Camilo new album "cuatro"
Courtesy SMLE

MIAMI - It's hard to believe that five years ago, Camilo Echeverry walked into Sony Music Latin's office in Miami to play the first songs of his debut album, "Por Primera Vez." It was a small crowd, but he won everyone in the room by the end. That production was released in 2020, and since then, with admirable discipline, he has dropped three more. The second record was "Mis Manos" in 2021, followed by "De Adentro Pa' Fuera" in 2022, and last night, "cuatro" (four) hit the market, written in lowercase as a testament to the simplicity with which he strives to see life.

This album was recorded in his professional space in Miami, where he lives with his wife and collaborator Evaluna Montaner and their first child, Índigo - they are expecting the birth of their second Amaranto any time soon. Aptly named "El Taller Creativo," the place is a workshop for creativity, after all.

It was there that this interview with The Latin Times took place. The day before, Camilo had invited journalists and other personalities from the music and television worlds who had supported him from the beginning, including this reporter, who was also present and saw a 25-year-old young man brimming with talent at that 2019 small showcase.

The space is charming and liberating—a mix of a time machine that brings out the curious and playful inner child in all visitors, a music room with wonderful instruments, a high-quality recording studio, and a collective and cohesive workspace. It's also a place where his young family shares their life. But judging by the result of "cuatro," it's also a germinator of emotions and very good music.

An album that begged to be born

"The seed of the album was the composition of what ended up being 'PLIS,' the first song that was released and which I made with my wife," Camilo recounted. "We were here with our musician friends and felt we could make at least two more: ' No Se Vale' and 'Gordo' (co-written with Ricky Montaner). That was 'un,' the first release, and I would have been happy if it had just been an EP (short album), but the need to make music here kept growing, and 'dos,' 'tres,' and all those songs we are releasing now came together to complete 'cuatro,' my fourth album."

The process was organic and unplanned, but in the end, those songs that begged to be born spoke to each other through rhythms, instruments, and intention. "cuatro," Camilo's fourth album, is his first 100% tropical production, where salsa, guaguancó, son, cumbia, bolero, vallenato, and more meet to create a fresh sound anchored in "music made to dance, to enjoy to move," he explained.

After exploring pop, rancheras, reggaetón, ballads, reggae, R&B, and even some blues, Camilo—the man who has traveled the world twice, performing in both small theaters and large arenas, filling streets, and even causing a shutdown of central Madrid when he played a free concert at La Puerta de Alcalá in 2022—seems to have found his true self in the intimate rhythms rooted in his earliest memories and the everyday life of Colombia.

Camilo, the man

In his previous albums, La Tribu, as his collective of fans are identified, got to know a Camilo in love, exploring themes of his youth, like falling for a tattoo, or remembering a girl who wanted him to wear ropa cara (expensive clothes). He was the devoted boyfriend, the passionate groom, a lover in a honeymoon, and the expecting father. Sweet and with a healthy dose of innocence, his previous songs portrayed an artist still surprised and fascinated with the fact that he was actually living his dream.

During the first four years of his career, Camilo seemed eager to please. However, in the two recent encounters with this reporter, he seemed to have moved past that stage of his life. He knows what he wants, and, more importantly, what he doesn't: It should be all about the music—less celebrity story, more the work of an established and solid artist.


Cómo se dice en verdad de una manera verbal lo que tú y yo hacemos en el idioma horizontal? Amor de Extranjeros 🍑 Ya salió “tres” 💿 Link en bio

♬ Amor de Extranjeros - Camilo

He deserves it. He has earned it. But it's also impossible not to want to know where he is at this stage. Camilo has made us care about his life from day one, when he was documenting his love story with Evaluna, to Índigo's birth. Disney + just dropped a teaser for the second season of "Los Montaner," the reality show in which he shares main credits with his in-laws. There lies the dichotomy he is navigating right now.

The transition doesn't seem easy for Camilo either.

While he can tell you about enjoying the gifts for his 30th birthday ("I have a thing for objects," he admits - he used many everyday objects as instruments in the album), Camilo won't share— as he might have six months ago—what they were. Neither did I ask. It didn't feel like a good idea.

Allies, friends and family

In contrast, the lyrics in "cuatro" are vulnerable. "All the songs are about love. While the stories come from different places, all of them describe feelings that are authentic and very honest," he said. Camilo also ventured into the unknown when he chose the genres, subgenres and instruments he chose to make "cuatro."

"I surrendered to these rhythms and instruments that I don't govern. They weren't natural to my earlier music", he admitted. Somebody less knowledgeable of the spectacular repertoire he has amassed in the last four years would find it hard to balance his words with the quality of "cuatro." It doesn't sound like the work of a beginner in tropical music. The architecture of songs like "Autodiagnóstico," inspired by a fan's comment on social media, or "La Boda" (co-composed with Mau and Ricky Montaner) is ambitious and sophisticated, while "Una canción de amor para la pulga" is a beautiful love song, and very personal by the way.

Although he wrote or cowrote all the songs, and produced several, Camilo credits the mastery of the tropical sound to the musicians he worked with. "They had the experience, so every time I wanted to do something new, I would run it by them," he remembers. However, there are only three featurings among the 12 songs, "Una vida pasada," his second work with Carin León, "PLIS" and a cover in salsa of "Sálvame," the RBD hit, with Alexander Abreu, Havana D'Primera.

"cuatro" is a work of allies - Evaluna Montaner and Saumeth directed all the music videos) - its a love letter to tropical music, but it is also part of a statement. Camilo has come into his own and we like what we see.

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