Nightlife

All Equal on the Dance Floor

by JC Alvarez
Friday Apr 25, 2014

This article is from the March 2014 issue of the EDGE Digital Magazine.
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With this year’s music festival season already in full swing, leave it to darlings of the circuit scene The Perry Twins to deliver one of the most hyped-up original tracks of their careers. The dance floor commanding "#AllEqualOnTheDanceFloor" is the dynamic duo’s latest original offering since their previous chart-toppers "Bad, Bad Boy" and "Activate My Body." Like those searing club-thumpers, it has the twin titans teaming up with a vocal powerhouse, a relative newcomer that has already proven he’s got the "X factor" to make a splash on our shores.

Scottish-born singer and songwriter Cameron E Neilson made quite an impact with U.K. audiences when he competed on the British version of the reality music competition "The X Factor" in 2010. That season, Cameron saddled up the competition that included the then unknown teaming of the group One Direction, and he proved himself quite the contender.

Now hitting the United States with his barreling sound on the syncopated Perry Twins’ new single, Cameron is leading the charge and raising the roof on equality while boosting the treble - and, like the track suggests, "Just listen to the beat drop!"


That "X" Factor

Cameron was initiated into the club scene early. He attended his very first rave in his teens. "The first time I went to Ibiza I was 15," he said. "My dad actually would pay the bouncers to get us into the clubs." He was inspired by early EDM confections like "Better Off Alone" from Alice DeeJay and chilled out to Cafe Mambo. "I always say Ibiza is my spiritual home."

Cameron would take inspiration from the careers of Euro-pop favorite Kylie Minogue to mine his own direction as a musician. Though his passion was very much in performing for the stage, his musicality often clashed with the restrictions and control necessary for musical theater. "I would always get in trouble for singing things with my own style or changing notes," he revealed, "but I love the versatility it’s given me, how much I have learned about writing music and singing with technique."

Challenging himself, he risked everything to participate on "The X-Factor." "I’d seen enough reality shows to know that they can get a lot of criticism, and that longevity of an artist can be very short," Cameron insists. "But the people you can meet in such a short space of time - and so quickly - can [otherwise] take years." Certainly having an audience with Simon Cowell alone was worth the experience. Cameron was fortunate enough to be mentored by the longtime TV competition show producer and personality. "I sang at his home - that was amazing!"

And he turned the time on the show to his advantage. A year and half ago, the artist got the attention of the Perry Twins and a collaboration was soon in the works. "I fell in love with the twins the moment I met them," Cameron said about his producing partners. "I like that they are so humble and down to earth." The Perry Twins are notorious for their onstage antics while spinning. Cameron was most surprised by how shy they could be, but on stage: "The Perry Twins come alive!"


Kick Starting the Fandom!

When the group, including video director Ryan Hanson, ventured forward with their work on "#AllEqual," they decided it would benefit from extending the collaboration and including their fan base on the effort. They started a Kickstarter campaign to raise attention and funds for the track, which is dedicated to supporting equality. "The song originally had a lot more depth," Cameron explained, "and was more wordy." One night he came to the realization that "the song should inspire and celebrate how far equality has grown." Taking back some of the lyrics and enhancing the rhythmic production of the track gave the track its winning hook. "That’s how ’Before we get too deep just listen to the beat drop!’ came around. It’s time to celebrate our lives, and that is never more true than when we are on the dance floor."

The team continued to work alongside Grammy Award-winning producer 808in and delivered the very solid "radio edit" of "#AllEqual" along with an extended club mix and a pared down acoustic version (all available on iTunes) that gave Cameron a winning opportunity to let his vocals shine through. "This whole project has been a meeting of minds and ideas. It will always remain so special to me."

Leaving his family behind in Scotland, Cameron relocated to Los Angeles in 2012. "They fully support me in everything I do," he said. "When I made the huge step to move to a new country, they said as long as I am happy, it’s what I should do." His wide-eyed ambition is to turn his attention to fully explore his musical talent. "I feel I have a good eye on what is going on, and it excites me to never be standing still." Having already tested his mettle on a grand scale, in front of a television audience, Cameron is prepared for the "real-world" competition that awaits him. "I love that the learning never ends. I’m ready for what I can learn from all the other amazing artists out here in the U.S. I think I bring to the table a focus on great vocals and a positive message through words."


There is definitely something of a Scottish flair that gives the handsome performer an edge here in the States. Now paired with Ryan Hanson (director of the "#AllEqual" video), the track’s positive message resonates even more strongly with the singer/songwriter turned advocate. "After meeting Ryan and being in love," Cameron revealed, "the thought of marriage became an option, and it hit me like a brick wall ... If I wanted to travel anywhere in the world and get married wherever I wanted to - I couldn’t." Thus inspiring the movement behind "#AllEqualOnTheDanceFloor." "Life could be over in flash, so we have to make the most of it and do our best to leave something good behind. I hope I can do that through music, and even this song."

Through their mutual love of travel, Cameron and Ryan have launched a new LGBT tourism website that focuses on unique luxury properties that support equality. Called www.equalitydestinations.com, it provides users with information on where they can commune safely, get married, and celebrate with peace of mind that the staff and venue are fully supportive. Their continued hope is to prove that along this ride - and especially on the dance floor - we’re all equal.

Native New Yorker JC Alvarez is a pop-culture enthusiast and the nightlife chronicler of the club scene and its celebrity denizens from coast-to-coast. He is the on-air host of the nationally syndicated radio show "Out Loud & Live!" and is also on the panel of the local-access talk show "Talking About".

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