sessions were also an and aspect of being on the show. The truth is, I couldn’t give a day to day as every single day was so different, which made it fun but also challenging; some days I was up at 4 am, and some days I slept till 10 am, which was super nice!”
Clune stresses the importance of taking time for self-care, especially in an environment of stress and strain, making sure “I took time for my yoga and meditation to unwind and put my body in the best place it could be with the situation.”
Cami Clune Gets Real About the Show
As a professional singer, the demands and spotlight can be difficult to comprehend; however, for all contestants on the Voice but, the reality of getting used to their everyday lives after elimination can be a challenge in itself. “The exposure is a lot to come down from. I was in the spotlight for a long time, when I no longer was, I felt like what am I suppose to do now? So I had to just back into my music and a new routine and prepare for what’s next”.
After her last two performances, Clunes’ recent elimination, The Joke” by Brandi Carlile and “when the parties over” By Billie Eilish, left her with some truthful words about these last two songs. “The Joke was a challenge for me because it was out of my comfort zone in the sense the song contained high notes that I hadn’t been used to. Brandi Carlile sings the song in such an Iconic way. I didn’t want to mimic that. I tried to make it my own. It’s such a unique and challenging song, and I felt the time constraints we had during the live shows didn’t allow me much time to get it where I wanted it, which was to bring my personality and style to the song.
Did I think that I would be eliminated because of these doubts? not necessarily, but I felt out of my comfort, so more so than other performances. When the party is over, however, it flowed the most for me because I had sung that song before, and I pour my heart into raw and stripped-down songs.” In a world where opportunities like being on the Voice are one in a million, Clune truly portrayed a sense of humility and thankfulness. She is truly thankful for the instrumental part the show and opportunity have played in her life “I found my sound on The Voice, but more than that, I found what I wanted to portray as an artist.” Overall I had a better understanding of what kind of music I want to sing, and as an artist, your performance style plays a massive role in your success, and I felt that I found that on the Voice.”