VOXXI

 

Return to 5th Harmony


Girl power is going strong with musical act Fifth Harmony

Jun 18, 2014 By John Benson

Here’s the thing about pop music, the beats and melodies change but girl empowerment never goes out of fashion.
That’s the message behind new girl act Fifth Harmony, which formed two years ago after all five of its singers–who were then solo artists–were eliminated as “The X Factor.”
The quintet ended up finishing in third place on the reality show’s second season, and just as quickly were encouraged to form a group.

Harmony’s debut EP, “Better Together,” last fall. The five-track effort landed at No. 6 on the Billboard Top 200 and was Top 10 on iTunes in 41 countries, while an all-Spanish version of the EP, “Juntos,” debuted at No. 1 on the Latin iTunes chart. The EP also spawned the hit lead single, “Miss Movin’ On.”
Next up for the act is its debut full length due out later this year with lead single, “BO$$,” dropping next month.
As far as Fifth Harmony being formed on a reality show, the unlikely scenario is just one of many that Latina member Camila Cabello, 17, has experienced in the last decade.
Talk about girl empowerment, Cabello’s story is a modern Hispanic tale of immigration, poverty and perseverance. Furthermore, it’s quite apropos that Fifth Harmony’s first hit single is titled “Miss Movin’ On.”
That’s all the singer – born in Cuba and raised in Mexico before moving to the states at the age of 7 – has been doing, moving on from one difficult hurdle to the next with aplomb, timing and a little luck.
“When my mom and I came to the U.S., we had $100 and the clothes on our backs,” Cabello told VOXXI. “It was the same when my dad joined us. I feel like my parents have influenced me the most as a person and in my career. They’re the most hardworking people. They literally had to leave everything behind to start over and build a future for me and for themselves.
“I couldn’t do this in Cuba. In Mexico, it’s violent and there’s a lot of corruption. I couldn’t get a good education. They did all of that for me. My mom went to night school to learn English.”

As far as Cabello’s immersion into English, she admits in reality she was an ELL student. However, she also points out possessing a keen ability to think on her feet. This skill has come in handy a few times.
“I didn’t speak any English when I came to Miami,” Cabello said.
“I learned English through TV and cartoons. And actually, this is a funny story. On my first day of school, they asked me in English if I know how to speak English. I don’t know if I misunderstood or I was too embarrassed, but I said, ‘Yeah, I speak English.’ So I never actually took an ELL class, but I picked up English really easily. I’m such a smartie pants.”

The same type of lark also led to her singing career. Cabello said while growing up her family immersed her in the music of Mexican and Cuban culture – from Camila and Alejandro Fernandez to Celia Cruz – but she was too embarrassed to show off her voice.

n fact, she’d run and cry when her family asked her to sing. Apparently that shyness dissipated when as a high school teenager Cabello weighed her options of ever meeting Harry Styles and company.
“I was a huge fan of One Direction,” Cabello said.

So did Cabello ever meet the English-Irish pop band?
“I did,” she laughed. “We actually ran into them a couple of times, which is kind of weird but awesome.”
Fifth Harmony’s ascent in the pop world was put into perspective for Cabello late last year when the act was on the popular Jingle Ball Tour. The singer said it was merely two years ago that she didn’t have enough money to see the star-studded show featuring Demi Lovato, Pitbull and LMFAO.
Not only did Fifth Harmony open for Lovato earlier this year, but the outfit has started its own headlining “5th Time’s a Charm Tour,” which is currently crisscrossing the states.
Now, Cabello finds herself on the other side of the velvet rope where young Latinas look at her as a role model and dream about following in her footsteps.

“That’s really, really crazy to think about,” Cabello said. “It’s amazing. Sometimes when I think about that, it trips me out a bit but that’s probably the best part of doing this.”