If you are looking for an artist who truly works vulnerability and joy into every lyric and note in their music look no further: Camilo is the one for you.
Camilo often calls himself a “thief of the great songwriters.” Growing up in Medellín, Colombia, he learned music from listening to records in his family home. Those albums were seeds of music that he carried within himself as both a lyrical poet and musician.
Camilo does not shy away from the vulnerability of what it means to be human and to be in a relationship with others. It is this lyrical component of vulnerability that has marked his own music as different from the music he has produced for others (Becky G, Bad Bunny, etc). Camilo embodies the rare gift of being able to distinguish himself as both an artist and a producer.
Earlier this year Camilo made his debut on the Tonight Show, where he sang his hit song “Ropa Cara.” While the beat draws you into a dimly lit imaginative club, the lyrics are striking and weave together vulnerability and honesty. Camilo sings about meeting a girl whom he falls for but who makes comments about his appearance, asking him to change his attire and only come out with her in clothes from Gucci or Prada. Camilo’s character in the story goes back and forth within his mind, deciding how he should portray himself to this girl he has fallen for. While the beat may keep us occupied with the catchy chorus, Camilo makes the decision to bring his whole self to this relationship, despite the consequence of not wearing “Gucci or Prada.”
This lyrical composition reveals who Camilo hopes to be as an artist who is growing within his music: someone who can bring his whole self to the scene and be beloved as such. That self-reflectiveness draws fans into his music, which is keeping him in a position of growth in the music industry. He is able to create and produce music that keeps his audience intrigued, while also composing lyrics that they can relate to without having the life of a celebrity musician.
His song “Vida de Rico” carries the same thread of vulnerability and honesty as “Ropa Cara.” His character is talking to someone he loves, musing that while he cannot buy them diamonds and fancy cars, his hope is that his love will be enough and all that he has can be theirs, too. It’s a cumbia-style ballad that draws his listeners into a space that reminds them that who they are, where they come from, and what they have is more than enough. He’s telling us that we don’t have to be rich, we don’t have to take fancy vacations, we don’t have to be famous in order to give and receive love. It’s the type of song you can imagine dancing to in your kitchen with someone you love as you make dinner on a Tuesday night. It’s a song about love that is not bound by merit or fame — it’s limitless self-gift.
Camilo doesn’t just bring his whole self in his music — if you have seen a recent picture of him you cannot help but notice the striking curves of his mustache that branch out from his smile. In an interview with the New York Times, Camilo talks about how he came to growing his mustache, and how it has become a part of his whole self that he brings into the music industry — as a sort of rebellion against the superficiality that often plagues this scene. His mustache is wholly his: it is his to groom, his to decide how to wear — it is not his producer’s, or his agent’s. It’s an element of his identity and image that belongs to him alone.
His mustache conveys a message that he deeply embeds within his artistry as a musician: Camilo is not changing who he is to fit in; rather the music industry must make space for him to enter in as his whole self, strikingly curved mustache and all.