Following their official split in December 2016, Camila Cabello has spoken out for the first time about the actions that lead to her departure from the X-Factor-formed singing group, Fifth Harmony.

She said that her collaboration in late 2015 with [Shawn] Mendes — the first time a Fifth Harmony member released music under her own name — had created the first tension within the group. She also initially wanted to stay in the group while working on a solo album but the other members shut her out instead.

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Cabello attended writing sessions with producers including Diplo, Cashmere Cat and Benny Blanco. Eventually, she said, she was given an ultimatum by the group to either stay with them or go solo. “It became clear that it was not possible to do solo stuff and be in the group at the same time,” she said. So she made her choice, basing it on what she said was her longtime conviction that “if anyone wants to explore their individuality, it’s not right for people to tell you no.”

Those writing sessions that strained Fifth Harmony ended up being quite productive, resulting in features on Cashmere Cat’s “Love Incredible” and Major Lazer’s “Know No Better” which eventually led to her solo summer hit “Havana.”

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