Camila Cabello's 'Crying in the Club' Shows the 'Next Stage of Her Life,' Producer Benny Blanco Says
From Katy Perry to Maroon 5 and Ed Sheeran, Benny Blanco has worked with some of the biggest names in the business and helped craft countless hits, including Justin Bieber's "Love Yourself" and Perry's "California Gurls." So what better person to help Camila Cabello's solo career get off the ground than Mr. Hitmaker himself?
But while Blanco is the man behind Cabello's first single, "Crying in the Club," their collaboration wasn't a forced whatsoever. The two have been friends for a couple of years now, and Blanco has been itching to work with Cabello as a solo artist -- and there was something almost fateful with "Crying."
"I’ve given Camila a billion songs, and this was the first one that clicked," Blanco tells Billboard. "This is the first time our visions really aligned on a song."
The superproducer/songwriter detailed the creation process of "Crying in the Club" for a timeline of the song in the June 3 issue of Billboard, revealing that co-writer Sia thought of the concept on her way to the bathroom. Below, check out an edited transcript of our interview with Blanco, and find out why he thinks it's a perfect transitional song for the former Fifth Harmony singer.
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About maybe a year or so ago we met up, and we were gonna start doing songs and making stuff together. We got in to do a song for Cashmere Cat called "Love Incredible," and that was the first time we’d worked together. Then maybe six months later I was like, "We gotta do something for your record" -- she was in the beginning of her writing process, and nothing really happened. We just kind of hung out and became really good friends.
I don’t really work with people unless I really like them and have a connection. She is one of the sweetest, most talented people. She’s so unbelievably driven. Anytime we go in the studio, she looks at me and she’s like, “Am I working hard enough? How’s my work ethic?” She’s like, “If you were a teacher, how would you grade me?” She works so hard, man. This girl really deserves the world.
I was in the studio with Sia [this past February], writing a song with Cashmere Cat and Happy Perez. Sia was on her way to the bathroom like, “Oh my God, I have a really good idea for a song!” And she was like: “What if there was one called ‘No Crying in the Club’?” and when she came back, we did the song in, like, 20 minutes.
I immediately called Camila like, “Yo, Camila, I have this crazy song, you’ve gotta do it. No one else could do it but you. You have such a strong, powerful voice.” It’s really hard for people to sing Sia’s songs, you know? She was like, “I’m so down, I’ll come in and listen to it.” She listened to it and was like, “Holy shit, this is amazing.” It just all clicked -- we had been down this road many times -- I’ve given Camila a billion songs, and this was the first one that clicked. This is the first time our visions really aligned on a song. Everyone just kind of looked at each other and went, “Oh, yeah.”
So we got in the studio and she made it her own, really just put a bunch of shit on it and wrote some new parts -- she actually wrote the bridge. She just completely murdered it, and we were like, “This is obviously the song.” Anyone we played it to, it was just super infectious. And then, before I knew it, it’s coming out.
For me, it’s just one of those songs that makes a woman feel good about herself, very independent and feel strong. It shows her strength, but also has a lighthearted side to it and a sexy side to it that’s grown up. She’s an adult, and she’s ready for everyone to know that. There’s definitely a lot of differences [from Fifth Harmony], because that was a group and this is just her.
I’m looking forward to it being her breakout song and something that really represents her. It’s special and unique, and not like anything else that’s out there right now. I think it really shows the next stage of her life.