In the cover story for ELLE's Women in Music-themed October issue, Camila Cabello opens up about why she's keeping her relationship with Shawn Mendes private

By Brianne Tracy
September 05, 2019 08:30 AM
Products in this story are independently selected and featured editorially. If you make a purchase using these links we may earn commission.
Advertisement

As they’ve played coy about their romance over the last several months, Camila Cabello and Shawn Mendes have had a lot of fans wondering about their relationship — but the “Havana” singer remains tight-lipped.

In her cover story for ELLE’s Women in Music-themed October issue, which also features Billie Eilish and Lizzo on separate covers, Cabello opened up about why she’s keeping their coupling private, as she put it, to a “maddening degree.”

“Love is the most sacred, precious thing to me,” Cabello, 22, explained to the publication. “I want to always feel like my love is between me and that person, and never belonging to anyone else. As much as I love my fans, and as much as I love people, I like to live my life as normally as possible. In a relationship, it makes me feel uncomfortable to invite everyone in on that.”

Camila Cabello
Camila Cabello
| Credit: Yvan Fabing

When asked whether she thinks the secrecy has created more buzz about her and Mendes, 21, Cabello responded, “I don’t know.”

“People can say whatever they want to say,” she continued. “They can speculate, but at the same time, we are going to live our own lives, enjoy it, and fall for each other like nobody is watching. That is how I want to live. I never want to open the door for people to feel like they are involved. Like I said, I want it to be mine and [his]. That’s why I’m so tight-lipped about it: because I want to protect it.”

Camila Cabello
Camila Cabello‘s ELLE cover
| Credit: Yvan Fabing

Though Cabello and Mendes have known each other for over five years (and first collaborated on the song “ I Know What You Did Last Summer” in 2015), they sent the rumor mill churning again when they released their sexy hit “Señorita” in June.

Since then, they’ve been spotted kissing and holding hands in public on multiple occasions, including over coffee in San Francisco, in the ocean in Miami, during a date night in Montreal, in Brooklyn after grabbing dinner with Mendes’ parents and in his hometown of Toronto.

Mendes and Cabello sent speculation into overdrive on Aug. 26 at the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards, where they performed “Señorita” live for the first time in a steamy performance. Though they did not share a kiss onstage, they did tease a smooch.

Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello
Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello
| Credit: Noam Galai/Getty

Though “Señorita” has become a certified smash in the months since its release, Cabello revealed in her ELLE cover story that she almost didn’t team up with Mendes.

“I mean, I love him,” she said. “We have always connected; we have the best time together. Shawn texted me the idea for the chorus for ‘Señorita.’ He was like, ‘Hey, what if we work on this and do it together?’ I was on the Taylor Swift tour and hadn’t been in the studio for a while. I didn’t want to do it, and then a few months later, I couldn’t get the song out of my head.”

“I [finally] told him, ‘I think we should do this,'” she added. “He was like, ‘I don’t want to do it anymore.’ It went back and forth for, like, eight months. Then we finally went into the studio and reworked it so we both felt good about it, without any pressure. I love working with him so much.”

Camila Cabello
Camila Cabello
| Credit: Yvan Fabing

Cabello also hinted that her relationship with Mendes played a major part in creating the new music for her upcoming sophomore album, Romance.

“Honestly, this past year and a half was the first time I really experienced falling in love with another person,” she said. “I think there is so much more depth to love when you know you are in it with another person. You have so much more to say — I think that’s what makes me emotional.”

Camila Cabello
Camila Cabello
| Credit: Yvan Fabing

As to whether she had been in love before, Cabello said, “No, I hadn’t.”

“I’ve loved people from afar, but falling in love with someone and having feelings for someone but they don’t know. … It’s different,” she said.

Camila Cabello
Camila Cabello
| Credit: Yvan Fabing

ELLE’s Women in Women in Music-themed October issue hits newsstands Sept. 24.