After Close to a Decade in the Industry, Dove Cameron Is Stepping Into a New Era

Kristen Jan Wong

As a ‘95 baby, I grew up during a time when Raven Symone and Zac Efron were dominating Disney Channel. The pop sensations lived rent-free in my mind, and every weekend I would bust a move to High School Musical, and watch reruns of That’s So Raven on repeat. 

Years later, I left my Disney days behind, and moved on from what was once a rather unhealthy obsession. It was then a new group of stars joined the network, inspiring the generation after me.

Dove Cameron is everywhere these days and is best known for her role in the Disney series Liv and Maddie, and the movie franchise the Descendents. But while she looks back at those times fondly, the 26-year-old is ready to move on, and she’s doing exactly that through music, making it evident that a new era of Dove Cameron is just beginning.

When I was given the opportunity to interview Dove, I was nervous, excited and frankly, didn’t know what to expect. I’ve only ever seen her as a “celebrity”, and in my line of work, I don’t feel starstruck too often. Immediately her warm demeanour calmed my anxiety, and dare I say, it almost felt as if I was catching up with a friend

Dove, who has mainly appealed to a younger demographic throughout her career, came out as queer in August 2020, during an Instagram live. Her song Boyfriend quickly became a queer anthem after she released a short snippet on TikTok.

“Obviously, every song that you write you want it to be good, but I never thought, ‘I’m writing a hit right now!’” Dove told POPSUGAR Australia. “This was the very first song I wrote right after my tour and I went in with the mindset of writing an EP, so when I sat down to write, it ended up being Boyfriend from my journal, and in no part of my brain did I ever think it was ever going to be released, let alone something people would like.” 

The same day as my interview with Dove, the music video for Boyfriend dropped, and at the time it was sitting on 700,000 views. Today, it sits on 18 million, and those numbers keep climbing. Dove’s fan base has grown up with her, and they remain as loyal as ever.

The film is almost euphoric in a way, and focuses on the story of two women, with no man in sight. The decision was intentional, with Dove saying, “While the song is called Boyfriend, it has nothing to do with a boy. I didn’t want him to make an appearance in the video and give a straight man even more camera time in a queer love story.”

It comes as no surprise that Dove is booked and busy. She’s multi-talented and not only has a stellar music career but is a phenomenal actress as well. The star is set to appear in the film Good Mourning alongside Machine Gun Kelly and Megan Fox, and another called Vengeance with BJ Novak and Issa Rae. Not to mention the many television shows she’s currently working on while preparing for her upcoming tour. 

Her schedule is gruelling and for many, almost impossible to follow. However, after being in the industry for close to a decade, the artist has adopted habits that help her unwind and preserve her mental energy.

“You know, it’s funny because it goes against everything everyone tells you to do,” she shared. “I would categorise myself as an ambivert. So I can be extroverted but I’m truly an introvert. I basically work, I love my job, I love the creative expression and never-ending avenues I get to go down. Then I don’t have a social life, and I know that sounds really toxic, but that’s how I’m happiest. I love working and then spending time at home.”

After releasing her lead single from her debut EP, Dove made the controversial decision to remove all her previous work from listening platforms — something that her fan base didn’t see coming. The move came as a shock, but for Dove, the release of Boyfriend marked a new beginning.

“That was a conversation between me and the label, that it just felt like everything I had put out before wasn’t fully authentic to the person and the artist that I am,” she confessed. “And that has been an experience that has slowly been revealing itself to me over time.”

She continued: “It didn’t feel inauthentic at the time, but I think whenever any human being evolves in any direction, you begin to realise what is true for you and what is not. It’s like when you have a love in high school and you think, ‘I was in love then at the level that I understood love, but now I can love much deeper’.

“Where I’m at now with my artistry and my writing — that music isn’t authentic anymore in a stark way. But, I don’t want to scare people into feeling like whenever I release music it will go away in a couple of years. My previous music was just a warm-up and now, this is really what I want to be doing.”

Dove promised that new music is coming, teasing her next track, Breakfast, in a video posted to TikTok. It didn’t take long for fans to lap it up, and the question on everyone’s lips was: When is it being released?

“I wrote Breakfast about one or two days since I posted that TikTok. Really recently!” Dove revealed. “It was one of those things where I finished it in one or two hours, and the label loved it. I think that song should be coming out pretty soon; the timeline is looking to be a lot sooner than one would think.”

Boyfriend by Dove Cameron is available to stream now.

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