MUSCATINE, Iowa– Cameron Smith grew up surrounded by music: “My father played guitar for as long as I can remember, and I guess I just took on that musical fiber my family has. My grandpa also played.” Smith started learning guitar at a young age and stuck with it as he grew up.
In 2019, after playing for many years, Smith decided the time had come to start a band. He and several friends got together and founded Eugene Levy. At the time, Smith considered it a hobby and expected the group to stay fairly small. “It started out as a fun thing that wasn’t too serious,” he recalls.
However, as more people heard their pop punk music locally and regionally, their popularity grew faster than they ever expected. They started playing at larger and larger shows more and more often. They worked hard to get the word out about their music on social media and to build a following. Without having meant to, Eugene Levy gained quite a bit of local recognition. “We decided we wanted to have this go on for a long time,” Smith explained. “We’re looking to take this farther and farther and farther and enjoy the ride.”
This year, Smith’s and Eugene Levy’s fame has risen to new heights after he received recognition as a 2021 Pulse Artist. An endorsement program run by Paul Reed Smith Guitars, the Pulse Artist designation honors guitarists in up and coming bands who have positively influenced their local music scenes and have strong social media presences. Previously open only to large musical groups, the program has expanded to include smaller regional bands as well. The endorsement helps bands expanding their audience receive more national attention across several platforms. They also qualify for discounts on instruments and equipment. It can also open the door to possible future endorsement deals.
A devoted player of Paul Reed Smith instruments for much of his life, Smith felt awed that the company selected him as one of 2021’s Pulse Artists, an honor given to only a small selection of players nationally. “It’s a dream come true,” he enthused: “I’ve been a player of Paul Reed Smith Guitars for a long time. A lot of my idols, my musical idols play them. It’s a dream to be part of the family. It’s an honor.”
As Smith continues to grow his talents and help Eugene Levy reach new heights, he thanks the Muscatine Community for all the support he has received over the past two years. “The town is behind us and has helped us grow,” he said. “It’s an honor to be recognized in your own town.”