Camila Cabello's journey to Hollywood wasn't an easy one; luckily she had her mother by her side. The two risked it all to leave Cuba and come to the United States.
The 20-year-old singer and her mother Sinuhe Estrabao sat with the Glamour to tell their story. The magazine asked some of the most interesting women they know to name the woman they're inspired by for their May issue.
The singer and her mother came to the United States with a single backpack of belongings. Camila's mom explained that she was an architect in Cuba but felt that her chances of achieving success were limited. "I didn't want that for her," she said to Glamour in the exclusive interview. "I wanted her to have opportunities."
We're sure that Sinuhe would have never imagined the level of success that her daughter would reach.
Camila says she can still picture her six-year-old self. She was holding a Winnie the Pooh journal along with a plastic doll in a pink dress that her mom had gotten for her at a flea market.
MAMA!!!!! you are my best friend and I could talk to you and learn from you and laugh with you and hear every single thought you have on every topic forever. actually, there are few things in the world that I like to do more than that. I learn from you every second. when I am too weak to stand you've carried me through my worst storms, when I am overcome with love and joy you live it with me and we talk till 3 am and giggle and scream like schoolgirls, and when I feel frustrated and defeated and lost I look at the woman sitting in front of me and think.... this woman literally came from another country, left everything she knew- her language, her family, her friends, her job- and came to America to fight for the life she wanted with nothing but a little 7 yr old with her Winnie the Pooh journal (DAS me) and the clothes on our backs. I think of the woman sitting in front of me who is not afraid of anything or anyone, who is loyal to the people she loves and defends them to no end, who acts with class and elegance (even if it is not returned), who reminds me our hearts are the loudest sound, who has shown me material things don't matter.... we grew up just fine without em! and that what matters is true happiness and being who u are. and who tells me "...Cuando la vida te da una patada al culo, es pura fisíca....eso solo te empuja pa lante!!" I love u mama.
The mother and daughter made their way through Mexico until they reached the immigration center at the U.S. border where they got the OK to cross. Sinuhe says she cried in relief while her daughter shouted, "Yay!" The two had gone through hours of stopping at gas stations, grocery stores, homes, and street corners on their way through Mexico.
Camila quickly excelled at school in Miami and then she auditioned for The X Factor where she reached stardom as a member of Fifth Harmony. Now she's embarking on a solo career, and the songstress says she's always had someone in her corner—her mother.
"My mom has always had my back," Camila said. "We've become a team."
When the two headed to the United States, they left behind Camila's father, which was very difficult for the singer.
"A lot of things were suddenly so different—being at a new school without my friends, I didn't speak the language, and I missed my dad. I had a little Disney calendar I would mark with Xs until the day he was supposed to come," she explained. "When he finally did, a year and a half later, I was so happy!"
While it was Camila's passion for music that made her gain new friends in school.
"I was very introverted as a kid. But I started bringing my CDs to the YMCA after school; I'd ask for the boom box and go play my music in the corner, and people would come over. And I created a little YouTube channel doing covers—I must have posted 50," she said. "Even though I'd be like, 'Oh my God, this is so bad,' music was the thing I was passionate enough about to get over being shy."
Once Camila told her family that she wanted to audition for The X Factor, her parents agreed to take her, but Sinuhe confessed that she didn't think that her daughter would be able to do it because of her shyness.
"That was the first time I sang in front of an audience," Camila confessed. "I think the most important thing I've learned from my mom has been: You're human if you have fear, but you can't ever let it determine how hard you go at a situation. If anything, it should make you go harder—go for it all the way."