The New Era of Dove Cameron

Madison Mahady

When a child actor starts on Disney they inevitably grow up. For most of these actors they completely shed the image created by the squeaky clean Disney machine. Miley Cyrus, Britney Spears, and Demi Lovato have stayed in the spotlight long after they left the company. For better, and sometimes for worse, these musicians have captivated headlines and created careers for themselves that far transcend their beginnings. With the release of her newest single Breakfast, Dove Cameron is the newest Disney alum shedding the image created for her and becoming someone much more authentic to herself.

Cameron initially became popular for her roles as Liv and Maddie Rooney on the Disney sitcom Liv & Maddie. Her casting as Maleficent’s daughter in the Descendants franchise further established Cameron as a staple on the Disney roster. 

Since leaving Disney, the 26-year-old has been working to establish her career as an adult. She’s done projects in theater, film, TV, and has most recently been releasing music. Compared to the music she was releasing under Disney, her new music is, has a sleeker edge, is more mature, and is coming from Cameron’s heart. In an interview for them, Cameron talked about how she used to be creating music for who she thought she was but now she’s creating music for who she is. 

There are many aspects influencing Cameron’s shift in musical tone, one reason being her coming out as queer. In 2020, her song We Belong was being heavily criticized as the lyric video included depictions of LGBTQ+ couples. People initially thought the video was using LGBTQ+ couples for financial gain as Cameron was viewed as a straight woman. On an Instagram live addressing the criticism, Cameron explained that she wanted her video to show more than just hetero couples experiencing love, as she herself identifies as bisexual and queer. In the almost two years since this live, Cameron has gone on to discuss the changes in her music and how she wants to create music she relates to, which includes telling LGBTQ+ stories.

Her new music reflects her identity as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, but also as someone who is now an adult. Cameron acknowledges the complexities of adult relationships but does so with the confidence and assurance of someone who knows themselves.

We’ve all heard a friend complain about how they wish their boyfriend would do things for them that seem so simple. In her song Boyfriend, Cameron voices how much better of a partner she could be. She is confident and lets the woman know that if they were dating, she would never do some of the simple things her boyfriend neglects to do.

 

Cameron’s latest single, Breakfast, is a different take on knowing yourself. This song reminds women of the inner strength that they possess, and to not let anyone try to make you think otherwise. On TikTok, the song has been used by countless women who are showing their power over criticism they have faced through various forms of self expression.

Aside from the new stories she wants to tell, Cameron’s songs have had a shift in vocal tone. While making music for Disney, the higher end of Cameron’s range was utilized much more than her lower register. The music she creates now showcases off her range in a much more balanced way, allowing the audience to hear the full power and strength behind her voice. With Boyfriend and Breakfast, a warm and sultry tone invites the listeners in, and then the lyrics show the strength of the woman singing them. Cameron’s music balances femininity, power, beauty, and strength in a way that’s so effortless you can’t help but be in awe.

We are just seeing the beginning for Dove Cameron. She’s thrown out any false pretenses and is now writing from her heart. With what we’ve seen so far, there are no bounds to what she’ll create and who she’ll become in the future.

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