Cam Nichols Interview: ‘You have to realize all your blessings are right in front of you’

Texas-based videographer Cam Nichols is seemingly destined for bigger and brighter stages — shooting videos for Lil Baby, D Savage and more at just age 19.

Blossoming video director Cameron Nichols is a craftsman at heart. Stemming from his childhood passion for woodwork growing up in San Antonio, Texas, the 19-year-old creative just wants to keep creating — whether that be treatments, constructed sets or immersively detailed visuals that cut through reality.

Following an impromptu visit to the Super Bowl at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles this past February, Nichols — who has directed music videos for Lil Baby, D Savage, K Suave and more — isn’t one to shy away from new experiences. Taking in the game’s historic halftime show, led by NWA legend and producer Dr. Dre, Cam’s drive to become the best he can be derives from his willingness to be “hands-on” in every regard.

“Being [at the Super Bowl] really inspired me because one of my goals is to make sets from scratch,” he said. “I really like to be hands-on — and one of my first passions was woodwork. I started building hoverboards, cabinets, desks, all sorts of stuff. With the first [hoverboard] I made, I did it off of a piece of plywood and I made the holes for it with the screwdriver. My parents didn’t let me use power tools at the time, but that’s just how dedicated I was — just trying to get it done because I loved to do it. Even now, that’s how I am.”

From carving plywood to pristine edits, Nichols proudly wears his passion for videography on his sleeve. Already tapping in with a plethora of rising new wave artists, he’s still just getting started — recalling his first few videos with close collaborator liluno back in Texas. Their relationship ultimately led Nichols down this path, saying that he bases his creations off “emotion” while tackling opportunities as they come.

“I feel like I’ve been doing videos my whole life… but it really started for me in freshman year of high school. The day I met liluno, I shot my first ever music video. From day one we just wanted to shoot content, wether it was at the park, in my backyard, or for one of his songs, I found my passion from just having fun. Now it’s a little more complicated, but I always try to my create videos based on the emotion I’m feeling from the song.

Cam Nichols to Our Generation Music

His candor has evidently bled into his love for shooting videos, initially picking up a camera around 7-years-old. It wasn’t until 2017 that Cam discovered a fondness for music — putting on headphones for the first time to “really listen” to Lil Uzi Vert’s “XO Tour Lif3.” “A video with Uzi would be a dream of mine,” he added.

Influenced by the likes of A$AP Mob and Lyrical Lemonade founder Cole Bennett, Nichols is a dreamer destined for greener pastures — shooting his shot every chance he gets. Looking forward to locking in with more artists in the near future, Cam credits A$AP Ferg and A$AP Rocky’s early work as the foundation for his own visuals — not only cultivating genuine relationships with those he works with, but also creating one-of-a-kind content in the process. After all, great art derives from the energy surrounding the artist.

“I want to find artists to grow with,” he said. “This is what’s been helping me — finding the artists that care more about creating than numbers, and are willing to cultivate an image with me. The artists that I’m working with right now are the ones that I have genuine relationships with — that’s how I keep pushing.”

“I feel like what makes my videos unique is I try my best to immerse the viewer into the story. A lot of people tell me my visuals are colorful, but I always try to make the first minute of the video the best. That first minute you have to catch them, if not, they’re gone. In that first minute, I try to wrap them up in it.”

Cam Nichols to OGM

Along with A$AP Mob, Cam channels a slew of other inspirations into his treatments — touting electrically-charged cuts, entrancing animations and imaginative color schemes. His style is hard to specifically define, however, every project he handles evokes an awe-inspiring aura irreplaceable from hip-hop’s visual landscape. As a man of many talents, Cam’s videos are “magical” in every sense of the word — transporting viewers to a completely different realm as soon as play is pressed.

“I really want to figure out a way to incorporate magic [in my videos], like some type of illusions or a differing perspective,” he said, drawing back on his days of practicing magic in middle school. “When I’d do magic tricks, I would record myself doing it. That was when I first started learning how to cut videos. Magic is also really fast-paced and I feel like so are my visuals — they’re in your face. Street magic was my speciality, I loved being close to their face, yet still misdirecting them and blowing their mind. So I try to do the same for my videos.”

Aside from creating the atmospherically expansive music videos he’s become known for, Cam is an artist through and through. His favorite project at the moment isn’t even tied to music, but is a short film he helped to create in Nigeria — showcasing his range as a filmmaker and multi-faceted visual specialist.

“It’s really inspiring me to like get into short films because I’m realizing now that I feel so blocked sometimes, and feel like I can’t do something. But literally I can do anything I put my mind to. I got to step outside of my lane, which is why I would classify the doc as my favorite now. I really want to do more outside of music videos, and try to do all the lanes — that way, I’m not just classified as a music video director.”

Cam Nichols to OGM

With a keen eye for creation, Cam was tapped to create promotional trailers for REVOLT TV’s The Crew League this past year. The tournament is home to reigning champion Chris Brown‘s OHB squad, as the league has seen appearances from hip-hop superstars in Drake, Tyga, DJ Scheme, NLE Choppa and more. Surrounded by A-list talent, Nichols didn’t fold under pressure, saying the Crew League was was a “nerve-wracking” and “eye-opening experience” for the better.

“It was nerve-wracking at first,” he said. “Going into the Crew League straight into LA coming from Texas, it was definitely an eye-opening experience. Like you realize it’s all possible, you just have to be in the right time, right moment. Honestly, it was a test for me — it was like I was coming from the bleachers straight into the game. Some people are meant for that, and I felt like I was. I ended up doing all the trailers for Season 2 and some for Season 3.”

“As a videographer, you need to find your circle,” he continues. “Find people that are going to bring you up, not bring you down. You have to tap into whatever inspires you, even if it was when you were 5-years-old watching Nickelodeon or something, drawing back on your roots is so key to creating art. You always have to re-find your passion for it even on those days where you don’t want to do it.”

Well on his way to achieve the stardom he’s gunning for, the rising videographer still is searching for his “aha moment.” Striving to sharpen his craft day in and day out, he looks back on previous high-caliber collaborations as his ultimate motivator — always hungry for the next challenge and never being “comfortable” with the success he sees.

“That [moment] hasn’t happened yet. I don’t ever want to be comfortable. I always want to be trying to reach for the stars even when I’m at the stars… This is what I dreamed of doing a year ago. I dreamed of being in LA, I dreamed of writing a treatments as a job, and then now it’s a reality and I’m finding myself while doing it. You have to realize you’ve came so far, right? You can’t go back. You gotta realize that all your blessings are at the right in front of you, you just have to go get them. No need to overthink it, find that spark inside of you and go chase it.”

Cam Nichols to OGM

Check out Cam’s 2021 reel below!

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