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'The Voice' coach Camila Cabello on why new artists must 'stay true to themselves'

Tapping into personal experiences can help aspiring musicians in the singing competition and beyond stand out and connect with fans, Cabello told NBC News.
Camila Cabello on "The Voice."
Camila Cabello on "The Voice."Vijat Mohindra / NBC

For Latin Grammy-winning singer Camila Cabello, tapping into "the most authentic version of yourself" is crucial for breaking into the music scene as a new artist.

That's part of the insight the first-time coach and judge on the 22nd season of NBC's “The Voice” has shared with aspiring artists participating in the singing competition, particularly to those on Team Camila. (NBC and NBC News share a parent company, NBCUniversal.)

“I think each artist has to stay true to themselves and that is the most valuable tip I could give,” Cabello told NBC News in an email ahead of Monday and Tuesday, when viewers will vote to select the eight contestants who will move on to the semifinal.

The Cuban American from Miami described her coaching style as a balance between being "hands on" and giving "everyone on my team the space to develop on their own."

Gwen Stefani, Camila Cabello, Blake Shelton on "The Voice."
Gwen Stefani, Camila Cabello and Blake Shelton on "The Voice."Tyler Golden / NBC

Her coaching style is also informed by her experiences in singing competitions.

Cabello had her big break on "The X Factor," another singing competition, a decade ago, when she was just 15. The show mentored her as part of the blockbuster girl group Fifth Harmony. 

She left the group in 2016 to launch her solo career as a singer-songwriter. Three years later, Cabello won her first Latin Grammy for "Mi Persona Favorita," a duet with Spanish singer and composer Alejandro Sanz, whom she credits as one of her musical influences.

Cabello recently revealed to "Access Hollywood" that she had auditioned to be a contestant on "The Voice" — She said she sang a cover of Aretha Franklin’s 1967 hit “Respect” and made it to the producers round, but she dropped out of the process before getting a chance to audition on TV.

Cabello said she dropped out to audition for "The X Factor," where she hoped to meet the English Irish pop boy band One Direction.

"It’s a pretty wild move," Cabello told "Access Hollywood." "I was like, I'm just going to risk it and not do 'The Voice' and then audition for 'X Factor,' and then I did end up meeting One Direction."

Looking back at her career, Cabello said that listening to music in Spanish and English at home helped her create the “original sound” that lifted her into mainstream success.

This is particularly evident in her third studio album, "Familia," released in April. It includes bilingual songs and Latin music influences that speak to Cabello's Hispanic roots.

The Voice - Season 22
Camila Cabello on "The Voice."Tyler Golden / NBC

Aside from her heritage, telling a story through music as well as nostalgia for family, friends and home also influence her work.

“Music is a way to express myself so all of those play a big part when I’m writing new music,” she said, adding that tapping into personal experiences can help aspiring musicians on "The Voice" and beyond stand out and connect with fans.

Contestants on “The Voice” are competing for $100,000 and a record deal. The semifinal kicks off Dec. 5, and the show’s winner will be revealed the following week on a two-part finale.