A report by Maria Arevalo for Latina.
Youtube kicked off its’ Artist Spotlight series with a behind-the-scenes look at Camila Cabello as she filmed her video for the hit song ‘Havana’. The mini-documentary titled ‘Made in Miami’ follows the singer as she explains her rise to stardom, her family’s struggle as immigrants, and the battle she had with self-doubt in order to achieve the confidence needed of a rising pop star.
A strong detail throughout the documentary is Cabello’s family and their struggle immigrating to the United States. Since Cabello and her mother are Cuban, they were granted a path to citizenship, however, her father was Mexican and was not given that same path. Her family had to seperate during the move and for years after.
“It was kind of scary so what I told her is that we were going to Disney.” her mother says. Camila recalls being excited for Disney and confused as to why her parents were so sad. “I never even knew anything was difficult,” Cabello explains. She goes on to say that she had a Disney calander and would x off days until she could see her father again.
“I had been desperate to see my family. I swam the river, and practically risked my life,” says her father, “what you want is to be with your family and honestly it was the happiest trip of my life.”
Cabello’s fierceness is in large part due to her family and the strength they had while starting a life in the US.
“I’m just in awe of everything that my family had to go through,” she says, “My family’s attitude of never setting limits on yourself, that’s literally the reason there’s a camera sitting here right now”
Thankfully, her family had amazing support from the Cuban community in Miami. She and her family would gather together with neighbors and have karaoke nights. This is where Camila discovered her love of music and artistry, but Cabello’s shyness stunted her growth as an artist.
Her father says, “She would say to us ‘don’t you need to go shopping?’ And then when we would leave, that’s when she’d start singing karaoke, and doing her thing. We never heard her sing.”
It’s hard imagining the fierce artist being shy but Cabello had to come to terms with building her confidence if she wanted to enter the music industry.
“I love music so much but it definitely takes a lot for me to break out of my shell,” she says.
Of course, Cabello is the definition of Latina strong and she found her confidence through hard work and determination.
After auditioning for the X Factor and joining Fifth Harmony, Cabello realized her dream of becoming a solo artist. On her departure from Fifth Harmony Cabello says, “When I was in the group, I experienced different things and grew a lot, but then it felt like I had new things to talk about…I think for me, as an artist, the only way to feel good is to make stuff that you love. But I got to this place where I couldn’t express how I was feeling…”
Cabello goes in depth about her fight with self-doubt as a solo artist and how she overcame it. She worked hard and was determined. Her manager Roger Gold even explains that while in the studio, Cabello had done over 100 takes to perfect a song even when staff told her she “had it at 40.”
Her album Camila is a culmination of her hard work and her family’s path towards the American Dream.
“In the beginning, my album was going to be called, “The Hurting, The Healing, The Loving,” and I changed it because I feel like I healed at the halfway point. And after that, I felt like, ‘No, this album is about me, and how I felt and how I love people and I’ve decided to ask a lot less people for opinions.”
Just as one of the opening lines in the documentary says, Cabello is a force to be reckoned with.
You can watch the documentary in its’ entirety here.