Fifth Harmony Isn’t Slowing Down
Spend a few minutes with Fifth Harmony, and it’s clear the group’s tighter than ever.
Normani Kordei, Dinah Jane, Ally Brooke and Lauren Jauregui have such electric chemistry, we literally had to cut out all the [laughs] from our interview because there were too many. The girls were cracking each other up throughout the whole thing.
And all those good vibes are sure to come through in their new music. Coming off of last summer’s “Work From Home,” 5H have proven themselves as hitmakers and are now taking more creative control of their sound. The group’s moving full speed ahead after Camila Cabello, one of its original members, bounced in late 2016.
Their next music will have “some R&B tones,” Dinah told us, and will hit on each of the girls’ favorite genres, with overtones of girl power and female empowerment throughout.
Read on for our interview with the group — plus their first cover as a foursome!
Dinah: Jacket NDG STUDIO | Top CONCEPTO | Pants TOPSHOP | Shoes SHOE DAZZLE; Normani: Top MANOKHI | Shoes MISSGUIDED; Lauren: Dress QUEEN RUSSIA | Shoes SHOE DAZZLE; Ally: Jacket DEATH BY DOLLS | Top MANOKHI | Shoes SHOE DAZZLE
When did you guys realize you were friends in addition to bandmates?
Everyone: Awww that’s so cute!
Normani: We were on X Factor. We actually ran into each other before we were put into a group. I remember seeing Ally at my first audition, was it in Austin?
Ally: Austin, Texas!
Normani: Basically, my family… we had a rivalry. It was like, battle of the posters. My family was screaming, “Normani Normani Normani!” And Ally’s family had T-shirts… you guys roll deep.
Ally: They went all out!
Normani: I wouldn’t say it was necessarily a challenge to connect with one other because we were around the same age. I remember me and Dinah vibed heavily.
Dinah: Heavily! Like, we were low key starting to sleep over in each other’s hotel rooms.
Normani: I know! I borrowed your clothes!
Dinah: You did. We were that close. It was like that insane chemistry once you meet somebody. The connection was so crazy, we clicked instantly.
Normani: And I just feel like with everything we’ve been through together – even things that only we know about. Obviously we have each other to lean on. I think those moments make us even closer.
How does each girl strengthen the group as a whole?
Ally: Well, Dinah, I admire your fun and playful self. I love how you always come in with music. You bring the life to the party and the energy to the room. That really helps, especially if we have a long day ahead or something, it’s really cool to see that. You’re always there pumping up the party and laughing. It just makes being here so much easier. It makes the environment so much healthier when it’s fun. I really admire that about you.
Dinah: Thanks Ally. You are super sweet! Ally… she’s like a little goofball too. It’s nice to know that there’s someone that carries the same energy. You’re always so playful. There’s times where she can be kind of like the “mom”. We’ve been calling Ally the “mother” of the group at times because she has that vibe where she cares so much and she’s on it with time. There are times where I fall short with getting to the lobby. She’s texting us saying, “We gotta get there, we gotta get there!” Just the push she brings into this group helps. Because there are times where you do fall short, and to have somebody to pick up your slack helps. You put us to work!
Normani: Well I was gonna compliment you (Dinah) but Ally did such a good job!
Dinah: You’re fake! [laughs]
Ally: I was going in order!
Normani: I feel like Lauren almost has this gift of making people feel safe through anything it is that we’re going through.
Dinah: It’s so true.
Normani: A lot of the time people almost forget that we’re human. We have things that go on with family and insecurities that we feel within ourselves. She [Lauren] has this way of making me feel comfortable and confident in myself and I feel like I can really talk to her through absolutely anything. There are conversations I can have with her that I feel like I wouldn’t have with anyone else. And I feel like we all play such a heavy role with each other but, there are just certain things that I can go to her for.
Lauren: The thing is, is that everyone brings so many different kinds of things to the table. Normani is such a hard worker, and she’s so disciplined…
Ally: Yes, Mani!
Dinah: So true.
Lauren: … and constantly putting in effort and making sure that she’s bettering herself and being the best version of herself she can be, and that for me is very inspiring because I’m the opposite [laughs]. I’m just kidding. But she definitely makes me feel like I can accomplish more if I can keep doing what I’m doing, and challenges me to want to be at her level.
Dinah: Spot on.
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Dinah: I was on a roll for a second.
Ally: Honestly, my game is getting up so…
Lauren: I’ve been on my A-game right now, I’m sorry.
Dinah: I was just stalking Mani last night.
Normani: I know I have a personal photographer.
Lauren: I think I’m just gonna push 20 bucks at her to take a photo of me today.
Normani: I feel like you can really get a sense of who we are as people because we’re so different.
Dinah: So different! Day and night.
Are guys scared to approach you now that you’re famous?
Lauren: Not the right guys.
Dinah: It’s funny because you kinda think it’s the right guy but it’s not.
Lauren: They’re either super not the right guy, or dope as fuck. There’s no in between.They’re either trying to get something out of you, or they think you’re super dope.
Dinah: There was this one guy who thought I was very intimidating because of who we are. My thing is when I come across somebody, when I think they’re super cute or handsome, I can’t play along with that because sometimes they take it as something like, “She wants me.” And it’s happened to me many times. When you’re trying to be kind to somebody and they take it as “dang, Dinah Jane likes me.” And I’m like “No, I just want to be your friend… like, why do you have to take it like that?”
Normani: For me, it’s kind of the opposite, cause I feel like in a way I can be so intimidating with me not even knowing it, and then the guy doesn’t call you and you’re like, “I’m cute! Come to me. Come here.” And then it’s like, “is there something wrong with me?”
Dinah: It’s hard. So all we want is a confident dude to come straight up…maybe. Just walk up and say, “Hey, what’s up?” And start from there.
What’s one question that you are often asked that you think a guy group would never be asked?
Normani: For instance, when “Work From Home” came out, we were asked a few times, “do you think you guys were dressed too sexy?”
Lauren: I’m pretty sure men are never questioned whether they’re acting too sexy. They’re actually glorified when all their clothes are off. Women love that shit, they’re like, “Yeahhh! You’re so hot!” But when girls take our clothes off, it’s, “Wow, she’s such a hoe.”
Normani: That’s happened to us throughout our whole career. When it came to performances, people would judge us on our performance outfits. They would say things like, “look at the hoe squad”. There were all these memes.
Lauren: And it’s normally girls! Regularly girls.
What do you guys have to say about girl on girl hate?
Lauren: Just don’t do it.
Normani: It’s unnecessary. And I feel like we almost restrict ourselves as women. We could be greater than we are if we just supported each other instead of looking at each other as competition. We could all win.
What’s the best part about having a built-in squad to roll with?
Ally: It’s really great because the four of us are really in sync with each other. We’re pretty open about most things. We try to respect each other as much as we can. For us, communication is really important. Also we enjoy a lot of the same things as each other! Like going to get frozen yogurt, or go to the movies, or talk about boys, exchange music, have fun at the red carpet and encourage each other with, “hey you look beautiful!”
Normani: We compliment each other a lot.
Lauren: It’s so important. I feel like especially being around other girls, it’s really easy to start picking yourself apart and being like, “Wow, she looks better than me” or, “My hair doesn’t look as good as hers.” It’s like, wait. [Why not just say], “You look dope, you look hot, I love your outfit.” Giving each other that energy changes the whole vibe of whatever we’re doing. If it’s a carpet or a shoot, you can feel in the pictures that we were all complimenting each other and we all felt good.
Ally: We truly live by female empowerment. Literally every day we try our best to do that.
Are you guys inspired by iconic girl groups like Spice Girls, the Supremes, TLC?
Normani: Absolutely. I know we’ve all grown up listening to Destiny’s Child, Spice Girls, TLC, Pussycat Dolls even. “Buttons” is my song. Danity Kane.
Dinah: Ooh, Xscape! I love them so much.
Normani: And it’s important to have strong individuals to paint the way for us. Without them doing what they did for music, and being our introduction, we probably wouldn’t even be!
Do you hope to leave a legacy like them one day?
Normani: Most definitely.
Lauren: I think we low key have. We’ve made an impressionable mark as far as girl groups go in the industry. I’m proud of us.
Ally: It’s cool because they inspired our looks for the shoot. We did a 90s throwback vibe and we channeled their wardrobe and hairstyles. It was super fun. They really do shape us.
Dinah: I think musically they inspire us but also on a human level. I think when you’re in a group, people expect you to all be the same. Just looking around at each other, it has helped me discover that we’re all uniquely different from each other for a good reason, because there would be no growth for me. As I’m learning about each other girl, it’s helping me learn about myself. We all have our weaknesses, we all have our strengths, but together we all make it up.
Which of you has the most out-there personal style?
Ally: I like sometimes to dress crazy…well I don’t think it’s crazy [laughs]. I like to have more fun with my fashion. Obviously if everyone is wearing more “chill chic” outfits then I’ll have to go in that lane, but…
Lauren: You love being extra.
Ally: Not extra, but I love to play! I don’t like feeling plain, I like a little sugar on top.
With so many pics of you in the spotlight, how do you keep a healthy mindset?
Normani: I feel like in a way you’re forced to, just because there’s always gonna be bad photos of you.
Lauren: Yep, you’re forced to, but you never get over people taking bad pictures of you from disgusting angles! I’ll never get over it. I get so angry every time I go on the Internet, I’m like, “Why! You know I look bad here! Why did you post it!?” I hate it.
Dinah: Sometimes they know we don’t look cute, they do it just to show, “look at this unflattering photo…”
Ally: One time I literally looked like an egg. And I had to choose to laugh about it. Sometimes you obviously freak out, but it’s out there. You cry and then you laugh.
Lauren: You cry and then you laugh again.
Ally: Tee VINTAGE | Boots UNIF | Bandana STYLIST OWN’s; Dinah: Bra NIKE | Under Pants NEW FUTURE LONDON | Pants THE INCORPORATED | Boots DOC MARTEN; Normani: Jacket CH24 | Shoes DOLLS KILL; Lauren: Bodysuit DIGBY JACKSON | Boots DOC MARTEN
Jacket VINTAGE | Skirt SICKO CARTEL | Top SICKO CARTEL
Normani: Jacket MARC JACOBS | Bra STYLIST OWN’s| Skirt BUNNY HOLIDAY | Shoes PUBLIC DESIRE; Ally: Jacket JUICY COUTURE | Bra STYLIST OWN’s | Skirt BUNNY HOLIDAY | Shoes SHOE DAZZLE; Lauren: Jacket MARC JACOBS | Bra STYLIST OWN’s | Skirt BUNNY HOLIDAY | Shoes PUBLIC DESIRE; Dinah: Hoodie PINK BABY | Skirt TOPSHOP | Shoes PUBLIC DESIRE
Photography & Creative Direction | Prince and Jacob
Art | Patrick Keohane of Revolving Style