Camilo’s Hemisphere-Spanning Pop


Instead, he eased his way into songwriting and recording sessions with the influential reggaeton producer Tainy, the band Bomba Estéreo and singers including Becky G, Prince Royce, Maluma and Evaluna’s brothers, the duo Mau y Ricky.

“I started writing and producing for other artists, and that made me free from a lot of pressure in my head,” Camilo said. “You’re writing a song and you’re going into a club, and thousands of people are singing the song that you wrote in the studio, and nobody knows who you are.”

He also began making what he calls “lifestyle videos” — sometimes playful, sometimes earnest — with Evaluna Montaner. “We started sharing it because we thought what we were living could impact on other people’s lives in a positive way,” he said. “And now, there are a lot of people that I see in airports, or in the street, that are, like, ‘What you posted with your wife, that caption you put in that picture, changed my life.’ That is so much deeper than, ‘Oh, that melody is catchy.’”

Another sign of maturity came when Camilo cultivated a new visual trademark: an extravagant handlebar mustache. “There was a moment in my life when I was fighting with the way things look, because I thought aesthetics was part of a superficial universe,” he said. “But I realized that everything is connected and everything that you have, your exterior, is making an impression, is making another person feel something. It’s not only an accessory — it’s giving messages.”

He added: “A lot of people are, like, ‘Take that mustache off!’ And I’m like, ‘Bro, if I take the mustache off, I’m going to be in a costume, a disguise, of someone that I am not. This is part of who I am. And, my wife loves it.”

Late in February, Barrera brought Camilo a customized bajo quinto — a large hybrid of guitar and bass, with 10 strings. Camilo played it almost immediately; he had tuned his guitar to the bajo quinto’s five pitches and practiced. “Camilo was born for this,” Barrera said. “Exploring new sounds.”