Country singer Cam on music journey and rapid success


For many artists, it takes years of writing and recording to be nominated for a Grammy. But for country singer Cam, it came on her first hit song about a bad breakup, reports CBS News correspondent Jan Crawford.

"I broke up with him in a not very nice way, and I definitely hurt him. And a year or two later, I was going to see him at this party for mutual friends. And I thought, 'This is my chance. I can apologize,'" Cam said. "And so the night before the party, I fell asleep and had all that on my mind, like how to do this apology."

She then had a dream about a burning house, which she turned into a breakout hit single. Deeply personal and achingly honest, the song, "Burning House," made Cam a star and Grammy nominee, even before she released her debut album - making a very different kind of dream come true.

"It doesn't seem real at all," Cam said. "We used to get the Grammy nominations CD, that compilation CD. My mom would get that every year. And so now, my mom went to Target and bought it, and my name's on it. And my song's on it. That's crazy."

Cam - short for Cameron Ochs - now is performing with country's biggest names, like Vince Gill, who she sang with on a radio show.

Cam is also rehearsing for an upcoming performance and picking out a dress for Monday night's Grammys. If it all seems a little hard for her to process, it may be because it happened pretty fast.

She grew up in California, spending summers at her grandparents' ranch. Music was a dream - not a career.

"My parents were the good parents that said, 'You should try and get a good job and go to college and get an education,'" Cam said. "And I loved psychology because there's something about emotions... basic emotions that everybody has. We all can relate to each other on those experiences."

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Cam studied psychology in college and grad school, but that dream of connecting through music never went away. So she started writing songs and moved to Nashville in 2012.

She caught the eye of Sony and got her first record deal just a year ago. But it was her debut performance at the Grand Ole Opry that changed everything. She sang "Burning House," and soon after, country's biggest radio star, Bobby Bones, asked her to perform it on his show.

"Burning House" became an instant hit, offering a feeling of regret that everyone can relate to. "Because I got really vulnerable, now people will come up afterwards. And a lot of people and will just have tears in their eyes about some relationship or a bad situation they've been in," Cam said.

For a former psychology student, music can be therapy - a way to connect.

"Everybody's got issues. We're all working through them. Those are how I see those stories and how I deal with those kinds of emotions," Cam said. "And hopefully if it relates to how other people sort of deal with their own stories, then it resonates, I think."