Camila Cabello was just 15 years old when she auditioned for the US version of The X Factor and hit the big time as a member of Fifth Harmony, the girl group put together and mentored by Simon Cowell. Since leaving the band at the end of last year, she's been killing it solo: Her first single, “Crying in the Club”, was released in May, and “Havana” made it to No. 2 in the UK charts. Her debut solo album – The Hurting. The Healing. The Loving. – is set to be released in December.
Camila is everywhere right now, so when we at BuzzFeed got the chance to chat to her in London recently, we jumped at the opportunity to learn a little bit more about her...
1. Puppies or kittens?
Camila Cabello: Puppies. Duh.
2. Which animal are you most like?
CC: I would say an elephant, because they have the best emotional memory out of all the animals.
3. Have you ever been mistaken for another celebrity?
CC: Actually, yeah! One time I was at the airport and I was getting some food, and this guy was like, “Oh my god, I thought you were Selena Gomez!” But he didn’t know who I was, he just thought I was Selena Gomez. I was like, “No, I’m not.” And then I just walked away.
4. Have you ever intentionally pretended to be another celebrity?
CC: No. I’ve never had the opportunity.
5. Where is your favourite place in the world?
CC: I just went to Rome, Italy, for the first time, and it changed my whole life.
6. Where is one place you’ve never been to but would love to visit?
CC: Thailand. Elephants!
7. What’s your favourite holiday?
CC: New Year’s. I love starting again.
8. What’s the weirdest possession you own?
CC: When I was in my former group, we each had to pick a cover to sing, and I picked Ed Sheeran, “Lego House”. So we did the cover of the song, and he tweeted us, “Incredible”. And then a fan framed me his tweet. I have it in my room. [laughs]
9. What’s the last thing you cried at?
CC: I cried at this movie I saw yesterday, it’s called Saving Mr Banks. It’s about the story of the woman who wrote Mary Poppins, her real story, and Walt Disney. I was literally sobbing. You can’t ask me the last time I cried. It’s always gonna be in, like, the past 10 hours.
10. Tea or coffee?
CC: OK, I’m gonna say neither, because coffee makes me… It’s a lot. And then tea, if it’s not Throat Coat, I don’t like the taste.
11. Favourite pizza topping?
CC: I know! I don’t get it! Get it together, people! Pineapple on pizza is good. Sweet and salty, it’s one of the best creations of mankind. Get it together. Accept Hawaiian! Pizza. Important last word.
12. What’s your favourite comfort food?
CC: Chocolate. I love chocolate.
13. What advice would you give to your younger self?
CC: It’s not that serious. Calm down.
14. What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
CC: That everything is a choice. Your attitude towards things is in your control. You can choose how you look at any situation. No matter what the situation is, you can always get something good out of it.
15. What’s the craziest fan encounter you’ve ever had?
CC: It’s not crazy in a bad way, it’s actually really beautiful. I was waiting for the twinkly lights at the Eiffel Tower, and there was a group of fans behind me. When the twinkly lights happened, we all sang “La Vie En Rose” together.
16. Have you ever freaked out about meeting a celebrity?
CC: Yes. Many times. Many, many times. The first was probably One Direction, when I was on X Factor. It was a big one.
17. What’s one band or singer you’d love to see live?
CC: I would love to see Coldplay live! I’d love to see John Mayer live, and I’d love to see Chance the Rapper live.
18. What one musician would you like to collaborate with most?
CC: A lot, all of them. Kendrick Lamar, Chance. I’m gonna say that.
19. What’s your signature dance move?
CC: I learned that when I was in school. To an Usher and Justin Bieber music video. And I’m really good at it, as you can tell.
20. If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
CC: It would be the power to have a clone, but we would have the same brain, so we would feel both lives at once. Like, we could watch a movie, and also eat at a great restaurant, and I would feel both of them. But it would be difficult, because I could also be having the best time of my life, and then my clone gets into an accident, and I would feel a lot of pain. And happiness.
That just got really dark.
CC: I haven’t planned it out yet.
21. What’s your favourite song to sing live?
CC: “Havana”! Because I’m promoting it right now. [laughs]
22. If you could cover any song, what would it be?
CC: I would never do this, because I feel like it’s an untouchable thing and it’s better left untouched, but “Somebody to Love” by Queen.
23. Do you have a secret talent?
CC: Are you ready? You have to make my mouth look pretty. I’m single.
24. What’s your biggest pet peeve?
CC: A lot of Latin people – I don’t know if this means anything in other places – but this, like, [tutting noise]. It means, like, relax. And I hate that sound. I hate it. I also hate it when people pronounce the letter S so piercing – I’m sorry, they could be amazing people, but it just hurts my ears. It reaches this frequency in my ears where it literally is painful. I can’t.
25. Who was the last person you texted?
CC: My mom.
26. What’s your most used emoji?
CC: A red heart. Or the one that’s like this… [does emoji impression]
27. What’s the last song you had stuck in your head?
CC: [starts singing “What Lovers Do”] The Maroon 5 song. I love that song.
28. What’s your go-to karaoke song?
CC: Any Nicki Minaj song.
29. What’s your biggest phobia?
CC: I really have to get over my fear of sharks and the ocean. If I’m in the ocean and my feet can’t touch the sand I won’t do it, I freak out. I went to Cancún this year with my family, and we went scuba diving, and I literally was having an anxiety attack while scuba diving. I was like, “It’s right behind me! I know it, it’s right behind me!” It was not, I’m still here, but it was horrible. I peed a little bit in the ocean, and I was like, “The shark can trace my pee, I know he’s coming!”
30. What was the last book you read?
CC: The Secret Life of Bees. It was cool.
31. What TV show have you been binge-watching recently?
CC: Narcos. But Pablo’s gone, so it’s not the same. [thinks for a second] I’m not talking about in a real-world context! I’m talking about the episode. That would be a messed-up thing to say.
32. What’s your favourite movie?
CC: There’s this movie called Life Is Beautiful, it’s an Italian movie. I think it’s my mom’s favourite movie. It’s like her whole way of looking at life, and it just reminds me of how I want to look at life.
33. What job would you want to do if you weren’t a musician?
CC: I would want to work in a coffee shop. Actually, one day I would still like to work in a coffee shop, because I have this dream of meeting someone in a coffee shop, and falling in love with them and talking to them every day. And they only come to the coffee shop to get my coffee. But it’s not because my coffee’s good. It’s because they like me.
I’m going to apply tomorrow to the nearest coffee shop.
34. What’s your proudest achievement?
CC: Taking my family to travel really beautiful parts of the world.
35. What’s one ambition you have yet to accomplish?
CC: All of them. [laughs] I’m really excited to have my first album out. In the near future, I’m excited to get the “Havana” music video out, and I’m excited to go on tour. My ambition in life is to keep travelling the world.
36. What’s one thing that’s guaranteed to make you happy?
CC: Music, great food, and a movie.
37. What’s something people would be surprised to know about you?
CC: [in a Darth Vader voice] That I’m Darth Vader. [starts cackling] I’m sorry, I’m delusional right now. I’ve never done that before, and it came out perfectly. OK, Camila, come back. Something people don’t know about me… I was actually just telling someone about this: I love spoken word poetry.
And I’m Darth Vader.