“Man, it shaped me entirely,” Cabello told The Edit magazine for their January issue about the musical fivesome, who placed third on The X Factor in 2012. “I would not be the person that I am right now; I would not have been ready for this. I feel like being part of a group teaches you so many things about yourself, ironically. And it also brings out this healthy competition, you know what I mean? You never want to be the one that sucks.”
The “Havana” songstress also reflected on her departure from the group, a difficult choice she made so she could focus on her solo career. “With the experiences we had being in the studio, I became super curious about songwriting and it was around the time — I think it was the second year that I was with the group — that I wanted to start songwriting for other people,” Cabello explained. “But once I was old enough to experience my first kiss, or the first time that I went on a date, I began writing songs about it, and I didn’t want to give them away to anybody else because they were about me. I was finding my voice, and with it, I found the passion that gives you a deeper meaning.”
Cabello left the group in December 2016 after one final performance at Jingle Ball of that year. The remaining members — Lauren Jauregui, 21, Normani Kordei, 21, Dinah Jane Hansen, 20, and Ally Brooke, 24 — all said in statements that they were blindsided by the news.
The now-quartet not so subtly shaded the “Crying in the Club” crooner at the MTV Music Video Awards in August 2017 when a fifth woman performing with them was abruptly yanked from the stage, symbolic of Cabello’s exit.
“It definitely hurt my feelings,” the “Never Be the Same” singer told The New York Times on January 11. “I wasn’t expecting it, I wasn’t prepared for it — especially because at that point I’d moved on from it. I was just like, ‘What? Why?’ I think there’s a healthy amount of space you need to give certain things. I have to make space for the good stuff to happen in my life. I don’t like holding onto the past, especially when it’s stuff that, in my opinion, is just petty.”
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