Garet Camella
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Garet Camella

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"Garet Camella – Fate From A Fortune Cookie (EP)"


After high school graduation, most teens tend to have an abundance of thoughts floating through their head. They face long internal battles over questions of what they might want to major in, how it’s going to feel to be away from home or if they are even considering going to college. Breaking away from this stereotypical mold, 18-year-old Garet Camella had other things going across his mind. Of course he was concerned with getting to college, but he also had the release of his debut EP, Fate From A Fortune Cookie, to worry about.

Now you may be wondering: why is it called Fate From A Fortune Cookie? Well you see, Garet was about to give up on his aspirations of pursuing a career with his music. He went out to eat with friends at a Chinese restaurant around the same time and broke open a fortune cookie. It read: “You will travel far and wide for both pleasure and business.” So why not name his EP after the thing that got him motivated again?

This newcomer’s five song EP completely showcases his personality and character. The tracks like “Waiting For The Splash” and “Give It Time” are finger-tapping tunes with infectious rhythms that lodge themselves in your memory. Honestly, I know having that one song stuck in your head for hours is annoying. If it’s one of these songs though, it happens to be slightly more…bearable. Scatting fills in lyrical breaks and helps create a blithe feeling. The quick and light guitar mixes with the drums to make the songs very enjoyable and bring out the side of me that dances in the car. Trust me when I say that is not a side that comes out of me very often.

Not every song on the EP is all happy-go-lucky though. The song “I Would Like To Stay” follows “Give It Time” in the track listing and offers an abrupt change of mood. The dulcet and austere resonance along with the hopeful lyrics make it a song I like to listen to when I’m relaxing at home, getting ready to go to sleep, or if I’m just in a chill mood. It’s the only song on the EP with this sort of feel, so it’s a good change of pace from the upbeat fast tempos.

The remaining songs on the EP fall back into the jaunty harmonies that are a staple of Camella’s sound. “You’ve Gotta Slow Down” is a song all about taking time to slow down and living your life before it passes you by. It’s a song that I was really able to relate to personally so I might say it’s my favorite on the whole disk. “Beautiful Day” starts out with the soft shaker and gradually progresses, adding in guitars. Its memorable hook will keep playing over and over in your brain, making sure you never forget it. I tend to find myself singing it without realizing it when I’m outside with the sun shining down on my cheeks.

All in all, I believe that Camella’s release is only a sign of good things to come. He is just a beginner in the industry and he only has room to grow with his obvious talent. If you haven’t yet, check out his myspace and his facebook fan page.

Written By:
Becca White - Becca White at OurVinyl

"The Lowdown- Local Album Showcase"


Band: Garet Camella
Location: Gahanna, Ohio
Album: Fate From a Fortune Cookie (EP)
Genre: Acoustic/Pop/Folk
Track Picks: "I Would Like to Stay," "Waiting for the Splash"

If 18-year-old Garet Camella's debut EP was a fortune cookie,
it would be one of those rare ones containing two messages
instead of one. One message might read: "Be positive with
your choices--time and patience will heal your soul." The
other might read: "Slowly drive away from the past to retire
present confusion, without regret." The advising lyrics are full
of uplifting metaphors and imagery. To reflect the generally
feel-good lyrics, Camella primarily plays higher notes on his
guitar with matching vocals. Each of the five songs is
dominated by an original acoustic riff (using both strumming
and picking techniques) with harmonious chorus builds and
self-backing vocal layers on loops--including a beatbox break
down. Some tracks bring a variety of instruments (drums,
keys, bass, maracas) that materialize into a full-band sound.
Mostly refraining from the darker acoustic lullabies of Bon Iver
or Damien Rice, this album's syncopated, stop-time,
occasional guitar slaps and groovy salsa/funk/folk
Latin-infused vibe leans toward Jason Mraz, but moves closer
to Eric Hutchinson, John Mayer, Jack Johnson and local Jared
Mahone. A person feeling down can pop this in, likely relate
and transition into a better mood. Even the colorful album
artwork, designed by Megan Kelley, foreshadows the lively
personality of the young musician's original tunes. Fans
continue to watch the songwriter's range of talent progress as
he performs live and posts video song recordings on his
YouTube. This release could likely be the initiation of
Camella's fate that he once found in a fortune cookie:
"You will travel far and wide for both pleasure and business."
iTunes Purchase
By NEIL SHUMATE - Out of the Blue Publications

"Know Your Scene: Garet Camella"


I had the pleasure of meeting and seeing Garet Camella preform live in Columbus Ohio a few months back. I was so impressed with is charisma and stage presence that I decided to interview him for our local Know Your Scene! His EP, Fate From a Fortune Cookie, is now available on iTunes. Check out the interview below.

Your artwork is extremely interesting on your EP “Fate From a Fortune Cookie”. Did you draw it out and design it? Is there a story behind the design?

When I was piecing all the visual aspects of the CD together, I wanted to avoid any chance of it looking like every other singer-songwriter’s CD. You know, “here’s me with my acoustic sitting on a fence.” I figured that if I didn’t give thoughtful attention to the artwork, it’d be a poor representation of the music. I tried to do it by myself at first, and my first idea came out really cliché. That was back when I wanted to call the CD the “It’s All Good EP”; so I guess that kind of makes sense. But a few weeks into school I met one of my fine arts friends, Megan Kelley. Megan has a very unique and distinct drawing style, from line weight/composition to the cutely strange little characters she creates. Thankfully, she agreed to work on the art for the CD. So over the span of quite a few party-less weekends, she tried her best to translate the vision I had for the art in my head. Our friends Claire Rickards and Julie Stoermer helped towards the end and Claire actually rendered the font on the album cover. The idea for the art on the inside lyrics spread came to me at about 4 in the morning on a random weeknight. If you understand the lyrics and the overall message behind the CD, the art hopefully makes sense; it’s all connected. I can’t thank those girls enough for the time they spent with me, turning my shitty sketches into a masterpiece.

Who and what are your inspirations? How have they shaped you into the musician and person that you are today?

As far as musical inspiration, there is a lot I could say. I guess I’ll start with the Fate From a Fortune Cookie EP. Senior year, I started writing a bit more upbeat than my previous stuff. I was really into Jason Mraz, Death Cab, Good Old War, and John Mayer at the time. So I think you could probably understand why it sounds like it does. And it’s not like I sat down and said, “Okay, today I am going to write like Jason Mraz.” It’s more so that his music gave me a certain outlook on life for a while, so that vibe was a variable when I sat down to write my own stuff. And it’s the same thing with all the other artists I mentioned; it just kind of happened. When we recorded the CD it was still summer, so something like the feel-good vibe of “Beautiful Day” didn’t have to be forced in the studio; it was actually present. Around the same time, I was starting to investigate the indie and folk scenes a bit. And when I got to school, that investigation really took off. I met people who introduced me to a lot of great music. I’ve learned a lot about art, in general, in the past few months. I think it’s safe to say that going to an Andrew Bird/St. Vincent concert, changed my perspective on music forever. I was honestly blow away by his performance. For the past couple of months I’ve been really into Yeasayer, Grizzly Bear, Andrew Bird, Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s, Wild Sweet Orange, Dear and the Headlights, Bon Iver, Illinois, Vampire Weekend, Anthony Green, the XX, and Local Natives. Honestly, I’m so inspired lately that I literally have no idea what direction my music is going in. But I will say that you can definitely expect a growth in exploration of my “sound.” This next stuff is going to be different. I just hope everyone will stay along for the ride.

What do you think of social networking sites such as Myspace and Twitter? Do you think they these sites can help anyone become a well known to famous musician?

To be honest, Myspace and Twitter haven’t really helped me that much. I think I missed the Myspace boat by a year or two. Back in freshman/sophomore year when everyone had a Myspace, I might have been able to get some solid page views and plays. But now, it’s kind of hard for me to build an online fan base on there without the local foundation. That’s why I started my Facebook music page. So far I have about 1,150 fans and I’m pretty stoked about that. I mainly use Myspace when people want to stream my music to see what I sound like. But if anyone came up to me and said they could find a way to whore me around Myspace and get me more views, I would, by no means, deny them. As far as Twitter, I don’t think I’ve logged on for a few months. I linked my tweets to my Facebook statuses and left it at that. I don’t really get it…but hey, that’s just me.

If you could tour with any musician who would it be and why?

Ooh…good, good question. That’s very tough. But I’d have to say either Marilyn Manson or Insane Clown Posse. I just think our music would really compliment each other.

Do you have any plans on touring this year?

I wish there was no difference between actual plans and wishful thinking. But the truth is that touring is extremely hard to do at this stage in my music career. It’s this awkward point, really. I have quite a bit of experience playing local shows, and I have a solid foundation in Columbus and Cincinnati, as far as people I can count on to be at my shows. But I can’t say my fan base is big enough to draw a significant crowd if I were to tour out of town. So I’ve been contacting a bunch of bands and solo artists, trying to tag along on some of their tours as a permanent opener. I’m also looking into a bunch of festivals for this summer and setting up shows with my dudes at OurVinyl and HighRise Productions. Ethan Schiff, who did percussion on my EP, is playing some gigs with me this summer. So far we have five or six dates booked. I’m trying my best to set up a make-shift tour. I have this vision of roughing it out in my car, sleeping in tents, using gas station microwaves for canned food, with nothing but a sleeping bag and my guitar. But so far, there’s nowhere to travel to. So we’ll see if I can change that in the next few months. Definitely expect a show at least twice a month, though. I love playing live too much not to do that.

Describe to us what a typical Garet Camella show is like.

I think my live performances have changed quite a bit since I started out as a solo artist. It used to just be me and my guitar playing a not-too-dynamic set of five or six originals. And after a few of those shows, I wanted to change that monotonous characteristic. Right before my Gahanna Teenfest performance this past summer, I bought a loop pedal and found a way to change things up. I think I surprised my usual show-goers and that was exciting. It’s hard to play by yourself, to be honest. As a writer, there are so many elements I want to add to my songs. So when I record, I go crazy on my demos and add all this extra harmony, other instrumental parts, and percussion. But live, that’s nearly impossible to duplicate. So the loop pedal helps me fill a bit of that void. I can layer my vocals and guitar parts, or hit my guitar/beatbox to lay a rhythmic foundation. But nothing beats playing with other people. That’s why when I play with other musicians who I “click” with, I can’t stop smiling. It’s like there’s this vision in my head for each song; so when other people are on stage with me, and they are completing the vision perfectly, without me even really helping, I have to grin for a few minutes, or laugh. It just feels so good. And that’s the direction my shows are going in now. Lately I’ve been collaborating with my hall-mate Jon Kosenick, who plays sax like a god. And I met an amazing singer-songwriter named Emily Bishop who just played a show with me and Jon recently. For our last song of the set, we did a cover of Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s and got everyone in the crowd to keep the beat. We had people hitting pots and pans, rain-sticking, banging on the bar tables, clapping, and even a guy wailing on a giant laundry crate for the entire song. That kind of stuff is fun for everyone, not just the artists onstage. So I’m trying to apply that excitement to my live stuff from now on. I want the crowd to be more a part of the performance. Hopefully, my shows will start to become more and more interestingly unpredictable.

When you are in the writing process, how long does it take for you to usually write one song?

My writing process really varies, depending on what I’m trying to accomplish. There are a ton of aspects to consider when writing a song, but I kind of simplify them into two categories; the music and the lyrics. Somehow, those two elements have to match up in the end; but up until then, it really doesn’t matter how I get there. Sometimes there’s just something that I really need to write down, to clear my head. In that case, I might come back to those lyrics later with a fresh melody or chord progression. Or sometimes I’ll come up with a melody first and write the music from there, then the lyrics. And sometimes, it just all pours out of my mind/voice box/hands at the same time in this freestyle-type thing. The length of the process depends on how much I’m “feelin’ it” at the initial time of writing. Sometimes I just get this ridiculous urge to write, and thirty minutes later, the song is done. But lately, I’ve been writing more complex stuff, which I come back to. It’s like when you edit a paper. My English teachers always said it’s smart to look at it with fresh eyes a few times before the final copy. So I’ve been applying that to my music lately; and it’s working so far. But the impulsive writing hasn’t ceased either.

His message to fans:
I want to thank everyone who supports my music. I have some amazing friends, some who have been to nearly every show I’ve ever had. And that is the warmest feeling ever, to have people that I can count on. And everyone who has purchased my CD, either through me, through my old high school store, or on iTunes is greatly appreciated. I love finding out about how new people find my music. And the majority of the time it’s because I have sincere friends who support what I do and take promotion into their own hands. So, to everyone who is reading this, thanks so much. I love you. Get ready for some new stuff soon :]

- Coast to Coast Productions


Fate From a Fortune Cookie EP (November 2009)



For those who see Garet Camella perform for the first time, there is a bit of confusion at stake. No, it’s not that they are questioning why the kid’s head is so big, though that may grace the thought process at first-glance. In fact, they are questioning how one performer is singing 3 harmony parts and beat-boxing, while strumming and picking a melody at the same time. Though he is not the first to do it, 18-year-old Garet Camella has utilized looping and knows how to use it effectively. His live performances carry a perfect dynamic and expressive range, which calms and excites his audience members. Traveling back to the start of his solo music career brings with it the intriguing story of a suburban boy dying to get out.
Growing up in Gahanna, Ohio equated to the typical suburban life. And of course, within each suburb, there is a band or two playing in a garage, pissing all the neighbors off with their Blink-182-like chord progressions. Garet was in one of these bands. But when mid-high school drama began to shift the priorities of his best friends and band-mates, he was left in a quiet place. And the longer Camella convinced himself that things would go back to normal, the more reality set in. Things were changing for good, not temporarily.
At the perfect moment, Garet met Takamine. She had a graceful body with beautiful curves and a serenading voice. When she sang, the room resonated in harmony. Her six strings and fret boards fit so comfortably under the boy’s fingers. Garet found himself in music again. Redefined. There was no reason to wait for things to never change. His old band wasn’t going to have some epic reunion. It was just him and Takamine. And pretty soon, change was taking him somewhere he liked.
Songs were written. Songs were performed. Songs were recorded on a Windows 2000 with a hard drive due for a one-way trip to Goodwill. But it wasn’t until a video of his song “Give it Time”, sang from the ledge of his upstairs bathtub, generated over 60 comments in a week, that things finally started to take off. Videos led to more videos, which led to a series of shows around Columbus. Coffee shops, restaurants, miniature venues; and people were showing up.
Upon winning Gahanna’s Teenfest Battle of the Bands as a solo artist in August of 2009, Camella received a grand prize of studio time with Rome Recording in Reynoldsburg, Ohio. With the help of studio owner Dave Keller and drummer Ethan Schiff, Camella produced his first professionally recorded audio within a few weeks.
The result, his Fate From a Fortune Cookie EP, was released on November 27, 2009 at a Caribou Coffee Shop in Gahanna. Though the coffee house was packed far beyond its allowable capacity, nearly 60 CD’s were sold that night, alone. Listeners agreed that the EP demonstrated an upbeat vibe with a hint of sensitivity, comparable to a music baby of Jason Mraz and Ben Gibbard. The jazzy-pop feel of “Give it Time”, the beat-box breakdown in between ambitiously lyrical choruses of “Waiting for the Splash”, and the summery feel-good vibe of “Beautiful Day.” Yet in between these songs exist the piano-infused, reflective lyrics of “I Would Like to Stay”, while tight, moving harmonies share the melody of “You’ve Gotta Slow Down.” For his first professionally recorded CD, Camella’s Fate From a Fortune Cookie EP shows off a range of diversity in potential sound for albums to come. It exposes the songwriter’s effectiveness with just a guitar, as well as showcasing the grooving sound of a full band behind him.
With CD sale rates continuing to increase, Camella hopes to ride out the EP for a summer tour. But there are many new songs and fresh influences underway. He has his sights set on a full-length by late 2010. But until then, he hopes to continue with surprising, enlightening, and “grooving” his audience members. Oh, and he’s looking into head-shrinking as well.