Bam Bam
by Camila Cabello (featuring Ed Sheeran)

Album: Familia (2022)
Charted: 7 21
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Songfacts®:

  • "Bam Bam" is a tropical-inspired breakup song about Camila Cabello's split from Shawn Mendes and her recovery process. The two pop stars were close friends for several years and began dating in the summer of 2019, shortly after releasing their "Señorita" duet. They moved into Cabello's Los Angeles home, but in November 2021, the pair announced their breakup. Mendes told his side of the story on "It'll Be Okay," released a few weeks after their split.
  • Cabello starts off the song with several references to their relationship:

    You said you hated the ocean but you're surfin' now

    Mendes once told Jimmy Fallon his "biggest fear is deep water." However, shortly after the two announced their breakup, the Canadian pop star posted an image of himself surfing.

    I said I'd love you for life but I just sold our house

    A month after their relationship expired, Cabello sold her Los Angeles home for $4.3 million.

    We were kids at the start, I guess we're grown-ups now

    Cabello and Mendes first became friends after recording "I Know What You Did Last Summer" together in 2015 when they were both still teenagers.
  • On the chorus, Cabello croons both in Spanish and English about how, after being knocked down, she's now back on her feet and dancing. "I think what we were trying to get across in the verse is just that things change and things take really unexpected turns," she told Apple Music. "And just showing that through the actual details of it. Because, for me, I f---ing love Shawn, and I feel like there is literally nothing but love for him. And this song is mostly just about like 'okay, how do I make a song that shows the cycles of love and life?'"
  • Ed Sheeran joins Cabello on the song, contributing vocals throughout, including a verse about overcoming hardship. They previously worked together alongside Cardi B on "South Of The Border" off his 2019 No. 6 Collaborations Project album.
  • Cabello and Sheeran wrote the song with:

    Shawn Mendes' regular writing partner Scott Harris.

    Producer Ricky Reed (Halsey's "Bad at Love," Lizzo's "Truth Hurts"). He first worked with Cabello when he co-produced Fifth Harmony's 2014 single, "Bo$$."

    Mexican songwriter and producer Edgar "Edge" Barrera, who won the 2015 Grammy for Best Tropical Latin Album for his work on Carlos Vives' Mas Corazon.

    Composer and producer Cheche Alara, who won the 2017 Latin Grammy for Best Folk Album for his work on Natalia Lafourcade's Musas, Vol. 1.

    Ricky Reed and Edge also produced the track.
  • Cabello started off writing a song that had English words but gave her the same feeling she gets from Latin tunes. By the time Sheeran heard it and agreed to contribute, Cabello and Mendes had split. Sheeran told her he wanted to change the chords on the verse, so one morning he, Cabello, Ricky Reed and Scott Harris went into the studio. Together they wrote the two verses reflecting the change in her life and completed "Bam Bam" that same morning.
  • The reggae band The Maytals (later Toots and the Maytals) introduced the phrase "bam bam" into the music scene in 1966 when they won Jamaica's National Popular Song Contest with "Bam Bam." 16 years later, Jamaican dancehall recording artist Sister Nancy recorded her own tune called "Bam Bam" with a chorus inspired by The Maytals song of the same title. Her recording is now recognized as a reggae staple and a strong contender for the title of most sampled reggae song of all time. Artists who have borrowed from Sister Nancy's "Bam Bam" include Kanye West ("Famous"), Jay-Z ("Bam") and Tamar Braxton ("Run, Run").
  • Camila Cabello brought the song live to television for the first time on the March 4, 2022 episode of The Late Late Show with James Corden.

    She explained to the host what "Bam Bam" means. "It's something that my mom has always said to me," Cabello said. "It's about the cycles of falling in love, falling out of love; life has its up and downs. You got to roll with the punches, you got to keep dancing."
  • Camila Cabello and Ed Sheeran performed the song together live for the first time at ITV's Concert for Ukraine on March 29, 2022.
  • Some advice from Camila Cabello's mom helped inspire the song. When the singer started writing "Bam Bam" with her collaborators, they had a chorus idea about the ups and downs of falling in and out of love in her late teens and early 20s. "Also reminding myself, as my mom has told me many times, 'That's life,'" Cabello continued. "You're on the ground crying on the bathroom floor and then you'll have feelings for another person again, and you'll be crying on the bathroom floor again. And that is the cycle of change. Things just change, you never know what's around the corner."
  • Camila Cabello took the stage at the Stade de France in Paris to perform a six-minute medley of "Señorita," "Havana," "Bam Bam" and "Don't Go Yet" during the opening ceremony for the 2022 UEFA Champions League Final. Rowdy Real Madrid and Liverpool fans, frustrated about issues getting into the stadium and the kickoff being delayed, booed and loudly chanted their respective teams' own anthems over her performance.

    After her set, Cabello took to Twitter to call out the soccer fans. "Playing back our performance and I can't believe people were singing their teams anthem so loud during our performance. Like my team and I worked tirelessly for so long to bring right vibes and give a good show," she tweeted.

    Cabello deleted the tweets shortly after.

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