Cam wrote her current hit, “Mayday,” about a failed relationship, but when it came time to come up with a concept for the video, she turned to a plot line that highlighted one of her heroes, Amelia Earhart.
“She was just a badass and didn’t care what people thought. She wasn’t trying to be an icon, she just wanted to fly,” Cam tells Rolling Stone Country. “I’ve been obsessed with her story since I was younger.”
In the Thirties, Earhart was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She perished in 1937 when she attempted to circumnavigate the globe and her plane disappeared over the Pacific Ocean. She has never been found.
In the video, Cam plays a pioneering female aviator, who, despite her high-flying ways, is dragged down by an unsupportive mate. That twist provided a way for Cam to tie in the tune’s original intent with the Earhart theme. “I wrote the song based on a relationship I was in too long,” she says. “I remember thinking, ‘Maybe this is all I deserve.’ We all have that guy.”
Flipping the script to bring in the Earhart storyline, which Cam developed with with her manager and director Daniel Carberry, was also an opportunity “to find new meanings in your own stories,” she says.
Though the video, like Earhart’s story, does not have a happy ending, it is the girl-power message that leaves a lasting impression. A young girl following Cam’s flight watches avidly as TV stories tout women entering the work force in greater numbers. Ultimately, it’s an uplifting story, Cam avows: “Even if you don’t make it as far as you thought you were going to make it, you still inspire people by trying.”