Normani says 'I didn't believe in myself' while in Fifth Harmony

Normani is giving us some 'Motivation' to wait on her debut album.
Published November 17, 2020 12:12 p.m. EST
Last Updated November 18, 2020 11:02 p.m. EST
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Normani opened up about her transformation into a solo artist after Fifth Harmony announced their hiatus (or breakup) in March 2018 to pursue their own projects. In a new interview with Women's Health, the "Love Lies" singer said that being in a girl group "alters the perception you have of yourself."Normani said that she felt like the "other" while she was in the group comprised of her, Camila Cabello, Ally Brooke, Lauren Jauregui and Dinah Jane. The 24-year-old singer, who was also the only Black member of the group, said that there were a lot of factors wearing away at her confidence while she was in 5H. Without getting into specifics, she explained, "Having certain things happen so blatantly while also feeling like the ‘other’ and being so young and hearing the public compare [us] took a toll on my confidence... For a long time, I didn’t believe in myself because I didn’t feel like I was given the opportunity to."The "Motivation" singer said that she considers herself to be an overachiever and if she only puts 99.9 percent into something, that's selling herself short. She added that she's working on being easier on herself in order to have a more fulfilling career. She also teased her debut solo album (which we are all patiently waiting for) as an "empowering" genre-bending project. “For a long time, I was stressed out about checking boxes like, ‘Is this Black enough? Is this pop enough?’ But music started feeling way better when I just went into the studio with the mentality of being Normani," she said. The mentality of being Normani sounds perfect, and let's not forget that we only refer to icons by a single name (Beyoncé, Britney, Rihanna, Cher, Madonna, Oprah, Prince, Sade, Adele).
 
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Normani added that people "will always remember how you made them feel and what a record did for them" and noted that her lyrics "have more depth" and come from an authentic place because she feels more connected to herself now than ever before. She credits meditation and taking "a time-out before allowing anybody else to affect my energy" for strengthening her inner relationship.Normani said that yoga is a "spiritual" form of meditation for her. "I'm working out, but I'm also becoming more in tune with my body. Having more awareness about what's going on pushes me to be in the now and to breathe," she said before adding that it's something she "desperately needed" because she is always thinking ahead or dwelling on something that could have been better. The "Waves" singer said that she pumps herself up by using words of affirmation. "I look at myself in the mirror and manifest and speak things that I want to happen as if they already did as if I'm already that version of myself," she explained. According to Women's Health, some of her go-to phrases include "You are a representation for an entire generation," and "You are a master of your craft."[video_embed id='-1']RELATED: Fifth Harmony's hiatus 'nothing' to do with Camila Cabello[/video_embed]Positive affirmations are huge, especially when facing hateful criticism you can't control. Like countless Black performers before her, Normani has been the target of extreme online backlash that often turns racist and violent. On one occasion, when Camila stans thought Normani had disrespected her former bandmate in an interview, online trolls posted and circulated fake racist images of her. Since that incident, Normani has become a diversity ambassador for the anti-cyberbullying nonprofit organization The Cybersmile Foundation where she advocates for an end to online abuse and spreads awareness for the program. "It's been meaningful to let people know that despite being in the position I'm in, I'm affected the same way," she said.The "Swing" singer also opened up about having the women she loves supporting her like Rihanna, Janet Jackson and Beyoncé. “It’s alarming when people you’ve looked up to, respect, and who kind of define who you are believe in you,” Normani said. “But it definitely gives me confidence. I’m grateful to feel seen and heard and like I can be the voice for so many people. Being a Black woman, I feel we’re so multifaceted and have so much that we’re capable of. It’s really important to show Black girls and Black boys they can be anything they want to be.”Normani has taken 2020 by storm! She released "Diamonds,"  the lead single for the soundtrack of Birds of Prey with Megan Thee Stallion, and she was named in the Forbes 30 under 30 list. The singer became the face of Urban Decay cosmetics in June, made an iconic cameo in Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion's music video for "WAP," and returned to the Savage X Fenty stage in an all-white number, strutting her stuff in the beautiful bridal-inspired look.
 
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