The Cuban-American singer Camila Cabello has songs about love, heartbreak, friendship, and growing up. But are the lyrics her own?
Camila Cabello does contribute lyrics to her songs. It’s known that every song on her first album—Camila—and second album—Romance—contain some amount of writing from the artist herself.
Unharmonious Fifth Harmony
Camilla Cabelo has been interested in songwriting at least since being part of the girl group Fifth Harmony. Cabelo was selected to join the group when she was just 15, and taking part in the TV talent show “X-Factor.”
Watch a collection of Fifth Harmony’s performances on the X-Factor.
Cabelo spent over four years with the group but found that being part of the ensemble stifled her creativity and way with words. She had reportedly asked to help write lyrics for the band’s songs but her request was turned down.
The artist also wanted to start working on a solo album while remaining with Fifth Harmony, but the other group members and the band’s team started to develop misgivings towards Cabelo.
She said of the difficult time, “I was just curious and I wanted to learn and I saw all these people around me making music, writing songs and being so free. I just wanted to do that and it did not work.”
The cracks in Fifth Harmony deepened when Cabelo began attending lyric writing sessions with music producers that included Diplo, Cashmere Cat and Benny Blanco. Cabelo says she was given an ultimatum—leave Fifth Harmony or cease all projects that didn’t include the band.
Cabello reflected on the time, “It became clear that it was not possible to do solo stuff and be in the group at the same time.” She decided to leave, saying, “if anyone wants to explore their individuality, it’s not right for people to tell you no.”
The separation from the girl group was not drama-free, and included a tense Twitter battle between Cabello at the remaining four members of Fifth Harmony.
Fifth Harmony release their first statement, throwing a bit of shade with the allegation that, “After 4 and half years of being together, we have been informed via her representatives […]”
Camila Cabelo writes a lengthy reply, disputing the fact that she left the band without discussing her departure first.
Fifth Harmony didn’t let the matter rest, however, releasing a final statement.
Camila Goes It Alone
Her debut solo album—originally named “The Hurting, the Healing, the Loving—came out in 2018 with the less provocative title Camila, apparently changed to leave resentful feelings behind.
Cabello contributed lyrics to every song on the album and the lyrics make reference to her Latin heritage.
In contrast to when she was a part of Fifth Harmony, the artist was able to find inspiration from her individuality.
She reflected, “I feel like the best way to come up with something new and different is just to be the you-est you possible. If you pull from all the different little parts of yourself, nobody can replicate that.”
Tom Poleman of iHeartMedia critiqued Cabello’s debut and noted her songwriting skills are what distinguish the artist from the crowded music industry. “It always comes down to whether or not you have a song that resonates. I know she spends a lot of time thinking about that,” he said.
Cabello didn’t rest long after releasing her debut, dropping Romance the following year, in 2019.
She talked about writing songs on the more recent album, saying, “I’ve never lived as much life as I did writing this album. It was messy and beautiful, unforgettable and at times so painful I wish I could forget.”
The tracks draw heavy influences from her relationships with British author Matthew Hussey and Canadian singer Shawn Mendes.
She continued, “It was excruciatingly consuming and impossible not to get lost in. It was mine… and now it’s yours. I hope you love it as much as I’ve loved living it.”
Camila Cabello and Songwriting
Although other writers are included on her albums, Camila Cabello does like to include her own lyrics and influences on her tracks. So far, every song on her albums has included at least some of the artists own choice of words.