Year In Review: Camila Cabello

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by Alessandra Guarneri

Following the success of her debut album Camila and her first international headlining tour in 2018, Camila Cabello took a brief break from the spotlight at the beginning of 2019. Despite her time off and what seemed to be a complete creative halt, she made a swift and explosive return to the music industry in June with “Senorita.” The duet, featuring her now-boyfriend Shawn Mendes, was only the start of new releases coming from her this year. The track followed her 2015 collaboration with Mendes, “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” and did surpassingly better in the charts. “Senorita” was co-written by the duo along with Charli XCX, Ali Tamposi and Jack Patterson of Clean Bandit. It almost instantly became a worldwide hit and reached number one on Billboard’s Hot 100 in several countries including the United States, Canada, and others. The music video currently has over 700 million views. This release ultimately launched Cabello back into her successful mojo and had fans excited for her future releases. 

Although Cabello had collaborated with producers on other projects, including Mark Ronson’s fourth single “Find U Again” from his latest album, her focus easily transitioned from working with others on collaborations back to her solo music. In September of this year, Cabello released two brand new tracks off of her upcoming album Romance which release date has yet to be announced. The singles “Shameless” and “Liar” were accompanied by two very unique music videos. “Shameless” was more simple and raw while “Liar” played off of humor and gossip with intense special effects. Fans immediately began speculating that the songs were about the beginning of her budding romance with Mendes and social media was taken over by lyrical analysis and countless assumptions. However, the overwhelming response was that Cabello’s new singles were undeniably catchy and revealed a new sound for her. It seemed to be more natural and the instrumentals, along with her vocals, flowed together effortlessly. Each music video currently has over 50 million views and “Liar” recently surpassed 100 million streams on Spotify. 

The lyrics to “Shameless” and “Liar” revolve around a romance and are quite vulnerable compared to Cabello’s past work. Her self-titled debut album included only a few tracks, such as “Consequences,”  that touched on her personal life and any sort of affiliation with romantic relationships. It is clear by the title of her sophomore album, Romance, and from her releases thus far in 2019, that her openness about personal experiences through her music has only become more honest and will reveal more as time goes on. Lyrics like “I’m tired of loving somebody that’s not mine” and “Now that you have me, do you want me still?” from “Shameless” have allowed fans inside her mind as a woman with feelings that are completely relatable. Her vulnerability and the diversity in sound on her initial two-track release of new solo music impressed fans and set her up for more releases shortly afterward. 

Just a month after releasing the first two tracks off of Romance, Cabello surprised her fans with yet another single titled “Cry For Me.” The track honed in on the inner struggle of having to let go of an ex and how it can be so difficult to see them easily move on while you’re still getting over the break-up. This track had more of a rock feel to it and allowed Cabello to show off her vocal range. The drums on this track and its beat carried its instrumentals and constantly accompanied Cabello. With a very fitting guitar solo and heavy reliance on the drums, “Cry For Me” was a stand-out for the singer due and completely unlike anything she has released before. This was before the latest release Cabello has revealed to fans which was another single titled “Easy.” The subdued and mellow track may remind listeners of “Consequences” as the instrumentals are very stripped down and can be described as simple. “Easy” is undeniably a song for hopeless romantics and those who are genuinely content with finding someone after thinking there was not anyone who understood them on a romantic level. Cabello passionately performed these last two singles on Saturday Night Live. She was in full costume and accompanied by background dancers for “Cry For Me” and performed without any big stage production or a large ensemble during “Easy.” 

Cabello revealed on Instagram at the end of October that Romance was finally completed, but any information on its release has yet to be issued to the general public. It can be expected that fans will hear at least one more single off of this album as there have already been four released tracks in the span of two months leading up to it. In terms of what has been revealed for the rest of 2019, Camila Cabello will be joining other acts during a few stops around the United States for Jingle Ball, including Z100’s Jingle Ball in New York City on December 13, 2019.

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