People Magazine
Updated Nov 26, 2019 @ 3:06 pm
Credit: @normani, Instagram

Normani has found all the motivation she needs to stay true to herself. At 23 years old, the former Fifth Harmony member is poised to take over the music world with a newfound confidence—one she said she didn’t possess when she was part of the hit-making girl group that thrust her into the spotlight.

“I remember always being asked, ‘Why do you wanna be in a girl group? So you can hide?’—and that’s exactly what I was trying to do,” Normani told Cosmopolitan in her December/January cover story.

Credit: Kevin Mazur, Getty Images

Normani departed from Fifth Harmony last year after six years of singing beside other members Camila Cabello, Ally Brooke, Lauren Jauregui, and Dinah Jane.

Amid her leap to a solo career, she told People it was a “good time” to find her own footing.

New fans and Fifth Harmony holdovers saw Normani come into her own when she released the music video in August for her single “Motivation.” While channeling pop legends like Beyoncé and Britney Spears, the singer put her own dance-heavy flare on the video.

Credit: Aaron J. Thornton, Getty Images

The release captured the attention of the internet, not only for Normani’s instantly iconic chain-link fence twerking routine and her rain-soaked dance number, but also for her clear homage to African American culture in entertainment.

Born in Atlanta, Normani takes a page out of the books of stars who blazed trails for her (she cites names like Diana Ross, Tina Turner, Whitney Houston, and Mariah Carey, to name a few)—and she hopes to add a few chapters to that historical record, as well, with each project she takes on.

This story originally appeared on by Benjamin VanHoose.