Long before a dramatic she said-they said split from the girl group Fifth Harmony, Camila Cabello was planting the seeds for what is looking to become a fruitful solo career.

Following up the strong precedent set by those songs, the 20-year-old has been establishing herself as a versatile, budding pop diva with singles like “Havana” and “Crying in the Club,” which will appear on her debut solo LP The Hurting.

“The final product becomes more clear to you the more you carve at it and work on it. There were songs that five months ago were my favorite songs, and then two weeks after [we] scrapped it from the album,” she explains.

“Through trial and error, I’ve written enough finished songs to be able to say ‘Okay, this is me. This sounds like me and only me, and this separates me from what other people are doing.'”.

As Cabello perfects her debut statement as a singular artist outside of her former group, she is adjusting to the independence and authority she now has over her music.

” mostly written by other people,” she recalls of the quick, two week process to make Fifth Harmony albums.

She had kept the name of her birthplace, Havana, on a brainstorm list before she entered the studio with producer Frank Dukes, and it ended up being the second song they recorded.

“[Frank] was a big part of taking a classic part of Latin culture and combining it with something new and modern,” Cabello says.

“Together we made an album that’s just reflective of me in every way. It’s what’s inside my head and my heart.”