Camila Cabello

Camila Cabello’s Solo Debut, ‘Camila,’ Continues to Break Music-Industry Records

Four weeks since its debut, ‘Camila’ is more than proving that the young singer’s decision to go solo was an act of genius.
February 4, 2018
6 mins read

Camila Cabello, an American-Cuban singer-songwriter, hit the top charts with her debut album, “Camila,” on Jan. 12. Her tracklist is easy to fall in love with because it clearly comes from the depths of her soul. Every song has a different vibe, from “Never Be the Same” to “Into It.” Raw talent and beautiful melodies fill Cabello’s every note. After almost four weeks since its debut, the singer’s new album is still one of the most talked-about records of 2018, which isn’t a surprise, since her lyrics are exciting, personal and relatable.

Even though her solo career is a mega-hit, no one can seem to let the Fifth Harmony news die. In December of 2016, Cabello left her band of five years to pursue her solo career. Despite all the risks that come with debuting as a solo singer, Cabello has succeeded beyond the expectations of many, as she’s skyrocketed to the top of many music lovers’ playlists.

Cabello’s new album has been a long time coming. In May 2017, she released a single entitled “Crying in the Club,” which was originally her lead track for her debut studio album. In addition, her Vevo YouTube video, on May 19, marks the introduction of her solo channel.

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Later in 2017, “Havana” would become her lead single, and she would change the album title from “The Hurting. The Healing. The Loving.” to “Camila.” After the release of the promotional hit single on Aug. 3, which then climbed to the No. 2 spot on the Billboard 100 on Nov. 6, a critic at the time reported that Cabello had scored her biggest hit yet.

The lead single also stands as the only artist collaboration on Cabello’s new album, a rare occurrence for debut releases. Unlike other nascent artists, though, Cabello has proven that she has no problem delivering an excellent tracklist on her own. Though “Havana” does benefit from a Young Thug feature, Cabello more than holds her own throughout the entire track.

With two solo singles released in early 2017, “Crying in the Club” and “I Have Questions,” and her lead single making waves in the second half of the year, Cabello’s solo career seems primed for more success.

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After only one week, “Camila” was certified Gold in the U.S., and the debut album’s achievements don’t end there. On Jan. 21, it claimed the spot of the No. 1 album on the Billboard 200, with the hit single “Havana” peaking at No. 1 on the Billboard 100 the very next day. Due to her massive success, Cabello is the first woman in three years to hit No. 1 with her full-length debut album.

One of the album’s greatest strengths is sonic variation from song to song. Even non-experts can hear her vocal range, which fluctuates both in tenor and genre, and appreciate her natural talent.

In a whimsical, if slightly confusing decision, the pop star also decided to present the songs in no discernible order. “After All These Years” maintains a steady beat and Cabello never veers from her smooth singing style, as she describes a mystery man with “…Your eyes just as I remember. Your smile’s just a little softer.”

She follows this emotionally weighty song with an upbeat one that will make listeners want to dance, called “She Loves Control.” The fast-paced flow of the track, accompanied by lively background beats, emphasizes the intensity of her vocals. As Cabello repeats the track’s title in the chorus, she kicks up the rhythm even more and makes her listeners focus on the lyrics.

Her fans, dubbed Camilizers, have flooded social media with their love for Cabello. Even celebrities, after diving into the rich acoustics of Cabello, have experienced their fair share of admiration and fan-girl moments, which is just further evidence that Cabello’s record-breaking album is one everyone needs to listen to as soon as possible, assuming they haven’t already. Since her music is available on YouTube, Spotify and other streaming services, there is no reason to wait any longer to check out this beautifully written and sung tracklist.

In addition, the singer revealed in her interview with the Zach Sang Show that the only person who heard the album before Jan. 12 was the one and only Shawn Mendes, a best friend of Cabello’s. Everyone who wasn’t Mendes, however, finally heard Camila’s new album when it released at midnight Eastern Time. Despite its late-night debut, fans immediately hit play on Spotify when the album appeared.

“Real Friends,” the seventh track from the album, appeared about a month before the actual release date, and soon became a hit. At the time of the single’s release, sources speculated it to be about Fifth Harmony. In an article by Baeble Music, the writer pins down several words that match a tweet Cabello sent out following her departure from the group.

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In both situations, “there is a running theme of miscommunication and breaking of trust,” reports Maddie Brown as she analyzes the lyrics. “I thought that I could trust you, never mind / Why all the switching sides? Where do I draw the line? / I guess I’m too naive to read the signs.” These lyrics are similar to some of the wording in Cabello’s tweet: “Saying that they were just informed through my representatives that i was ‘leaving the group’ is simply not true.”

The lines could point at Fifth Harmony, but with no confirmation from the singer, curious fans will just have to accept the fact that everyone, including celebrities, can find fake friends from time to time. Brown may be on to something with her evidence, but in the end, this doesn’t detract from the lyric’s emotional authenticity.

Regardless of which track fans love the most, the album’s irresistible beats and relatable lyrics will sustain listeners’ interest until the last song. Cabello’s debut record-breaking album is definitely an unforgettable one and a great start to 2018’s music collection.

Emily Craig, University of North Alabama

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Emily Craig

University of North Alabama

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