Some artists go their whole careers never meeting their heroes. Well, Cam Archer just made a song with one of his.
Archer, a California-based rapper who draws influences from the music of many genres, practically manifested his latest release, “Voltage.” At the surface level, “Voltage” is a track with an old-school rap sound, dynamic production, and a standout hook. But if you listen closely, it tells the story of how Archer hustled and spoke his way into the collab with Mike Shinoda, one of his biggest musical inspirations.
Archer’s connection to Shinoda dates back to his childhood when he would listen to his early 2000s band widely known as Linkin Park. Shinoda was the lead singer, rhythm guitarist, writer, producer, and more for the rock band. Similar to Archer’s music, Linkin Park’s music was genre-bending, combining rap with rock on multiple projects. In 2018 and beyond, Archer started publicly talking about Shinoda’s influence on his style in interviews, but it took two years until he was officially noticed by Shinoda.
In 2020, on the anniversary of Linkin Park’s album titled Hybrid Theory, Archer wrote a rap with numerous references to Linkin Park tracks that was posted on his social media. This rap put him on Shinoda’s radar just when the musician started his #ShinodaProduceMe, a campaign on multiple social media platforms, where he would live stream and produce songs for artists, according to Linkinpedia.
Now, it’s 2023, and Archer’s newest single, “Voltage,” is the third official track of Shinoda’s online production series. It joins Archer’s stacked discography that dates back to 2016, according to Spotify.
The song’s lyrics are a testament to the worth ethic and patience Archer has had throughout his career, the chorus starting with the line, “I've been waiting all my life for it.”
He also talks about his manifestation of working with Shinoda by ending the song with “2020 gave the vision for acknowledgement from legends,” likely a reference to the rap he posted on social media that originally got the producer’s attention.
It would be wrong not to shout out Mike Shinoda’s work on the production. The backtrack music cleverly helps tell the story of Archer’s success as well. It starts pretty stripped, with a simple, repeated riff over a steady beat in which Archer talks about how he’s had to fight for his life and career goals in the past. The second verse turns the song’s momentum and emotion in a new direction by bringing in higher and lower-pitched sounds and a new chord. This production mixed with Archer’s more passionate delivery of his success story ends the song on a positive note. Major chords are amplified at the end, and for the entire last minute of the song a euphoric instrumental leaves listeners feeling uplifted and hopeful for the future.
Check out "Voltage" on all platforms and follow Cam Archer and Mike Shinoda on Instagram @camarcher & @m_shinoda
Written by: Aaliyah Freeman. @freems_ on Instagram.
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