It’s always a roll of the dice when a singer leaves their popular, bestselling group to pursue a solo career. Sometimes it works out really well, like when Beyoncé left Destiny’s Child, or Michael Jackson made a name for himself outside of the Jackson 5. (On the other end of the spectrum: anyone from NSYNC who isn’t named “Justin Timberlake.”) More recent examples include how One Direction fractured into well received output from Zayn Malik and Harry Styles, or Camila Cabello’s exit from Fifth Harmony, a group formed on The X Factor when Cabello was just 15 years old.
So far, so good for Cabello. Her first first album, Camila, was just released, while the leadoff single “Havana” is doing quite well, currently sitting at no. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, locked out of the top spot by Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect.” Cabello stopped by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon last night to give everything a push in the right direction.
Not just doing a mere interview or standard performance, Cabello engaged in one of Fallon’s most endearing running bits: “Classroom Instruments.” That’s the one where a singer or musician crams into a tight space with Fallon and Tonight Show house band the Roots and plays their big hit on kiddie toy instruments. Cabello, Fallon, and the Fabulous Roots Crew took on “Havana” with some rudimentary music-makers: Cabello played a plastic lemon shaker, Fallon took the wood block, and ?uestlove and company took on the triangle, ukulele, bongos, and more. “Havana” really lends itself to the format.
Cabello’s legion of fans on social media dug it, too—at least half of their hearts are in “Havana.”