At 26 years of age, Camilo has achieved a whole lot and yet this is just the beginning for the Colombia-born star. With huge success across the Latin markets, this talented hitmaker is ready to go global.
His music career kickstarted in 2007 after he won the talent show XS Factor. However, it wouldn’t be until 2018 when things really started to take off. Camilo re-branded himself by ditching his clean-cut style and is now known for his signature handlebar mustache, which probably gets him recognized everywhere.
After releasing a string of multi-platinum singles, he would finally release his long-awaited studio album, Por Primera Vez, in 2020, which helped cement him as one of Latin music’s biggest stars of today.
While in Spain for a promo trip last year, Camilo found out he had earned himself his first Grammy Award nomination for Best Latin Pop Album, something he was completely not expecting. Camilo admits he didn’t watch the nominations get announced because he didn’t even realize his album was registered for the prestigious award.
“The label does that kind of thing,” he told EUPHORIA. “I knew that I was registered for the Latin Grammys but in my head, that wasn’t in my equation you know. It was a surprise because it’s bigger than my expectations and my plans. I didn’t know we were going to be nominated for Latin Grammy Album of the Year for the album from last year. I thought that was going to happen after. God’s plans are unpredictable,” he said humbly.
Since he was a young boy, a Grammy has been a part of his dream.
“I really wanna win that Grammy, but I already feel like a winner just being there with artists that I admire. Yesterday, we just received the medal for the nomination and the magazine. Seeing my name there and the title of my album next to all the artists that I have admired since I was a little child is not only mind-blowing but a huge honor for me,” he shared.
Like a lot of artists, Camilo had plans to take his songs on the road for the first time, but the ongoing coronavirus pandemic seems to have put everything on hold for longer than expected. He took his frustration and sadness and turned it into inspiration. Camilo for the first time in a while had no schedule or trips to go on and used his free time to make his new studio album: Mis Manos.
In true Camilo style, the 11-track release is filled with love and is honest, a word he has promised fans he will always try to be.
He finds it hard to pick just one song he is most proud of on the new LP. His latest single, “Ropa Cara,” which has gone a little viral on TikTok, is one he thinks is special because it’s managed to achieve great things and enter a lot of people’s lives. Camilo has been happily married to his wife, Evaluna Montaner, for over a year now and first collaborated with her on the hugely popular “Por Primera Vez.” The music video, which has been watched over 347 million times on YouTube, includes clips from their big day and has proven to be a big hit. After achieving double platinum status in Mexico, it is no wonder that another song between the pair happened so quickly — “Machu Picchu.” Not only is Camilo is proud of the sound they have created together, he tells me that he can hear the evolution between the two songs.
The other artists that feature on the album are Los Dos Carnales, Mau y Ricky, and El Alfa. Over the years, Camilo has worked with a lot of high-profile names and explained how the people that appear on his albums aren’t just collaborators to him.
“I like to create the song thinking of the collaboration. I know I want to collaborate with this person so I wanna create something that fits perfectly into that desire of the collaboration. I have the blessing of having a beautiful friendship and relationship with the people I collaborate with so I can create it with them. The collaborations that are on it are a representation of real, engaging relationships with the people on my album,” he expressed.
As for writing the material, he seems to get ideas for songs at any given point: “If I’m in the middle of a meeting or if I’m in an Uber going to an appointment then I might to start to have ideas. I have to save them because I can never remember. I’m always with my notebook and my phone. I have thousands and thousands of voice notes that I know I will revisit after.”
Camilo describes Mis Manos as a “celebration of honesty” and hopes that new artists will feel inspired by the new music, adding, “I want to make my wife proud of this album. I want to keep delivering with my lyrics, messages that help people heal, celebrate, and overcome obstacles.”
He “wrote, produced, recorded, delivered, and played” on the whole project and insists “it’s a message of no matter what you have or don’t have, what you have is enough.”
“My whole album is a whole testimony of the things you can do when you do the best with what you have.”
Aside from writing hits for himself, Camilo has also penned many tracks for the likes of Becky G, Alessia Cara, Akon, and DJ Snake, to name a few. Instead of just sending over leftover tracks he knows isn’t going to release, Camilo prefers to work one on one with them in the studio.
“The songs I write and produce for another artist, I almost do them for the artist with the person. I go to the studio with the artist and try to create something from their view and perspective. I almost go every time with the artist,” he shared.
Camilo learned how to speak English two to three years ago but has continued to sing in Spanish. However, songs in English are not completely out of the cards.
“I’ve been writing with JP Saxe, who is a very close friend, and he’s trying to learn some Spanish too. His curiosity with the Spanish is the same as mine with English. I have collaborated with Sam Fischer, who is an artist I really admire. he invited me to a remix of ‘This City,’ which is a song he released. I’ve had the opportunity of recording my first lines in English. It was the first step of a long exploration that I want to keep doing,” he revealed.
A recent Billboard article suggested a collaboration between Camilo and Sam Smith would be a good idea, which he appeared to like the sound of. When I questioned Camilo on who else is on his wish list, he said he wanted to do something with British stars Ed Sheeran and Dua Lipa.
Last year, Camilo was nominated for an impressive five Latin Grammy Awards and took home Best Pop Song for “Tutu,” which had its own remix with music icon Shakira. Fans have been asking for another song from the duo and that is something they might be able to expect in the near future.
“I would love to. We actually have been talking since that moment because we have a creative connection too. I admire her very much. Not only because she’s such a great artist, but she’s a great Colombian artist so I’m proud of it. Because I’m Colombian too and seeing what she has made in her life, it’s a great inspiration for my journey, so I would love to make another collaboration with her,” he said.
Like everyone else, Camilo hopes the pandemic will end this year. He cannot wait for the day he is allowed to go on tour and connect with his fans in the same room. Camilo tells me the release of his album has him feeling alive. With that being said, he is already moving forward and has started to create the next chapter in his music career.