EXCLUSIVE: Camila Cabello on the Making and Meaning Behind 'Romance'

And why there's another Shawn Mendes collab in her future

From the very beginning, it was always Romance.

Before Camila Cabello completely realized her highly-anticipated second album, she knew what would stand at the center of it all. The feeling that consumed her in the early days of recording would evolve and even change addresses, but it helped the singer to explore love at all angles and deliver a truly complete collection.

“I knew that I wanted to call this album 'Romance' before I was even in the studio writing it,” she tells RADIO.COM, perched in a chair with her flowing hair falling down onto her yellow tracksuit. “I remember writing like a manifesto for what I wanted the album to make people feel and how I wanted it to make me feel.”

“I knew because of what I was living at the time that all the songs were going to be about love and being in love,” she recalls. “I was in my first serious relationship at the time when I kind of came up with the idea for 'Romance' and making an album that was just dedicated to love and all its phases.”

The falling in and out, the confusion and conflict, it was all part of a world that Cabello wanted to take fans into – first through the album and eventually on tour. “It’s gonna be a world of love,” she kept coming back to. “It’s gonna be romance.”

Camila has been open about the process, letting people into each song with a sense of their surroundings. She would detail the feelings or the emotions wrapped into each of the entries. Romance would stay true to the mission of being a full exploration, starting with a song she wrote in Nashville about her father.

“I was so happy with it because I feel like I set an intention to just be as vulnerable as possible, and that’s definitely the proudest I’ve ever been of writing a song, is ‘First Man.’”

The album closer, "First Man," was the first to come, followed by “Living Proof” and “Dream Of You” with the gate now kicked wide open into the new world Cabello was building. “All three of those I just feel like are so me,” she exclaims. “I think any time I’m writing an album I’m just trying to get the most me out of it as I can.”

With lyrics jotted down on her phone, scrolling in the studio served as inspiration for some of the most important moments of Romance, building from lines that could be hours to weeks old. In total there are 14 stops along way in the place Camila created, some recalling those earliest moments and some more present than ever. After all, what would Cabello’s world of Romance be without a detour with Shawn Mendes. The couple’s “Señorita” is already one of the biggest songs of the year, and probably not the last from the pair.

“I definitely see Shawn and I collaborating again in the future,” she says assured. “Sometimes when we’re together we’ll just kind of write songs for fun. We kinda never get around to finishing them but, for sure we’ll write another song.”

For more from Camila Cabello, including her favorite lyric from the album, watch the full interview above. Romance is now available everywhere.

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