Colgate’s Own: Meet Cameron Desnoes

Colgate’s Own: Meet Cameron Desnoes

We all know that social media plays a key role in both the creation and spread of music, but only a select few of us can vouch firsthand. Sophomore Cameron Desnoes is one of these few. 

While scrolling through TikTok, Desnoes came across a video by singer Dafna and messaged her in a spur of the moment to compliment her sound. After trading a few messages back and forth, he asked her if she would collaborate with him. Coincidentally, Dafna wound up vacationing near his home in California and invited Desnoes to duet with her. She was, in fact, already working on a project that would soon serve as the duo’s golden ticket to virality. “8NIGHTS,” a slow and dreamy indie spin on more traditional holiday music, the Hanukkah-inspired track was done within a week and a half and the song was subsequently released in late December. 

“8NIGHTS” blew up quickly after a TikTok by makeup artist @runscay using the audio amassed almost 30 million views. Shortly after, the song made it onto Spotify’s “Discover Weekly” page. Desnoes recalled the day when “8NIGHTS” gained traction with about 70,000 Spotify streams in one day: 

“That was just ridiculous to me and it inspired me so much … If you do have something that people like that much, there is so much that social media does to support music now that it’s not impossible,” Desnoes said.

Desnoes began making music for his high school senior project to learn more about forming a band and music production. This led to the release of an original song and four covers on Desnoes’s SoundCloud page. These songs were more of a passion project for Desnoes, who saw music as a hobby rather than a possible career path. But he wished he had more of his own music to release after “8NIGHTS” gained popularity this year. 

The success of “8NIGHTS” showed Desnoes what a career in music could be like: “I was blown away because I came from posting this stuff on SoundCloud where I was getting 300 views and I was still on the website checking every day because I’d be so excited if I got another view that day! I just thought to myself, oh 300 views — I can just imagine being in a music hall with 300 people in the crowd! That was my mentality. To me, 300 views was a lot. That was pretty cool!”

Although he prefers performing originals to covers, “8NIGHTS” isn’t the exact sound Desnoes is going for. With inspiration from artists such as Mac Demarco and Yellow Days, Desnoes plans on honing in on more of an indie or alternative sound in the future. Still, he reflected on the experience:

 “[It is] inspiring to know there is such a good fan base behind that kind of music and up and coming artists. If you do good enough stuff, if you work hard enough, you can get into the mix,” Desnoes said.

On campus, Desnoes is part of a greek-letter organization, club soccer and the Colgate 13 a cappella group. While he is still experimenting with his sound, he has been practicing his keyboard in his dorm room with the goal to release another song by the end of the semester. To follow Cameron Desnoes on his journey, stream his music on Spotify @Cameron Desnoes or on his SoundCloud page, “Project Habibi.”