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Music / Havana (2017)

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"Havana" is a single with two music videos from Camila Cabello's debut album Camila. The song is titled after Camila's hometown in Cuba (despite being called La Habana in Cuba's native Spanish), and features a lot of Latin-influenced music as well as being the structure of Latin rap and reggaeton songs with a rap verse by Young Thug (Daddy Yankee in the Spanish remix).

Camila's producers first thought it wouldn't be a success and that it shouldn't be a single, but when it was released it went to number one in many countries, including being the first UK number one for Camila. After the music video was released and was successful, the song was moved from being the album's second single to its first single.

An additional music video was released, a vertical video shot on the subway in New York. The official music video is quite long (almost 7 minutes long, with a full narrative and interlocking elements based in Latin fantasy. It won the Video of the Year award at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards.


"Havana" provides examples of:

  • Almost Kiss: Between 'Camila' with her love interest in the film Camila in Havana and Karla with her love interest.
  • An Aesop: "If you don't like my story, go write your own."
  • Author Avatar: The characters 'Camila' and 'Karla' are "exaggerated personas of me, basically", Cabello says.
  • A Wild Rapper Appears!: "Havana" features rapper Young Thug or Daddy Yankee, depending on which version of Havana you're listening to.
  • Bedroom Adultery Scene: How the Telenovela starts, with Telenovela Camila coming home to find her alleged boyfriend cheating on her.
  • Book Ends: The video begins and ends with the telenovela that Karla is watching.
  • The Cameo: The video features Lele Pons as Bella, LeJuan James as Abuelita, Noah Centineo as the love interest, and Marco DelVecchio as Juan and Rodrigo.
  • Concept Video: "Havana" is a 6-minute video, following 'Karla' in a sort-of short film, complete with characters like Bella, Abuelita, and a love interest.
  • Cool Big Sis: Bella, who is much more of a party girl than Karla.
  • Cheating with the Milkman: Telenovela Camila walks in on her supposed boyfriend cheating on her with her best friend and the maid.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: While practicing some dance moves on the walk home, Karla's love interest gets so distracted by her dancing enough that he crashes his bike. Luckily, she helps him back up to his feet and teaches him how to dance.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Telenovela Camila's boyfriend appears suddenly, telling her "he's been hiding in the closet all this time, so now he's out of the closet. For her" as he explains that his evil twin is the one she found in bed with her friend and the maid and he proposes to her.
  • Identical Twin Mistake: Telenovela Camila mistakes Rodrigo for Juan, and Karla and the viewer are supposed to do this, too, since they don't know the Rodrigo exists.
  • Location Song: "Havana", the lead single off of her first solo album, shares its name with her birthplace in Havana, Cuba. She sings in the song's chorus that her heart is in Havana, showing her love for her hometown.
  • Multilingual Song: There's a remix version where the first verse is replaced by a Spanish one. The music video has a lot more Spanish dialogue, though.
  • No Name Given: The love interest Karla meets at the end of the music video is unnamed, unlike most of the other characters.
  • Reality Has No Subtitles: The Spanish in the music video - some of it is subtitled, some of it isn't. There's a balance between it being useful or not, the fact Camila obviously speaks Spanish, and the idea that the audience might speak it, too.
  • Show Within a Show: Several. A telenovela and a film called Camila in Havana.
  • Telenovela: The framing of the music video is a telenovela that Karla is watching.
  • Unknown Relative: Juan's girlfriend the telenovela Camila doesn't know that he has a twin brother, so when she walks in on someone looking just like Juan in bed with two other women...
  • Unnamed Parent: Abuelita is just called Abuelita (a Spanish word for grandma) throughout. Justified in that the only characters that interact with her are her granddaughters, so it makes sense for them to only call her that.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Abuelita is actually played by LeJuan James.