The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU professor Susanne Scholz in the West Bank in 2018.
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Sara Hummadi, Video Editor • May 18, 2024
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Local Singer Makes it to Grammys

Local Singer Makes it to Grammys

 

Local musician, Cameron Ernst, is making a name for himself.

A hit among the coffee shops and trendy eateries of Dallas, the artist recently took his catchy, “ano pop” rhythms to Los Angeles for the 54th Annual Grammy Awards. No one is more surprised than he is.

“I don’t know how it’s going to effect my career but it’s definitely an amazing thing to tell people,” Ernst said.

Ernst is a 23 year-old, plaid shirt-wearing, fedora-donning singer and songwriter who recently relocated to Dallas to pursue his career in music. After being chosen from thousands of artists across the world by a website called Hitlab, he and one other musician were chosen to perform during Grammy’s week.

But he’s not just another rising star. Ernst is giving back to the community through his support of the anti-bullying movement, Love is Louder. He takes his upbeat and inspirational song into schools, like Dallas’ Bishop Lynch High School, where has has received incredible feedback.

“I was very pleased at the overwhelming positive tone that Cameron’s music has,” said Chris Rebuck, Dean of Students at Bishop Lynch High School.

Ernst’s easy-going personality and youth have a way of making the road to stardom seem almost simple. Growing up in Kansas, Ernst showed an affinity towards music, especially the piano. But it was more of an extra-curricular activity. At 18, he moved to Los Angeles to attend the University of Southern California and pursue a career in acting.

“Music was always just a side deal,” Ernst said.

After landing several small roles, including a part in the Sara Bareilles music video, “Bottle it Up,” Ernst felt that something was missing.

“I missed the connection you have with an audience on stage. Performing for a camera wasn’t the same,” said Ernst.

So he returned to his notebook and his piano, attempting to make something more of his “side deal.” He listened to the American Top 40 Countdown as much as possible. Catchy, pop rhythms caught his ear. He learned to start with a melody, finding the words that suit the music as he went.

Those who know Ernst best are not at all surprised by his recent success.

“He has always really animated and very theatrical and really passionate about everything he did,” said Ernst’s mother, Tammi Ernst, “I always knew he would be some kind of performer.”

 

What sets Ernst apart from the millions of other young men in plaid is that he is not promoting just himself while out on the road.

 

Last year, Ernst wrote a song called “Love is Louder” for a movement of the same name started by the actress Brittany Snow and the JED Foundation in light of the recent suicides caused by bullying in schools.

 

A friend of his suggested that he take the song into high schools or middle schools and talk about the “Love is Louder” movement. Shortly after, a school in Ohio asked Ernst to come sing and speak for an assembly on bullying.

It was a nerve racking experience for Ernst who had never considered becoming a public speaker, but it went surprisingly well.

“I got there and ended up speaking way longer than five minutes,” said Ernst.

The positive experience in Ohio led to the creation of Ernst’s Love on the Road tour. In the Fall of 2011, Ernst visited Bishop Lynch High School in Dallas. The response was overwhelmingly warm.

“The students were engaged and energized,” said Chris Rebuck, Dean of Students. “His music and message is very unifying and I think it helped to set a positive tone for our school year.”

Ernst stays busy even without Love on the Road, creating a fan base across South Dallas by frequenting at coffee shops and restaurants like Opening Bell Coffee, The Door and Eno’s Pizza.

Senior music major at Southern Methodist University, Jessica Dignum, admired his talent and good looks, but what she was drawn to most was how she could relate to him as a local, Dallas musician.

“It’s really great to see that it’s possible to go that route and that you don’t have to go on American Idol to make it,” she said.

Anna Kiappes, SMU senior, has been a fan of Ernst since hearing his song, “Love is Louder”.

“The girls loved him. I love him. I’m in love with him,” she said.

Ernst has proven that he is much more than just a good-looking guy in a plaid shirt. Early in his career, Ernst discovered a way he could set himself apart from other hopefuls without the help of a manager or any solid connections in the music industry.

“I was just kind of like every other singer/songwriter until I discovered how I could contribute to the “Love is Louder” movement. I realized I could do it on my own and I could create my own business with the tour,” said Ernst.

 

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