For Camila Cabello, it always goes back to the music.
The 25-year-old pop singer, known for hits “Havana,” “My Oh My” and “Bam Bam,” is joining the cast of NBC’s “The Voice” this season, serving as a coach alongside John Legend, Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani.
Cabello, who appeared on the show last season as a celebrity adviser for Legend’s team, says she’s excited by the opportunity to see a wide range of talent as a full-time coach.
“Everybody comes in through different paths. Some people have been actually performing and doing this for years, but they just haven’t caught their break yet and they’re already massively talented,” Cabello says. “Other people are super young and completely unpolished but have such raw talent.”
She added: “I just love hearing music and hearing great people sing and being inspired by that.”
Cabello spoke with USA TODAY ahead of the show’s Season 22 premiere Monday (8 EDT/PDT) about her stint on the singing competition.
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While the beginning of the season will see the coaches gunning for their favorite singers in the blind auditions, Cabello’s main approach is simply keeping it real.
“My strategy is just to be honest. I just speak my mind and speak from the heart and just be really, really clear,” Cabello says. “I never like to oversell myself to the point where I feel like I’m selling something that I can’t deliver.”
Cabello says she’s moved by people who can make her “feel something” or who have “a unique perspective,” but this can look different from singer to singer.
Along the way, Cabello has also found a kinship with her fellow coaches, including a girl-power bond with Stefani and a playful dynamic with Shelton, whom she calls “abuelo” (grandpa), NBC says.
“They’re great people,” says Cabello of the other coaches. “They really take care of me on the show. And they’re also hilarious – they make me laugh a lot. They genuinely have become my friends.”
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With singers’ dreams on the line in every episode, Cabello says it’s hard not to get attached to her team of artists.
“I do feel such a responsibility toward them, because I know that they’re trusting me. I know (being on the show) is a sensitive, important situation for them,” Cabello says. “You do just end up falling in love with them.”
She says the hardest part of being a coach is navigating the unpredictability of eliminating singers from her team. “It’s not because one person is better than the other one,” Cabello says. “It’s just because I have to pick (someone), and that can feel crazy and unfair.”
But through this process, Cabello says she’s learned the importance of bringing it back to the music.
“You can’t really control what happens or how a performance is going to be received,” Cabello says. “All you can really control is that the artist feels good, feels well-represented, and feels happy and comfortable singing that song.”
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