Camila Cabello is still on thin ice. Relatively fresh out of Fifth Harmony, she’s still got a lot to prove if she’s to make the transition into a serious solo artist. So far, her record is chequered. There have been good singles and there have been bad singles, leaving Cabello in pop purgatory, the public still undecided on her fate.
Hoping to sway the odds in her favour, Cabello has released new song ‘Havana’, a sultry Latin-infused track from her upcoming debut album.
‘Havana’ might just be Cabello’s most convincing solo outing to date. A sunny mid-tempo track, it simmers with a hot, earthy vibe propelled by horns and Cabello’s full-bodied vocals that makes for a catchy and rhythmic summer song.
Born in Cuba, Cabello spent much of her childhood in Havana, moving between her homeland and Mexico City. But rather than a love song to the city itself, ‘Havana’ is an elegy to a lost lover. “Half of my heart is in Havana,” Cabello croons over a throbbing percussive arrangement, the chorus immediately addictive with its laid-back Hispanic lilt and simple, memorable lyrics.
But Cabello still isn’t confident stepping out completely alone, enlisting Young Thug for a superfluous, breathless rap about money and cake and bacon or something. While ‘Havana’ is a track that sounds as though it would lend itself well to a rap interlude, Young Thug disappoints with his mumbling verse that trails off before it really does anything at all.
Rapping aside, though, ‘Havana’ is undoubtedly a success for Cabello who urgently needed a big single to sell her as a worthwhile solo prospect. While previous single ‘Crying In The Club’ sounded derivative and generic, ‘Havana’ offers something new, the first real insight of what’s going to make Camila Cabello a star in her own right. Is ‘Havana’ her ‘Crazy In Love’ moment? Not by a long way, but it’s nonetheless Cabello’s most promising track to date and signals a serious star on the ascendant.