Camilo could afford any car he wanted at this point in his life: a Lamborghini, a Bugatti, or even a McLaren, all of which are popular among Latin music stars.


Camilo prefers Romerito. The word comes from the Spanish word romero, which means “rosemary.” Camilo, on the other hand, has used it to name his car. “Because of the colour,” he says, affectionately patting the front door of the olive green 1975 Ford Bronco with a beige roof parked in front of Sony Music’s Miami recording studios.

Camilo, like Romerito, has drawn attention because of who he isn’t. The songwriter sports a Dali-like moustache and silver chains rather than diamond necklaces. His melodic songs, which feature simple yet moving and poetic lyrics, are built on guitar chords rather than computer beats. Songs like his “Pegao,” a romantic cumbia (“Stuck, with no air between your body and mine; stuck, like my tongue on a frozen glass”) defy every expectation of how a young act with seven No. 1s on Billboard’s Top Latin Airplay chart and three top 10s on the Pop Albums chart should sound in an era of reggaetón and explicit sexual content in Latin music. Camilo received six Latin Grammy nominations on September 20, including one for record of the year (“Pegao”) and two for song of the year (“Baloncito Viejo” and “ndigo,” both collaborations with Carlos Vives and Evaluna Montaner).


“At the start of my career, I told my tribe, ‘People, the only thing I promise you is honesty,'” Camilo says of his close circle, which he affectionately refers to as his tribu, a term he also uses to refer to his fans. “From then on, I apologise for whatever may happen behind that door of honesty.” But I’m an honest person who is passionate about my craft and my creativity. And if my guitar takes me down new paths, I promise to share them with you as well.”

Camilo has shared more musically daring songs on his third album, De Adentro Pa Afuera (Inside Out, released September 6 on Sony Latin), including unexpected collaborations (Myke Towers, Camila Cabello, Grupo Firme, among others) that still sound like him. The album was released in the midst of Camilo’s transcontinental concert tour, which established him as an artist who not only receives millions of streams but also sells out venues. Camilo has sold over 220,000 tickets in Spain this year alone, making him the top-selling non-Spanish artist in the country, according to promoter Jorge Iglesias. According to Billboard Boxscore, Camilo’s two sold-out shows at Madrid’s WiZink Center this summer, one in June and one in July, grossed a total of $2.1 million.


Camilo’s touring success is due in part to the fact that his shows are similar to him: Simple on the surface (he sings barefoot, walks through the audience, and is backed by a six-piece band), but ultimately profound due to the affirmational messages in his music. Audiences of all ages, from children to grandparents, frequently arrive with painted faces and collectively sing his songs back to him, alternating between laughter and tears.

“To me, Camilo is a total future artist,” says Afo Verde, president and CEO of Sony Music Latin Iberia. “He has that combination of what I like in artists who are true musicians and study their instrument, but with a message about values and feelings from another era.” He’s a young man who talks about family and love — one love [Evaluna], and now another, Indigo.”

Camilo is 27-year-old Camilo Echeverry offstage, and he’s only had one girlfriend, who is now his wife. Evaluna Montaner is Camilo’s muse and personal, creative, and frequent musical partner. She is the daughter of singer-songwriter Ricardo Montaner and the younger sister of brother duo Mau y Ricky. She not only records and performs frequently with Camilo, including on tour, but she also directs many of his music videos and collaborates with him on social media on a regular basis.

Camilo’s career, however, began in 2007, when he won the Colombian kiddie competition show Factor X at the age of 14. In his audition videos and press appearances, he’s adorable — albeit media savvy and confident — and he performs without visible nerves, joking with judges and hosts and sitting down for interviews with guitar in hand, ready to sing and crack jokes. Camilo could easily be a member of The Mickey Mouse Club if he had grown up in the United States.

Camilo used to sing covers, but Sony’s Verde, whom he met on a trip to Colombia, encouraged him to start writing his own songs. Camilo later met Evaluna at a media event in 2015. They struck up a friendship, and one day Evaluna asked her famous father, who is known for discovering new talent, to listen to music “from this guy I’m talking with.”

“Are you talking to?” Montaner recalls asking the question at the time. “What exactly does that mean?”

But he listened — and heard a high voice, similar to his own, singing songs “with intention.” “I was struck by the way he sang and wrote.” Montaner became interested in his future son-in-career law’s and eventually knocked on the doors of multiple labels, including Sony, on his behalf, with little success. Camilo eventually signed a deal with Sony Music through Montaner’s label, Hecho a Mano.

As his celebrity grows, questions remain, such as whether Camilo and Evaluna will ever share photos of Indigo on social media, which they have avoided “because she still has no choice in the matter,” according to Camilo. “If Indigo wants to be in a picture, she’ll tell me.” But, right now, I feel like I’m interfering with her will by showing her. I’m itching to post because I have some thoughts to share. But I’m not going to do it out of respect for her.”

It’s also unclear whether Camilo will always be the Ted Lasso of Latin pop, perpetually cheerful and seemingly incapable of anger, frustration, or arrogance. As he mulls it over, he laughs at the idea of always being Mr. Nice.

“I’m not nice because I decided to be nice,” he admits at the end. “The only constant in me is that I am truthful.” Labels, even lovely labels, can obviously be prisons. Because creativity is indiscriminate, the nice guy label is a prison, and the day it pushes me into an area that isn’t so nice, I won’t be able to control it.”

Camilo is nice for now, on this Miami afternoon. He’s decided to forego a stylist or assistant (“Most of the time, I don’t like the clothes they bring me,” he says), and has brought his own outfits for his photo shoot, which he purchased from indie designers and small boutiques. He walks out of his dressing room, barefoot and dressed in checkered pants and a flowing shirt that could have come from Evaluna’s closet. He reaches into his carry-on bag and, to his surprise, pulls out a bottle of high-end cologne, an unexpected extravagance. He liberally sprays it and smiles even wider.

“It makes me feel more confident in myself,” he admits. “I do it before every show.”

He may still drive Romerito, but even a nice guy deserves a treat now and then.

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