Wonderland.

CAMILA CABELLO

The supernova bringing “wind-your-waist” rhythms.

Jumper MARCO DE VINCEZO, corset DOLLSKILL, shorts THOMAS WYLDE

Jumper MARCO DE VINCEZO, corset DOLLSKILL, shorts THOMAS WYLDE

“My advice is go home,” says Camila Cabello, “it doesn’t get any better.” Our interview – 20 minutes of precious promo time stolen between LA and London (think early rounds of debut solo record territory) – isn’t going horribly wrong, or at least not to my knowledge. Rather, her suggestion is for anyone who might find themselves sobbing in the midst of a busy social engagement such as a party – or a club based celebration.

The debut release from forthcoming album The Hurting, The Healing, The Loving, “Crying in the Club” is riding high on multiple charts and her next efforts – “Havana”, written in collaboration with Pharrell Williams and “OMG” (featuring Quavo) – remain to be heard by anyone outside of the recording studio. Fast forward some months and the success of “Havana” on Spotify – 100 million streams as Rollacoaster went to print – generates an exuberant reaction from Cabello on Twitter: “definitely just peed myself” the pop star announces, doubtless metaphorically, to 4.56 million followers.

Stepping away from the X-Factor choreographed outfit Fifth Harmony in December 2016, the singer-songwriter is clearly embracing her new solo status. “It’s totally different,” she exclaims, “in the group we would record songs for two weeks, it was a really fast process, like sometimes we’d do five songs in a day.” Still aurally curating when we chat, she continues of the new practice: “I’ve had a chance to really write and make the songs, and I’ve been involved in every aspect of it, from the production to the mixing to, everything. [It’s] definitely a lot more challenging but it’s more fun, for sure.”

(LEFT) Shirt SIMONE ROCHA, earrings HOUSE OF EMMANUELE
(RIGHT) Top and corset THOMAS WYLDE, jeans PHILLIP PLEIN, earrings HOUSE OF EMANUELE, shoes THOM SOLO

Shirt SIMONE ROCHA, earrings HOUSE OF EMMANUELE
Top and corset THOMAS WYLDE, jeans PHILLIP PLEIN, earrings HOUSE OF EMANUELE, shoes THOM SOLO

In place for a 2017 release, The Hurting, The Healing, The Loving got its initial announcement back in May – concurrent with “Crying in the Club” – via a note from Camila on social media, in which she told fans of the events that informed the record’s arrival. “The story from my journey from darkness into light, from a time when I was lost to a time when I found myself again. The story behind the album starts with the second song that you’ll hear,” it explained, concluding with thank you notes to two of the three categories and, to The Loving, “you are even more beautiful than i [sic] remember.”

“I think I was just avoiding talking about the hurt that I was feeling and I just didn’t want to come to terms with it,” she tells me two months later, “and I feel like writing is such an intimate process, I mean at least for me. There’s no way I could write about stuff without going through it at the time or feeling a certain way about it at the time. It leads to a lot of self-discovery because you’re asking yourself questions, like ‘how do I feel today? How do I feel about this?’ it brings it out of you.”

A further fraction of the record’s make-up is Cabello’s Cuban-Mexican heritage: last year she contributed a personal essay to Pop Sugar as part of the site’s Hispanic Heritage Month, while in March she joined Orange is the New Black star Diane Guerrero in conversation on the pages of Teen Vogue to discuss representation. Emoji’s of the two flags form the bio’s on her respective social media accounts.

(LEFT) Dress RAISA VANESSA, earrings HOUSE OF EMMANUELE, boots MARCO DE VINCENZO
(RIGHT) Jumper MARCO DE VINCENZO, corset DOLLSKILL, shorts THOMAS WYLDE, shoes SOPHIA WEBSTER

Dress RAISA VANESSA, earrings HOUSE OF EMMANUELE, boots MARCO DE VINCENZO
Jumper MARCO DE VINCENZO, corset DOLLSKILL, shorts THOMAS WYLDE, shoes SOPHIA WEBSTER

“I mean I talked about my culture on some of the records,” she comments on the subject in relation to her unique position. “I talk about living in Miami and the bridge I wrote in Spanish. I think because, making my own music now, it truly is my voice, I’m able to talk about who I am and a big part of that is my culture and my family and all of that, so, I wouldn’t say my platform, but how I’m able to represent other people that are Latin is better [as a solo artist] because I actually get to talk from my voice, you know?”

Beyond the music the trajectory of Camila’s career is following a recipe not dissimilar to other industry songstresses, particularly the iconic kind, with major fashion and beauty companies tapping her for recent campaigns: Skechers for example, who bestowed the same honour on Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera at their peak, and L’Oreal, whose relationship with Beyoncé began in 2001.

Then there’s Guess, a brand that has been championing a 50s tinted aesthetic since the 80s when Claudia Schiffer and Eva Herzigova stepped up. With her hair frequently piled high and that same starlet quality a firm part of the Camila Cabello presented publicly, it’s not difficult to recognise the shared references. “So amazing,” she considers of the relationship (and not just because she got to “be all up on an Italian boy” for the shoot). “I’ve been a fan of theirs for such a long time so when they reached out I couldn’t believe it. If you saw pictures of me when I was younger…”

Days away from a support slot on Bruno Mars’ tour when our call is connected, next up for Camila will be the release of something a little more dramatic. “A lot of my songs are dark and emotional,” she says, describing the contrast between tunes like “Havana” and “OMG” with those the rest of us are yet to consume. “These are the more ‘summer fun’ songs – upbeat, very wind-your-waist tempo, if that makes sense? It’s way harder for me to write a fun, summery song than to write an emotional song, and I think the more emotional ones are going to come out in the fall.”

After that? A vacation, preferably to come kind of island, beckons. “Because damn.”

Taken from the Autumn/Winter 17 issue of Rollacoaster

(LEFT) Suit ROBERTO CAVALLI, top MURMUR
(RIGHT) Dress ROBERTO CAVALLI

Suit ROBERTO CAVALLI, top MURMUR
Dress ROBERTO CAVALLI
Photography
Dennis Leupold
Fashion
Toni-Blaze Ibekwe
Words
Zoe Whitfield
Hair
Pater Savic at Opus Beauty
Makeup
Allan Avendano at Starworks Artists using L'Oréal
Nails
Pebbles Aitken at The Wall Group using Marc Jacob Beauty
Fashion Assistant
Simona Williams
CAMILA CABELLO

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