Normani has been making moves after leaving Fifth Harmony in 2018. Her first single, Motivation, came out in August, 2019 and she’s since released another single, Wild Side, and collaborated on several others. Normani’s debut album has been on hold, mostly because of COVID, but will finally be dropping next summer. But being in the spotlight has never come easy to Normani. In a recent speech at Variety’s Hitmaker’s Brunch accepting Collaborator of the Year award, Normani said that she has always feared being seen because she felt overlooked as a child. Below are few more highlights via People:
“This is really, really big for me,” the Fifth Harmony alum continued. “I’ve always felt growing up, like, really, really overlooked. And I always had this fear of being seen. My mom would always ask me, ‘Why be in a girl group?’ She’s like, ‘Is it so you can hide?’ And I really feel like God clearly had other plans for me, and he made me uncomfortable, which was good because sometimes I get so in my head and, like Sean was saying, I’m a perfectionist, and I often get in my own way a lot of the time, but I’m just really grateful for the people surrounding me…”
“And especially being a Black woman in music, this feels like a particular honor to receive recognition in this category,” she added.
“This past year has honestly been incredibly inspiring for me, being able to witness the power of women in our industry,” she said. “Historically, women have always been positioned against one another to compete and falsely believe that there’s only room for one of us, and I’m proud to be a part of a time where we have normalized celebrating one another, supporting each other’s endeavors and together hopefully continue to inspire future generations to do the same.”
I understand Normani’s drive to not be seen. I used to suffer from “dim your light-itis” back in the day because I was afraid of the attacks and scrutiny that would come. There were also times where I didn’t feel like I had earned the rights to receive accolades and would shrink from any praise. I am sure that being in a girl group didn’t help Normani. I believe Normani when she said she felt like the “underdog” in Fifth Harmony. As she mentioned that may be because she was trying to hide and not be seen. That’s sad because, in my opinion, Normani was the most talented artist in the group.
I am so happy that Normani received the Collaborator of the Year. Each time Normani is recognized for her excellence it gives her the courage to stand more in her power. I am excited about Normani’s debut album. I have been waiting for the album’s release since Motivation dropped. The Motivation video was the first time that I took real notice of Normani and realized how talented she is. In fact, Motivation made me realize how clipped Normani’s wings were in Fifth Harmony. It has been amazing watching Normani flourish and allow herself to be heard AND seen. I am sure next summer will be lit because we will finally be getting Normani’s first album. I hope it does really well. Hopefully, we will also get that much-anticipated Rihanna album, but I am sure that is just wishful thinking on my part.