Spreading her wings. Normani spoke exclusively to Us Weekly about finding her voice while taking time off from Fifth Harmony.
“I would definitely say just a more clear vision of who Normani is,” the 22-year-old singer said of what fans can expect from her new material while attending the American Music Awards Nominations event on Wednesday, September 12. “For so long I feel like people got an idea of who I was in the entity of the group. Even within myself, I kind of got comfortable with that. So for me to kind of be detached from that has been an eye-opener for me and, like I said on the stage, me finally being able to discover myself and just different things, different parts of me. There are so many different layers and so many different portions that I haven’t necessarily been able to tap into that I have been introduced to, so it’s really, really cool. It’s like the sky is the limit.”
She added: “I think this body of work is definitely a bit more sultry side of myself, and there’s just different inspirations and influences that I grew up listening to that I want to incorporate in there, but I’ve been writing from the album … I’ve even been co-producing, so like I said, it’s like a kid in a freakin’ candy store.”
Fifth Harmony, which also includes Lauren Jauregui, Dinah Jane and Ally Brooke, announced their hiatus in March. “After six years going hard, nonstop, we also realized that in order to stay authentic to ourselves and to you, we do need to take some time for now to go on a hiatus from Fifth Harmony in order to pursue solo endeavors,” the group said in a statement. “We are all very excited and grateful to be able to take this time to learn and grow creatively and really find our footing as individuals. In doing this we are allowing ourselves to gain new experiences, strengths and perspectives that we can bring back to our Fifth Harmony family.”
Normani also opened up to Us about meeting Beyoncé at a Grammys party in January. “I thought it out and I was like, ‘I wonder how it’s going to go,’” she revealed. “And it totally exceeded my expectations and she made me feel so warm and like we met in a past life. She makes you feel very welcomed.”
The Dancing With the Stars alum appreciates her musical inspirations’ support of her work, too. “Who’s to say I would have [been] in music or [been] in the position that I’m in without artists like Nicki Minaj, without Beyoncé, without Solange [Knowles], without Rihanna — all women that I really do idolize and look up to,” Normani noted. “So for them to respect what I do is like, I never would have thought that that would have happened in a million years.”
With reporting by Carly Sloane
For access to all our exclusive celebrity videos and interviews – Subscribe on YouTube!