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Normani: Grace, Gratitude and Glamour

by Zaria Sims for Urban Mindz

The beautiful, independent artist who's no longer settling for a piece of the pie, she wants it all.

Style, grace, and skill, Normani has it all! Her takeover of the pop music charts may have caught many by surprise, but she has been waiting for this inevitable peak in her career for longer than 10 years. The former member of Fifth Harmony has completely skyrocketed to the top, gradually and stealthily advancing from feeling like an undervalued element of Fifth Harmony into a confident, ravishing, mainstream solo artist. Since her solo debut, she has collaborated with many of the hottest names in the music industry, including Sam Smith (“Dancing With A Stranger”), Calvin Harris (“Slow Down), Khalid (“Love Lies”), Megan Thee Stallion (“Diamonds”), and Davido (“Swing”). Needless to say, launching as an independent artist has definitely been the best thing for Normani’s career.

Before making her way up the charts as a solo artist, Normani got her start in the music business at just 15 years old. She auditioned on the music competition show, X-Factor, which was created by Simon Cowell and has since been cancelled. The audition landed her the opportunity to join a girl group named The Harmonizers, but was later changed to Fifth Harmony. As the group collectively soared to unforeseeable heights, they went on to release three hit songs that all climbed the charts on the Billboard Hot 100, including “Sledgehammer, “Worth It,” and “Work from Home.”

Unfortunately, during her seven years as a member of Fifth Harmony, Normani felt that all of her talent was being pushed into the shadows and began to doubt her beauty and worth to the group. Black is beautiful, regardless of shade, yet it is well known how prevalent colorism is in the music industry. Normani addressed colorism in a January 2019 Billboard Magazine interview, while simultaneously debuting her first solo single, Waves.Normani states in that interview, “There’s a responsibility I have as a black woman — one of the very few to have the power to kill it. Even in the mainstream, there’s not many of us. Especially ­chocolate girls. Like, being African-American is one thing, but girls [with] my complexion — she gestures to the back of her hand for ­emphasis — it’s unheard of. It’s me, and SZA. Who else? I work just as hard. I feel like I have to work 10 times harder just to prove to everybody that I also deserve to be here.”

It is true that there are not enough dark-skinned, black female singers celebrated on the radio today, hence the reason Normani serves as a role model to many young girls who dream about performing. Her breathtaking vocal range and dancing skills take us back to the days where artists had to be a triple threat, or else, we would have never known their names. Everything she touches turns to gold, for confidence oozes from her pores and beauty is magnified through her soul.

Normani is always looking to add an extra notch to her belt, as she has big plans for the future to expand her brand and all areas of expertise. Alongside her music, Normani’s dance routines take her talent to the next level. In her music video for “Motivation,” viewers can see that Normani simultaneously does a handstand and a split, all while rain falls upon her. Now that’s talent!

In September 2019, during New York Fashion Week, Normani was invited to grace the stage at Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty lingerie show. Dancing to reggae artist Sean Paul’s “Get Busy”, while wearing an ensemble from the new Fenty collection, Normani put on a performance that with pure fierceness and allure that nearly took the show.

For all those asking, “Where’s the album?” Normani released a statement last September stating that the album was almost complete, and would be released in 2020. She has always been candid about her battle with perfectionism, and due to the magnitude of this being her first solo album, her strive for excellence increased x 10.

In many ways, it has become evident that being a member of a music group overshadowed her real talent and what she wanted to excel as a performer. Had it not been for her making the decision to go solo, we may not have known just how talented she really is. Now that she has an impending album that many are anticipating, ears are open and eyes are peeled to see what she’s about to bring. Stay tuned!

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