When Fifth Harmony decided to soldier on after the departure of a founding member, the group assured fans that exciting things were on the horizon for them as a group and as solo entities.
One pillar of that promise manifested in the form of last year’s self-titled album and, after testing the waters, now it seems solo runs are next up on the agenda.
In their recap of the Grammy Weekend parties, Billboard have gone to press with the following note:
12:37 a.m. Overheard at Sony’s party at the Whitney: Lauren Jauregui of 5H moving to Columbia from Epic to release solo album.
Now this is super interesting. But before delving into it, let’s first rewind slightly.
Shortly before kicking off the campaign for their last album, 5H were the subject of an in-depth Billboard investigative feature that lifted the lid on a number of unknown realities. Namely janky record contracts, tension with the label Epic, and the ladies journey to relative liberation at the hands of lawyer Dina Lapolt. The latter of whom negotiated a better deal with Epic and ownership of their group name.
During that reveal it also became clear that, though 5H are an ensemble, they are technically signed to individual deals. Hence, why Epic were able proceed as normal with Camila Cabello after her exit.
Why is that of note?
Well, it seems under such agreement – not only would Epic exercise the contractual right to serve as home to the group’s releases but also to any solo projects members may drop. Something that clearly isn’t working out in 5H’s favor presently in the wake of Camila’s potent push.
This left many wondering what the future looked like for the group.
And this Lauren news may strongly hint at what to expect.
Thankfully, it seems improbable for a split to occur anytime soon. As formally disbanding after an under-performing project and in the midst of Cabello’s current solo success runs risk of diminishing the remaining members’ value to another imprint. Put simply, the 5H name still has stock in it that benefits them solo too.
And while we’re not privy to the particulars of their contract, it’s vital to note that both Columbia and Epic are housed under the same Sony Music umbrella. As such, it theoretically should be no problem “moving” (as the Billboard statement stresses) to another label within the Sony family. Such a “transfer” allows Sony to continue benefiting from the worth attached to the “5H” brand but also provide Lauren and co enough distance from Epic to start afresh.
If this is what’s actually going down, one has to wonder whether the likes of Normani Kordei, Dinah Jane, and Ally Brooke (who have all acquired solo management and agents over the last year) will pop up at other Sony-owned subsidiaries such as RCA. Or whether they’ve been freed up – One Direction style – to sign with whomever they choose. Because, in looking at their respective solo prospects, countless other labels could do with new female talent.
Time will tell how this all plays out. But we say if Lauren is indeed with Columbia, she’s in great care. The label is home to Beyonce, Adele, John Legend, Solange, and Celine Dion.