Many of us were first fully introduced to Camila Cabello (pronounced Cam-ee-la Cab-ay-o) through the success of her song “Havana”. You may have heard about the debacle with her leaving the girl group Fifth Harmony or listened to her collaboration with Shawn Mendes, “I Know What You Did Last Summer”. But “Havana” is the song that brought Cabello to the forefront of pop culture globally, even though many industry experts and producers warned her against releasing it. In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Cabello said that “Nobody wanted to make it a single. They said that radio would never play it, that it was too slow, too chill.” Cabello fought to have it released and the song went on to reach Number 1 in 23 countries, including the UK and the USA, and it currently has 1 billion streams on Spotify! She went on to say in the same interview, “It just taught me a huge lesson: Screw whatever’s ‘going to work’ – you just have to go with the thing that you feel is the most you.”
“Havana” is so popular because it draws on Cabello’s Latin roots. Cabello was born in Havana, Cuba, so it is clearly a place that it is close to her heart. In a mini YouTube documentary called Made in Miami, Cabello’s mom revealed that they moved to Miami when Camila was just 6 years old because she wanted her daughter to have the best opportunities. Cabello is very proud to be a Latina and she showcases this in the “Havana” music video. The video is basically a short but brilliant telenovela! Another reason for the song’s success is that it’s different from most other songs. Most music producers and executives (weirdly) seem to think that popular songs are songs that are very similar to other popular songs. They are wrong and ‘Havana’ proves that. The song’s Latin influence makes it interesting to listen to.
After the success of “Havana”, Cabello decided to start her debut album all over again; she wrote songs that she wanted to write with stories that she wanted to tell not songs that people thought would be ‘popular’. Rather unusually, Cabello had a writing credit on every song on the album. The album title changed from the rather laborious The Hurting, the Healing, the Loving to Camila because it was a new beginning for her. Some of the incredible statistics: the first debut album to top the iTunes chart in 100 countries, two singles in the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 and Cabello was the first artist to hold the top spot on the album and singles charts at the same time in the USA since Beyoncé in 2003! Camila has been touted as one of the best albums of the year!
The third and final single from Camila, “Consequences (orchestra)”, was released last Tuesday. It is a touching ballad about a relationship that had some good points but ultimately had too many ‘consequences’ for it to continue. The song made many people (including me) cry when they first listened to the album. The orchestral accompaniment makes the song even more beautiful, which I honestly thought would be impossible. The music video sees Cabello quite literally walk down memory lane as she relives all the good and bad parts of a relationship and at the end, she lets go of the memory of her boyfriend (played by Dylan Sprouse) and her old self.
However, in a recent Instagram post, Cabello implied that she’d received some push back on this single and “Never Be The Same” by saying “a lot of people say ballads like this are “risky” and with every single I’ve picked I get looks like I have three heads, because people always want you to go with a song that sounds like something that’s already on the radio. It would be playing it safe for me to make a song that sounds like Havana or another uptempo song, but to me, my goal is to challenge myself by not doing what feels predictable or obvious, to do things that excite me, and give you the most honest representation of who I am through music.”
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a new version of consequences called consequences (orchestra) is gonna come out tomorrow night at midnight ET, and it’s going to be the song I choose as my last single from my album- a lot of people say ballads like this are “risky” and with every single i’ve picked i get looks like i have three heads, because people always want you to go with a song that sounds like something that’s already on the radio. it would be playing it safe for me to make a song that sounds like Havana or another uptempo song, but to me, my goal is to challenge myself by not doing what feels predictable or obvious, to do things that excite me, and give you the most honest representation of who I am through music. i know sometimes it’ll work and other times it’ll fail, but thats okay with me. no matter what this song does, i wanted to close this era finishing on a song that makes you feel, that makes you think about someone you loved and lost, that makes you think about what it’s like to love someone so deeply. if this era tugs on your heart strings even a little bit, that’s all i care about. the video comes out very soon and it’s the one I’m proudest of so far, and I’ll be performing this at the AMA’s in a couple days. love only, Camila
No artist should feel like they have to fight to be able to make the music they want to make. Camila Cabello is an immensely talented singer and songwriter; she should absolutely be able to tell the stories she wants to without fear of being told “no”.
Give your ears a treat and listen to “Consequences (orchestra)”, but make sure you have a box of tissues at the ready because it gets really sad.
Featured Image Via Camila Cabello on YouTube