Camila Cabello Plans Trip to South America 'As Soon As Possible': Interview
Fresh from headlining the <a href="/articles/events/hot-100-festival/7957598/hot-100-festival-2017-look-back-video">Hot 100 festival</a>, former Fifth Harmony member <a href="/artist/6840044/camila-cabello/chart">Camila Cabello</a> hangs out with Bruno Mars, Major Lazer and Young Thug, while she readies her debut album, The Hurting. The Healing. The Loving, due Sept. 22.
Dreams come true, and Cabello is living proof of it. In five years, she went from being a tween One Direction fan to having her own fandom around the world: Camilizers. When she auditioned in 2012 for The X Factor reality show, she ended up as one of the chosen five young ladies that would finally become Fifth Harmony. She embodies that burning desire that thousands of teenagers have of touring the world, singing and dancing.
In December 2016, after two EPs, two albums, awards and entries in the Hot 100 and Billboard 200 with her former bandmates, Cabello embarked on a solo career. "It's been almost five years already, and this is the most important chapter in my life so far. I am very proud of what we achieved together as a group, and to have been a part of it," the Cuban-born young woman said after her departure.
A few days later, Time magazine included her in the 30 most influential teenagers of 2016. But her flirting with the solo career prospect had begun earlier in 2015, when she wrote "I Know What You Did Last Summer" with Shawn Mendes.
In 2017, she earned the recognition of her peers when she released her first single, "Crying In the Club"; worked with Pitbull and J Balvin in "Hey Ma," part of the soundtrack for the latest The Fast and The Furious installment; she got together with Quavo and Travis Scott for the latest track from Major Lazer, "Know No Better." "I don't sleep," she said, laughing.
Cabello, who is on tour with Bruno Mars as the supporting act in all of his American tour engagements, talks to Billboard Argentina.
Spanish is your mother tongue, right?
I was born in Cojimar, Cuba, and I also lived some time in Mexico. And Jennifer, one of my neighbours and best friends is from Argentina. Boludooo! She lived in Buenos Aires and now she's in Miami, like me.
What do you do with your time? You've got any amount of engagements and trips, but I imagine you also want to have fun.
Yes, of course. Well, I don't sleep! That's mainly it [laughs]. I sometimes think I only want to be a 20-year-old girl. But, for instance, now I am on tour with Bruno Mars, in order not to lose my voice, when I am not working or singing, I can't talk, I am on vocal rest.
There was one time my voice was faltering, and I stayed on until 8 in the morning talking and watching movies with the dancers and the musicians. The following week, I had to bear the consequences of my lack of responsibility, I lost my voice. But I have to live.
I believe it is all a question of balance, you can't be working all the time. At the same time, I am an artist, I need to experience things so as to have something to write about. You know, to inspire yourself, you need to live your life, but also be responsible and to rest.
Do you believe in God, in the universe, in love? Who do you thank for everything that's happening?
There is something bigger in the universe, I don't know what it is, be it God or some sort of energy. Honestly, I don't know. But I do believe in fate and I think that every experience, depending on how you see and use it, is useful to improve and choose your road in life. I know I've worked super hard to reach this point. I have an amazing family too, the support of my fans and in my team there's a lot of people that want to see me win, they're like my family. I can't narrow it to one thing, it's many things.
One of the things your followers told me was: "We love her a lot because we feel she's one of us." It looks as if you represent that dream because you were a fan before. Do you agree?
I was a One Direction superfan, I even had my Twitter account dedicated to them. I remember that two months before auditioning for The X Factor, I saw their show in Miami and Niall [Horan] threw a shoe to the audience, and when the concert ended, a group of girls and me were crying for the shoe [laughs]. But yes, it's wonderful to hear it, I see my fans as my friends, my family. I don't feel different. I think we're in the same level, no one in a higher position than the other.
What are you listening to now?
A lot of hip-hop, and since I am on tour with Bruno Mars, I listen to many of his influences, like Prince, <a href="/artist/276054/earth-wind-fire/chart">Earth, Wind & Fire</a> or James Brown. Things from the '80s. I grew up with a lot of Latin music. Michael Jackson was one of the few English-speaking artists that we'd listen to. So, it's weird, but I'm only now getting to know the '70s and '80s American music. I'm learning a lot from that.
The Billboard Hot 100 Festival was your first appearance as a headliner. How do you feel?
It's my first festival as a soloist. We did a few with Fifth Harmony, none that important. I love it, it's a completely different experience. To share the stage with Major Lazer, huge guys who're awesome on festivals because they bring the audience together and everyone is jumping, is very different to what I am doing with Bruno Mars, where almost everyone is going to see him. The good thing in the Hot 100 is that there is more of a mixture, there are more artists and more audience for all. Last night, I couldn't sleep. We were thinking about doing something really different.
You also worked with J Balvin. After the "Despacito" phenomenon, we've confirmed there is a Latin boom in the international scene. Do you feel part of it?
Yes! It's amazing. I remember when I went to London, and "Despacito" was the number one song there. I live in Miami, and I grew up listening to Latin music. Personally, it isn't much of a surprise. But it also proves that, thanks to the Internet and all the streaming services, the world is getting smaller. There are less barriers, less walls, and good music is good music.
You also became a fashion icon. There are gigantic pictures of you in Guess in Fifth Avenue in New York. Keeping ego in check surely isn't easy ...
I love doing stuff for fashion, and the Guess team is amazing. However, I just focus on music 24 hours a day. I am constantly working to become a better artist, and how to be a better musician. That's what I do. I just wish I had a boyfriend just to break up with him, so when he goes to the mall, he sees my face everywhere. He won't be able to escape [laughs].
What can you tell your fandom in South America? Are you going to do songs in Spanish?
Of course I will. I want to tell them that I love them so much. Thank you very much for your support. We're already talking with my manager to do a trip to South America and Argentina as soon as possible. The live energy in those countries is unique, bar none. So I'm super excited. So, if it isn't at the end of this year, it's in the beginning of the next one, I promise.