Cop a gander of Normani!
The rising solo star shines luminously on the cover of Paper magazine’s newest issue.Array
Aptly timed, the feature arrives less than a week after the 22-year-old unleashed two new collaborations with Calvin Harris – ‘Checklist’ and ‘Slow Down.’ Both of which dropped the day before she rocked TIDAL x Brooklyn at Madison Square Garden.
Beyond posing it up for the colorful shoot, the Houston native opens up about life after Fifth Harmony, the vision for her solo album, and understanding the necessity for her to work even harder than make waves.
All awaits after the jump…
“I was in that environment for six years, and that’s pretty much all I knew. That’s how I was introduced to the rest of the world. So then it’s like: okay, what is she going to do on her own? There’s also pressure that I put on myself — and what artist doesn’t?” And though she says she would be open to collaborating with her former bandmates in the future (“a little reunion!”), her current focus is on the career she’s launching for herself. “There’s this excitement and thrill you get knowing you can tap into a different part of you that you haven’t even been introduced to.
“It’s a brand new world of self-discovery for me, and I’m still in the process of that. There’s been so many things that I’ve been able to do. I’ve been able to write more, and I’ve even been having fun in terms of producing. I’ve learned that I actually have that ear and that I know what I want. I’m learning the terminology and all the technical side of it. I’m really hands on in every single aspect of my music.”
On Her Upcoming Debut Album (Due 2019):
“I see the vision before I even make the records. I want to create records for women that haven’t been created yet — records that women need. The record that I need to feel good when I don’t feel so good. My job as an artist is to be as honest as possible.”
On Being Confident In Her Look:
“When I went home [after school], my parents always made sure that they told me I was no different [I was one of three black girls at school], and they told me I was just as powerful and just as beautiful [as the other kids]. I would ask questions like, ‘Why isn’t my hair this texture? I want my hair straight.’ But they always instilled in me to love myself for all that I am.”
“I felt that the day that I was put into the group,” she said. “I will definitely say that I felt that every single day. It’s nothing that the girls did, but it’s just the reality of it. You see a group, you see one black girl, and just the way that society is and where we’re at especially socially… I always felt that I had to work, and still have to work, twice as hard to prove myself.”
“I am very religious. Anytime I can, I go to church. And I have such an amazing group of friends that I met in LA,” she said. “I typically ask for my Sundays off. I try to prioritize and make room for myself and have moments where I can also have some normalcy. I like to do escape rooms. Just normal people stuff.”
Her performances are bold and blazing, but in today’s age it’s equally important to be relatable. And she does a solid job here of introducing the masses to who she is and what her overall proposition is.