Normani Talks ‘Motivation’ Video, Going Solo, Ariana Grande, & Advice From Janet Jackson & Kelly Rowland

Published: Sunday 18th Aug 2019 by Sam

Normani shook the internet to its core this week with the colossal launch of her ‘Motivation’ music video.

A fireball from start to finish, the visual has racked up over 12 million views in less than two days and has attracted praise from the likes of Cardi B, Missy Elliott, and Ciara.

As the New Orleans native soaked up the love, she’s spoke with The Face about her solo charge since the hiatus of Fifth Harmony, having the support of her idols such as Janet Jackson and Kelly Rowland, Ariana Grande being like family.

On ‘Motivation’ Co-Writer & Friend Ariana Grande:

I’d con­sid­er Ari­ana fam­i­ly at this point. I feel like I can trust her, which is nice because it’s hard to make friends in this indus­try. Some­times it can get – I don’t wan­na say lone­ly – but a lot of the time I end up hav­ing to enter­tain myself. It’s cool that I’m able to have found a sis­ter in her.

On Her Inspirations & Being Supported By Them:

As a black young woman, being able to do what all of my biggest inspi­ra­tions have done was real­ly impor­tant. Grow­ing up, I had Janet, Toni Brax­ton, Ashan­ti and Destiny’s Child to look up to. Kel­ly [Row­land] being a choco­late god­dess, I was real­ly able to see myself in her. I felt real­ly down about a cer­tain sit­u­a­tion, and I spoke to her about it recent­ly. She was like ​Any­thing you need, pick up the phone’. It meant the world to me.

Start­ing from the ground up again, I can’t believe I’m in a posi­tion to have access to beau­ti­ful black women who I can talk and share my expe­ri­ences with. Trust me, there’s still a lot more to come. There’s lev­els to it.

On Her Dream Collaboration:

Oh, I’ve worked with some pret­ty amaz­ing gen­tle­man, but I still want to work with Kendrick Lamar too. We’d cre­ate some­thing mag­i­cal, I know it.

On Meeting Janet Jackson:

There are a lot of women I’d love to fol­low in the foot­steps of. Like, I just went to see Janet at her Vegas res­i­den­cy and it inspired me in such a way. After­wards, I had a moment to ask all of the ques­tions that I need­ed to ask, and she told me she was root­ing for me.

On Fifth Harmony:

Fifth Har­mo­ny was the most beau­ti­ful oppor­tu­ni­ty, and it was one of the most amaz­ing mem­o­ries I’ve made. Of course, we had our ups and downs but I’m so grate­ful that I went through that expe­ri­ence to reach the alter­na­tive. We reached a point where we could express our indi­vid­u­al­i­ties. Since then, I’ve been able to find myself in so many dif­fer­ent ways. I don’t ful­ly have it all togeth­er. Even as a woman, I feel like I’m learn­ing so much about myself.

On The Motivation Video:

I’m gonna be com­plete­ly trans­par­ent with you: I’ve been stress­ing over the last month, try­ing to put that togeth­er. I’ve actu­al­ly been real­ly down about it late­ly because I feel like it’s not my best work [yet]. [Source]


Having long seen the potential in Ms. Kordei here at TGJ, it’s amazing to see the masses on-board and at the most important time too.

With ‘Motivation,’ she’s delivered an emphatic “I’ve arrived” moment, one which cannot be denied nor ignored.

More broadly, the mass embrace of the track and its visual has us elated at the prospect of what’s to come – from performances, to collaborations, to branding opps. Because, for as well-mapped out as her launch campaign has been, the out-of-the-gate success of the video effectively functions as a major advertorial for what Normani – as a movement – is all about. And we imagine many now want to be apart of what is increasingly looking like the birth of a major new star.

Your thoughts?

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  1. Jasmine🙋🏿‍♀️David🙋🏿‍♂️Sam🙋🏽‍♂️& Rashad 🙋🏾‍♂️#TROLLmineSlayers #DaBiAsianCrew #TROLLmineTheIntern August 18, 2019

    I just want her products to be the reason she pops and not just because she’s a beautiful, black woman that needs to fill a role. I want the music she releases to be of substance and unique to her as an artist. I’ve not gotten that from her yet. I’ve gotten listenable material that isn’t distinct at all.

    • Jasmine August 18, 2019

      8.13.19 NEVER FORGET ~ The day FAGmine got exposed for the 100th time as a racist trash 🗑 loser by TGJ. NEVER FORGET Fake JasMAN is a MAN.

      • Jasmine🙋🏿‍♀️David🙋🏿‍♂️Sam🙋🏽‍♂️& Rashad 🙋🏾‍♂️#TROLLmineSlayers #DaBiAsianCrew #TROLLmineTheIntern August 18, 2019

        TROLLmine I’m not going to sink to your level, because you are jealous of me. Go take your bipolar meds, sis (bro).

      • Jasmine August 18, 2019

        8.13.19 NEVER FORGET ~ FAGmine got exposed by TGJ as the racist monster HE truly is. U are a troll always using my username so that gives me the right to issue a verbal lashing on u anytime I want! Suck it TRASH 🗑. Feast on my 💩 and drink my p.iss 🍹.

      • Jasmine🙋🏿‍♀️David🙋🏿‍♂️Sam🙋🏽‍♂️& Rashad 🙋🏾‍♂️#TROLLmineSlayers #DaBiAsianCrew #TROLLmineTheIntern August 18, 2019

        We go high when they go low…. because being jealous is something we can’t relate to or allow here at TGJ Journalist Headquarters…. kinda how we don’t allow certain Trolls to work for us #ApplicationDenied

      • Jasmine August 18, 2019

        Jealousy is a disease. Get well soon FAGmine! Clearly u are jealous of me and u want to be me. Hence, why u stole my username! Keep seething troll!

        8.13.19 ~ The day FAGmine got exposed for the 100th time by TGJ as a racist troll. Princess FAGmine has lost his mind yall. He is raging with jealousy.

      • Jasmine🙋🏿‍♀️David🙋🏿‍♂️Sam🙋🏽‍♂️& Rashad 🙋🏾‍♂️#TROLLmineSlayers #DaBiAsianCrew #TROLLmineTheIntern August 18, 2019

        Sorry TROLLmine as a 38 year old troll I think it’s time you bowed out gracefully and start visiting websites geared more towards your age bracket.

      • Jasmine August 18, 2019

        FAGmine u have lost your mind if u think I am 38. U are 58 if I am 38 and always remember I am in control not u. U don’t tell me what to do b|tch sissy. I tell u what to do!

        8.13.19 NEVER FORGET ~ FAGmine got exposed by TGJ as the racist monster HE truly is. U are a troll always using my username so that gives me the right to issue a verbal lashing on u anytime I want! Suck it TRASH 🗑. Feast on my 💩 and drink my p.iss 🍹.

      • Jasmine🙋🏿‍♀️David🙋🏿‍♂️Sam🙋🏽‍♂️& Rashad 🙋🏾‍♂️#TROLLmineSlayers #DaBiAsianCrew #TROLLmineTheIntern August 18, 2019

        Go take your bipolar medication Grandma(Grandpa) TROLLmine!!! 38 and mentally unstable

      • Jasmine August 18, 2019

        Go to your psych meds u 58 year old FAGmine demon! Yes, I am bipolar so I have a medical excuse for my crazy. You sir have no excuse for your crazy except for the FACT u haven’t been taking ur psych meds for a very long time. Grandpa u are a loser and u are mentally challenged.

      • Jasmine🙋🏿‍♀️David🙋🏿‍♂️Sam🙋🏽‍♂️& Rashad 🙋🏾‍♂️#TROLLmineSlayers #DaBiAsianCrew #TROLLmineTheIntern August 18, 2019

        I’m sorry that you’re so jealous of me TROLLmine but I can’t help it that I’m popular and gainfully employee as a journalist whilst your #ApplicationDenied

  2. Really August 18, 2019

    Something is missing. Musically. She reminds me of Tinashe. Talented dancer okay singer but should still be bigger…because there are lots of artists who cant sing technically but still have hits.. I.e Keisha tik tok. Ahe wasnt necessarily the greatest singer but the song was a hit……idk idk i am looking forward to seeing a new wave of artists. I wonder would anyone be interested in a new Toni Braxton type or something.

    • Oh plz August 18, 2019

      She doesn’t have a distinct voice. She’s not a powerhouse like Whitney, Celine or Mariah and she doesn’t have a distinct voice like Rihanna, Toni, Janet or Beyoncé. There’s a million beautiful black girls that sound just like Normani.

      • Realist August 19, 2019

        Janet Jackson nor Paula Abdul were on the women levels that you listed, and im talking vocally speaking. Its about having your own style. You dont have to be a powerhouse. Every song isn’t meant to be belted on. Thatsnlike Whitney houston trying to sing Lauryn Hill’s Ex factor. Smh. Ms Hill was a Sanger, but her style. Whitney Houston felt some type of way the night that Ms Hill won her 5 grammys, and the. First female to get 5 in one night. Not Mariah, not Whitney, nor Celine has done so. Now Beyonce surpassed her with 6 in one night 💯💯💯 Vocals arent to be the best singer, its to know that no one can sing like you, as in no ond can do me better than me💯💯💯

      • Apostle Denise Clark-Bradford August 19, 2019

        Like the poster said; Janet Jackson had a distinct voice! You knew who it was whenever a Janet song played on the radio. Let’s also not forget how classic and legendary her discography is. Put some respek on her name, beloved. I will pray for your delusions of grandeur.

  3. Apostle Denise Clark-Bradford August 18, 2019

    I wouldn’t take any advice from Floplly Rowland. In Jesus name.

    • S.U.P.E.R.S.T.A.R.! August 18, 2019

      @Apostle… – I’ll have to agree with you. hahaha

    • Jasmine🙋🏿‍♀️David🙋🏿‍♂️Sam🙋🏽‍♂️& Rashad 🙋🏾‍♂️#TROLLmineSlayers #DaBiAsianCrew #TROLLmineTheIntern August 18, 2019

      I’d take any advice from anyone more successful, more financially stable, older and a veteran in the industry I’m in. You’d be silly not to.

      • Jasmine August 18, 2019

        8.13.19 NEVER FORGET ~ FAGmine got exposed by TGJ as the racist troll HE truly is.

      • Jasmine🙋🏿‍♀️David🙋🏿‍♂️Sam🙋🏽‍♂️& Rashad 🙋🏾‍♂️#TROLLmineSlayers #DaBiAsianCrew #TROLLmineTheIntern August 18, 2019
      • Apostle Denise Clark-Bradford August 19, 2019

        Sure, take advice from Beyoncé’s lazy shadow. Let’s see how that works out. Where’s June’s Diary?

    • Jason August 18, 2019

      Kelly has been very successful in a little group called Destiny’s Child, as well as having multi-platinum selling music around the world. She simply ISN’T a flop, because it doesn’t make sense. She has whole solo Grammys…

      • Tina August 19, 2019

        Beside the Group she had her success. She sold a lot of records as a Solo Artist and yeah a lot of business stuff wasn’t handle well. But it was not her vote it was the team/Management!
        Kelly is coming you can say whatever you want but her journey its not over yet!

    • Kellylucs August 18, 2019

      An apostle that curses, shame

      • Apostle Denise Clark-Bradford August 19, 2019

        Where did I curse beloved? Is FLOP a curse word? Let me check the scriptures…..

    • #TheTruth August 19, 2019

      That’s very ignorant.
      Kelly has been in this industry since 1997 as a recording artist.
      Of course she can give great advice, regardless of her amount of sales.

  4. Co-nun-drummer August 18, 2019

    I’m rooting for normani. Motivation isn’t my favorite song that she’s released but it’s a cute song. She definitely needs to work with her vocal coach to bring out the uniqueness in her voice. I can see her doing some alterna-rnb tracks. But she seems to be leaning more to being a black Ariana minus the vocal ability.

    • Jasmine August 18, 2019

      I like her a lot and I want to see her win. She needs a big hit though. To be honest I think she is the perfect match for Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis to work with. Their productions offer the soul her voice is lacking.

      • Jasmine🙋🏿‍♀️David🙋🏿‍♂️Sam🙋🏽‍♂️& Rashad 🙋🏾‍♂️#TROLLmineSlayers #DaBiAsianCrew #TROLLmineTheIntern August 18, 2019
      • Jasmine August 18, 2019

        FAGmine in action y’all:

      • Oh plz August 18, 2019

        Couldn’t agree with you more, Jazzy. Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis would be PERFECT for her.

  5. Clarkson August 18, 2019

    Checklist is her best song till date apart from her 2 collabs with the two gays (Khalidia and samantha smith)

    After all the promo and hype this song will barely scratch the top 10.

    she dances too damn hard. she needs to tone is down.

    • Meme August 18, 2019

      Lololol not khalidia and Samantha

  6. I love big black c** August 18, 2019

    Zero star power….. camila was smart enough to have Havana then she should’ve a song called Jamaica

    • Jason August 18, 2019

      You’ve lost your mind!! 😂😂 Is it crack?!?

      • Haterz Gon‘ Hate August 19, 2019

        Jesus take the wheel 🙄

  7. Jam August 18, 2019

    She is slayinggggg

  8. A&R August 19, 2019

    Motivation is an amazing pop song it’s just not fresh in sound. That’s it. Checklist is afrobeats and dance heavy. I think as Americans we’re grabbing a hold to checklist because psychologically the sound is what matches what we see on Normani.. a dark skin singer with amazing dance ability. And that’s called typecasting and or stereotyping. If Ariana dropped Motivation or Dinah from 5th Harmony I would have a different reception. We just need to Jude the music objectively and allow the unique sound you all are hoping for to come naturally. Yes, Beyoncé dropped CraZy in Love but remember her and Amarie both went for that sound, Beyoncé just wore it better.

    Let Normani evolve man. And hEr husky tone is very distinctive/ enjoyable. Y’all sleep.

    • Namo August 19, 2019

      That’s the reason why she will flop and will be forgotten after few years and after maybe 1 or 2 album just like Amerie and many others did before.

  9. Bravo!! August 19, 2019

    If Normani & Beyoncé would do a girl video together that will be Hott!

    • Namo August 19, 2019

      Normani would be ridiculous next to Beyoncé vocals so yes let’s do it, after that people will stop talking s*** like “Normani is the new Beyoncé” please… just do it and we will end it up quickly.

  10. Namo August 19, 2019

    Normani can sing BUT she doesn’t have anything special in her voice, sorry to break your dreams but this lady is not half the beast everybody likes to think she is. We are a lot to think the same so… stop playing the jealous card, we are not jealous but just honst which is not the case of everyone. 12 millions views and why? Y’all know why, it’s not like anybody would release a song and gain 12 millions views, she was ready to have this because everything has been prepared to make this impact so… just ask Missy Elliott, Kelly Rowland and all the others artists who were in the “plan” don’t think we are dumb enough to not see what’s happening behind the scenes.

  11. iamdiego August 19, 2019

    i think mani should take some time after the next single to work on a songs focused on her vocals. Yall got her messed up if you dont think her tone is unique or that she cant sing. thats rediculous. say what you want but she’s next. she’s been a star. next case! somebody said checklist was her best song lol thats a lie. Her song ‘Slow Down’ was superior. It was like 3 seperate songs in one, but everyone gravited to the song that was more of a guarenteed banger because it sounded familiar. normani knows whats she’s doing. let the girl live damn. I can see she is her biggest credic. she is very hard on herself and if yall continue to attack instead of impower it will take more time for her to come into her own. Either way she’s going to get there.

    • iamdiego August 19, 2019


    • A&R August 19, 2019

      That song is fire too. And note, what’s she’s currently doing is part of the normal process… it’s just that social media has provided an outlet for people to speak on every part of the journey. Before social media the gp had to just wait and grow with the artist. Rihanna literally went through the same thing and for two whole albums at that lol. People are forgetting that. Rihanna was legit forced into the good girl gone bad image out of the Beyoncé comparisons attacking her chance at next level stardom.

      The haters will deal.

    • Maxx August 20, 2019

      That’s why she said this is only the me she will even have the haters saying YAAASSSSSS Slay BIIIITTCHHH!

  12. Kid August 19, 2019

    Haters will do what they do best. She knows what she’s doing. The black community is always a critic and never supports anything. Shes appealing to a different demographic because her people are sorry ass haters. She will be big because the non-black community has no problem with her shine. They will support her not sorry ass black folks.

  13. Banks no tyra August 19, 2019

    Beyonce Reject

    • Maxx August 20, 2019

      You mean Beyoncé LEVELED UP!

  14. Johny5 August 19, 2019

    The same trolls in these comments said Camila was a flop for two years straight when her singles didn’t go top 10 lolol y’all are some bandwagon trolls

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