Normani’s solo career has skyrocketed since Fifth Harmony dissolved. Perhaps the only other member of the wildly popular girl group to match her is Camila Cabello, who got her solo start two years earlier after leaving the group. Since the band went on permanent hiatus, Normani has revelled in the freedom that a solo career provides.
It’s not unusual for young artists to feel stifled when performing in groups, and Normani is no different. “I don't feel like while I was in the group anyone saw the truest version of me,” she admitted in an interview with Fader. “I wasn't allowed the opportunity to showcase that.” For example, Normani has extensive experience in dance, but that didn’t matter when she was dancing with the group. She wasn’t able to “go in” the way she wanted to when performing with the other girls.
Normani wants creative control
Already feeling stunted by the group, Normani, as well as the other girls, were frustrated that they didn’t have more creative control over their songs, namely being able to write them themselves. “We would be like, ‘Yo, we want to write it, we want to contribute, we have perspective. We're not just girls that you put in a girl group,’” Normani revealed.
Now, however, is different. There’s more of a chance for Normani to lean into her own individuality rather than rely on the group for her identity. Not only that, she now has the creative freedom she and her bandmates so desired. “I’m able to go to the studio now and write about ideas that actually mean something to me,” she told Fader in a separate interview in 2019.
She can now explore different avenues of music
Normani is eager to explore different avenues of music instead of only the pop sounds that Fifth Harmony was famous for. Her Houston and New Orleans roots are sure to be on full display. “I am going back to the music that I grew up with that really inspires me,” the “Motivation” singer said. “I get to pull from that and incorporate those sounds into this project.” What’s even more exciting for the up-and-coming solo artist is the idea of being in control of her own sound for the first time. “It’s not like somebody else sitting in a chair over at the label has a set idea as to who these girls are going to be and us having to go along with that.”
The most important part, Normani insists, is that she showcases herself rather than the persona some record executive or producer decided for her. “All that I ever asked is just for the opportunity to become Normani. Just give me the opportunity to prove that I can be the best that I can be. I'm not going to be the best anybody else; that's just an unrealistic ask. That I can be the best that I can be — that's all I have to offer.” She’s certainly made a name for herself so far, especially her show stopping performance at the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards. If that's how her solo career starts, then the sky's the limit for the young artist.