De Adentro Pa Afuera, Camilo’s kaleidoscopic new album, caught him during a few different intersections in his life. Not only did the Colombian singer find new creativity as an artist, he had also recently become a father. And as his world tour makes its way across the U.S. this month, he’s realizing that he has his work cut out for himself.
“I’m excited to see how this family process starts growing and unfolding through all these challenges of being on tour, releasing an album, and being a father at the same time,” he says over Zoom from his home in Miami.
Armed with his handlebar mustache and quirky love songs, Camilo has captivated fans around the world since the release of his debut album, 2020’s Por Primera Vez. With every LP, his fanbase, which playfully calls itself La Tribu, grows — and so does the recognition for his colorful pop. After becoming the most nominated artist at last year’s Latin Grammy Awards (with five wins overall), Camilo received his first Grammy nomination earlier this year for his second album, Mis Manos. Then, while his wife, the singer-songwriter Evaluna Montaner, was pregnant with their daughter, he dove into De Adentro Pa Afuera.
Indigo arrived this past April and she became the album’s biggest inspiration. “It was the experience of waiting for Indigo,” Camilo says. “A lot of things were born when she was: new feelings, new insecurities in a beautiful way, new challenges, and new ways to understand love.”
All of that manifested itself into Camilo’s most adventurous songs ever. De Adentro Pa Afuera is an eclectic album that features the signature melodies and tender lyricism that made Camilo a go-to in the industry, writing for artists such as Becky G, Anitta, and Bad Bunny. On the album, he teams up with Camila Cabello for the upbeat “Ambulancia,” and enlists the Mexican mega-group Grupo Firme for the banda-infused “Alaska.” He celebrates his quirks alongside Nicki Nicole in the empowering “Naturaleza,” and It wouldn’t be a Camilo album without Montaner, who joins him for the adorable “Indigo,” dedicated to their daughter. Camilo caught up with Rolling Stone and talked more about his growing family, his journey into fatherhood, and spreading love on this album.
Congrats on all your recent achievements, especially becoming a dad. What’s life been like as a new father?
First of all, it’s been a blessing. It’s been the most beautiful experience I’ve ever had in my life — the most meaningful experience too, but with a lot of challenges, of course. Right now, it’s just about being there and helping her to be herself in a natural way. It’s been in the middle of the tour. That’s been a challenge because when you’re on tour, you often think, “I don’t have time for myself.” Now you have a kid, and you have to make time for another human being first and then for yourself. It’s been a challenge, but I think we’re doing okay. [Laughs]
You explore genres like bachata on this album and collaborate with lots of interesting artists, including Camila Cabello. What was it like working with her?
It was beautiful because, first of all, she’s a very close friend. Evaluna and I love her. We talked before about the possibility of making a song together, but it wasn’t something that we were super focused on doing. And then when I started the first line of the song with my guitar, I was like, “Absolutely, this is a song that I have to do with Camila.” I sent it to her through a voicemail. I was like, “Girl, I have this, and I think you’re going to love it. Please listen to it and let me know honestly if you like it or not. Let me know if you see yourself here or not.” And she was like, “Bro, I love it! Count on me! I’m going to be there. I’m going to be part of it.” When she sent her acapellas, her voice, and the parts that she wrote, it was mind-blowing for me. It’s one of my favorites and it’s a very special one. I can’t wait to share it with her live.
You also worked with Grupo Firme on “Alaska?” What was that experience like?
Indigo’s favorite band is Grupo Firme. When Evaluna was pregnant with Indigo, her belly started jumping every time we put on Grupo Firme. And I told that to Eduin [Caz], the band’s lead singer, and I was like, “Bro, Grupo Firme is Indigo’s favorite! We have to do a song together.” It was awesome. It was also a creative challenge for me. I wanted this song to sound very real and honest. I wanted the people that love regional Mexican and love Grupo Firme’s music to feel that I was doing this with respect and with love, and I created it with the idea of them enjoying it.
“Naturaleza” is a song about embracing who you are, and I see a lot of your fans in the LGBTQ+ community have connected to it on TikTok. Do you have a message for them?
I’m so grateful to the LGBTQ+ community and how they have been so generous with me since the beginning of my career. The LGBTQ+ community has been very open with me. My songs have been anthems of love and diversity, celebrations of honesty and of who you are. I haven’t had a song that was such a way of expressing themselves in their identities before. When I was writing the song and I wrote, “Yo soy así, así nací,” (“I am this way, I was born this way,”) I knew it was going to impact a lot of people that feel special, different, and who want to celebrate who they are, so I’m grateful. Every time I have a concert, and wherever it is, there’s a rainbow flag. There are couples who are celebrating love with my songs, and I feel honored and I feel so blessed that they feel included, that they feel safe, and that they feel welcome in my concerts and in my music.
Evaluna has been on all your albums. What’s it like making music with your wife?
I can’t imagine a career without my wife. I’m glad that we’ve been doing things this way because that’s the biggest excuse for her to be part of my tour. If we didn’t have songs together, maybe it would be harder for her to travel with me all the time. I don’t see a way of doing an album without having her being part of it. She’s been part of this album way more than just the collaboration “Indigo” that we have. She’s been my other heart on this album, my other head on this album. All the visual content went through her. She’s the creative director of the visual part of my career, so I feel glad that every time we do this, she’s closer and closer and closer to my music and my career.
You recently started your U.S. tour. What do you want people to get out of a Camilo concert?
I always try to tell people that my concerts are a place to celebrate love and diversity. If I can get people to go home believing that they can make their dreams come true, that love is really a revolution and it’s a cause worthy of dedicating their lives to, and to celebrate who they are instead of trying to be someone that they’re not — if they get that message, I’m more than satisfied, to be honest.