Camila Gallardo grew up in Viña del Mar, Chile, about two hours outside of Santiago. The 21-year-old pop singer knows the capital city well, and when she visited earlier this month to perform at the W Hotel Santiago in Whiskey Blue as part of the 2017 Next Up: New Artists, New Music concert series, she knew just where to go.
One of Gallardo’s favorite spots is the Parque Bicentenario, a scenic urban park built along the Río Mapocho to celebrate Chile’s bicentennial. “To me, running and playing sports has a direct connection with singing,” says Gallardo, who laced up her sneakers and raced along the gorgeous tree-lined paths. “To breathe is to sing, and to breathe is to run.”
To get a bird’s-eye view of Santiago, she headed for Parque Metropolitano, where cable cars carry passengers over the city’s largest greenspace. Although she admits to loving the hustle-bustle of Santiago—“the cars and the noise and the people running around”—Gallardo looks super-peaceful floating above the treetops in the exclusive video below.
After exploring nature, Gallardo headed to the gourmet chocolate shop Caramel, where she stepped into the kitchen and tried her hand at cooking up some tasty confections. It wasn’t such a stretch for the singer, who started playing flute at the age of 6 and uploaded her first YouTube cover at 14. “The process of creation, whether a song, or a poem, or a cake on Sundays with my mother, it’s beautiful,” Gallardo says.
The trip culminated with a performance at the W Hotel Santiago, where the 2017 Next Up: New Artists, New Music concert series came to a spectacular close. Presented by Billboard and W Hotels, the three-part showcase for up-and-coming artists began with Swedish singer LEON in New York City and continued with Brooklyn electro-popsters Sofi Tukker in Las Vegas before heading to South America.
“It is an honor for me to be W Hotels and Billboard’s Next Up Artist,” Gallardo said. “I would love to have you continue listening to my music and come with me on this wonderful journey.”