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Camilo is living the dream. There's no other way to succinctly summarize the 28-year-old Colombian superstar's life. In less than a year, Camilo's welcomed a baby, collaborated with Camila Cabello, dropped a new album and embarked on an ambitious world tour. But there's no realizing his dreams without the true architect behind making it all -- his wife, Evaluna Montaner.
During a recent break as he got ready to wrap the U.S. leg of his De Adentro Pa Afuera (or from the inside out) world tour, Camilo spoke to ET's Denny Directo about working with the "Havana" singer, how fatherhood inspired his new album, being beautifully grounded by changing diapers, and how Latin artists no longer have to subscribe to the old adage that an English hit is a prerequisite in order to have a successful crossover career.
Camilo, who in September dropped his third studio album with the 11-track banger De Adentro Pa Afuera, told ET that his collaboration with Cabello had been a long time in the making. In fact, it's all they talked about when the longtime friends would hang out. And finally, it happened.
"It was awesome because since we started talking, we talked all the time about doing a collaboration," he said. "I love her. Like, I'm a huge fan. My wife's a huge fan, and having a collaboration with her on this album, it's mind blowing. It's Camila Cabello, and for me it's a dream come true."
Camilo and Cabello collaborated on the "deconstructed" bachata ballad "Ambulancia." Camilo gushed over the process that went into making the song about a mystifying love connection.
"This song went awesome, the way we were able to engage both of the identities in one song," he explained. "It's kind of like a bachata but like deconstructed. I can remember the song how it was before she sent her vocals. And it was a completely different thing. And when she came in, it was like, daylight, you know?
De Adentro Pa Afuera -- out now and which also features GRAMMY-winning and Tijuana's very own, Grupo Firme -- quickly earned critical acclaim. Billboard lauded the Colombian singer, whose songs "breathe lyrically and sonically" while "putting listeners on a roller coaster of emotions with each track."
At its core, De Adentro Pa Afuera is inspired by his and Evaluna's first child together, Indigo, whom the couple welcomed this past January. But three months prior to Indigo's arrival, Camilo and Evaluna accomplished another life milestone -- homeownership. He says they closed on their house first and then came Indigo before putting the finishing touches on his album. The family encountered a lot of firsts, and Camilo says he wanted to convey that energy in the new album.
Nearly a year ago, Camilo told ET he was "clueless" about becoming a first-time father. Fast forward to now, Camilo's the first to admit he's figured out a way to better deal with the cluelessness.
"To be honest, I think I've become an expert on enjoying the nerves," he quipped.
One of the best parts about the new album is collaborating with his favorite artist and the inspiration behind his unparalleled drive, his wife, a Venezuelan singer. He joked that, with Cabello he worked with Cabello but with Evaluna he works for Evaluna, whom he also refers to as his creative director. They worked on several songs for the new album, which means she's not just tagging along for the world tour, she's also very much an integral part of it. And for Camilo, her presence and creative mind is reassuring.
"Evaluna is my creative director, to be honest. She is the last filter of everything that I release, everything that I put out," Camilo said. "She's the director of all my music videos. I don't feel secure with any of my [ideas] if it doesn't pass her filter, you know? Like, I have to see what's her reaction. 'What do you think about this chorus?' and seeing her react is like my thermometer to know what's gonna happen with the song."
Camilo, ever the romantic, couldn't help but gush over Evaluna, whom he married during an intimate Miami ceremony in February 2020.
"I work with her not because she's my wife. I work with her because I admire her so much," he said. "She's my favorite creative person in the world. And she's my favorite artist. So, we have three songs together, [which] means we're going to be traveling the entire world and performing together every night. So, that's a privilege for me."
Indigo has not quite yet turned one, but she's already a touring baby. She's been on the road with the family, which has led to moments that have truly grounded the rising star.
"It's crazy when you're, like, in a sold-out arena, right? And you come down from the stage and you're, like, full of, in a beautiful way, ego," he said. "I'm like, 'Wow.' And then you go to the greenroom like, 'Shhh! She's sleeping' and like, OK, and you have to change the diapers. I'm like, 'Yep, reality check.' I love it."
The self-proclaimed best diaper changer in the world says Indigo will come along when the De Adentro Pa Afuera world tour, which kicked off in May, heads overseas and eventually to Latin America. The opportunity to perform south of the border is one he's relishing, considering he couldn't perform there during his last tour due to the pandemic. But with the U.S. tour now wrapped, Camilo expresses that what he'll miss the most about touring in the States is the beautiful melting pot.
"The Latin audiences in the United states, there's a lot of people, a lot of different flags," he said. "Like, every city you go, there's a different flag -- Mexico, Colombia, Honduras, Guatemala, Salvador, Venezuela, Argentina. You see all those flags. And when you go to Argentina, you go for the Argentina people. Go to Colombia, you perform for Colombia. But here in the States, it's mixed, which is beautiful. The energy is so different. It's super sacred to me. The Latin people, when they're far away from their country, they have a lot of passion and emotion and they have this beautiful craving of connecting with their people."
It wasn't so long ago when there was an unwritten rule that Latin artists had to sing in English in order to attempt a successful crossover. Those days seem long gone, what with the likes of Bad Bunny and Camilo himself setting a new industry standard by churning out Spanish tracks that catapult onto the charts.
"The best way to be global is to be very local," Camilo explained. "In the top 10 of every digital platform or radio or whatever in the world there's at least two or three Latin people singing in Spanish, which is awesome, because the idea of 'You have to become someone else for you to be global' is like out of the equation right now. You just have to be 100 percent yourself and 100 percent yourself for your people, and they're gonna put you there in the global picture."
He added, "It's a beautiful moment for the new generation to be 100 percent. And we are not a minority. We can impact the global picture, and that's so beautiful. I'm a Colombian artist singing in Spanish, and I'm doing a global tour, which is mind-blowing and beautiful."