Houston Calling

SXSW preview: Kamerra Franklin

March 2nd, 2009 · 2 Comments

Photo by Amanda V.

Photo by Amanda V.

Houston-based singer Kamerra Franklin (aka Kam) has been singing in front of audiences since she was five years old, and has played in Houston bands since 2004 (with The Blue Lights) and ska band Heptic Skeptic. Kam is heavily involved in her local independent music scene — from weekly songwriter’s workshops to the “Leave Your Genre At The Door” shows, she makes a point of getting her music heard and helping other musicians do likewise. Kam’s debut EP, Bamitskam, was released in 2008, and she is constantly working on new material and experimenting with styles.

Kam recently answered a few questions about her music and South By Southwest for Houston Calling.

Houston Calling: How did you get started as a musician?

Kam: I started out in the gospel church around age five and then made my way to opera during high school and later found myself in a series of ska/reggae bands after high school.

HC: Have you played South By Southwest before? If so, how was that experience?

Kam: I played last year at Prague. It was a really great experience for me. I ended up meeting one of my favorite bands, RX Bandits. After a bit of schmoozing they came to my show and I eventually ended up opening for them when they toured here with Portugal the Man.

HC: What are you hoping to get out of this year’s SXSW?

Kam: Free booze and a good time. I’m gonna be playing with my guys from Heptic Skeptic so I know it’s gonna be a good time either way.

HC: What do you consider to be your primary musical influences?

Kam: Gospel, Prince, Dub, Bluegrass, and Soul.

HC: How do you see the Houston music scene changing?

Kam: I think it’s changing now because there is finally some camaraderie amongst the local bands. People are actually more willing to help each other out these days and share connections and lessons that they have learned along the way with those of us that get a little lost in the independent side of the biz every now and then.

HC: Obviously, by getting involved in breaking down genre barriers musicians can get a wider audience. How did the recent “Leave Your Genre at The Door” show come about?

Kam: I got tired of trying to find the “right” artists to play with. I found it hard to get on shows with all indie rock line-ups or all hip-hop line-ups, so instead of whining I just booked my own event.

HC: What are some of the bands you’re looking forward to seeing at this year’s SXSW?

Kam: DJ A-Trak, Bedouin Soundclash (one of my favorite bands ever), [and] Laura Marling, among many others.

Kamerra Franklin plays her official South By Southwest showcase in Austin during at 11pm on Friday, 3.20.09, at BD Riley’s (204 E 6th). Visit Kam online at myspace.com/bamitskam.

Tags: Interviews · Music · Show listings · SXSW

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 chris seymour // Mar 2, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    i loved bedouin 2 until i heard the frontman is a coke addict and a drunk – saw him last fall and he could not perform like before – now i know why – shame

  • 2 bebe // Aug 17, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    How random,I went to middle school with this girl!So sweet glad to see she’s still singing =)

Leave a Comment