“Havana” singer Camila Cabello is pretty open about her childhood, often discussing her family’s move from Cuba to Miami in interviews—a transition so many immigrants make—when she was very young to pursue a better life. Cabello’s also spoken about how she was terribly shy growing up (something that might sound like a humblebrag or publicist-approved fun-fact for the rising pop star) but in her new YouTube documentary, Made in Miami, her family tells their side of the story. They corroborate Cabello’s claim that she was so painfully insecure and awkward as a kid, she would cry if more than a few people watched her sing around the house. Actual tears!
“My friends always asked, ‘How did Camila end up so shy?’” her grandmother tells the camera, a subtle but gentle and loving drag. (Abuelas, amirite!) “Yeah, any time that she saw us, like, we were dancing or singing or anything,” her mom says, “[Camila] would be like”—and here, her mom pretends to cry with big open sobs—“Noooooo!”
Why was young Camila so shy? It’s unclear, as nearly every family member interviewed for the doc reveals, and it certainly wasn’t the influence of her environment. Cuban parties always end in karaoke, and as Camila’s grandma explains, “The old and the young sing,” but Camila, who now performs in front of huge crowds, would start crying if she noticed more than four of five people watching her.
“Sing!” her dad directs Camila in one home-video flashback while she’s testing out a new karaoke machine. “Noooo,” she whines. Cut to today: A grown-up Camila mimes tears streaming down her face to the camera. “And I would just start crying.”
Things are different now! Thanks goodness. Watch the (mostly adorable) short doc above.