How Camila Cabello's 'Crying In the Club' Came Together After a Sia Bathroom Break

Five months to the day after leaving Fifth Harmony, Camila Cabello delivered her debut solo single -- here's how a Sia bathroom break brought “Crying in the Club” to life. 

MAY 2016  

As Fifth Harmony rolls out sophomore album 7/27, Cabello records with producer Benny Blanco (Ed Sheeran, Selena Gomez). Both contribute to the song “Love Incredible” for Cashmere Cat. “She’s unbelievably driven,” says Blanco. “Anytime we’re in the studio, she’s like, ‘Am I working hard enough?’ ”

Cindy Ord/WireImage for The Recording Academy
Benny Blanco

DEC. 19, 2016  

“Our happiness is our own responsibility,” writes Cabello in a message announcing her decision to leave Fifth Harmony. After years of writing in her downtime, the 19-year-old begins penning songs in earnest for her debut.

FEB. 2017  

Blanco is writing a demo with Sia in Los Angeles when inspiration strikes the Australian songwriter. “Sia was on her way to the bathroom and goes, ‘Oh, my God, I have a really good idea for a song!’ ” recalls Blanco. “When she came back, we did the song in 20 minutes.”

Rich Fury/Invision/AP

MARCH 2017  

After Blanco offers her “Crying in the Club,” Cabello rewrites the song’s bridge and records the track. “It had a message about healing through the power of music,” says Cabello. “That theme was a key part of what I wanted for my album.”

MAY 19, 2017

“Crying in the Club” is released worldwide and promoted to top 40 radio. “She has a massive following,” says iHeartMedia’s Tom Poleman, “and people have been waiting for what she’s going to do on her own. This could be a big one.”

MAY 21, 2017

Cabello performs “Crying” at the Billboard Music Awards along with new song “I Have Questions”; both will be featured on her “intense” debut LP. “I didn’t want the album to just be about pain,” says Cabello. “Crying” “was a missing piece of the puzzle.” 

This article originally appeared in the June 3 issue of Billboard.