Fifth Harmony Gets Candid About Their Five-Year Anniversary and New Chapter
We've seen a lot of treasured girl groups come and go over the years: The Spice Girls, Destiny's Child, All Saints, B*Witched—the list goes on. It seems like every time a member abruptly leaves, the band subsequently breaks up, forcing the remaining talent to pursue solo projects or other artistic endeavors. But Fifth Harmony is determined to weather the storm. Following Camila Cabello's departure in December, Ally Brooke, Normani Kordei, Dinah Jane, and Lauren Jauregui are back with a new single, "Down," featuring Gucci Mane, the first new music from their forthcoming album as a foursome. Ahead of the drop date, 5H stopped by the InStyle offices to discuss their five-year anniversary, collaborating with Gucci Mane, and the best advice Kelly Rowland ever gave them.
How did the new single come together?
Normani: Honestly, it was as simple as our A&R, Chris Anokute—he presented the record to us. It's pretty rare when we all get excited about a song, just because we come from different backgrounds and genres, so we knew that it was the one.
What was it like working with Gucci Mane?
Normani: He's dope.
Lauren: We met him when we performed on Good Morning America. He's super sweet. Very happy, very grateful, ready to work.
Dinah: I love his smile.
The music video is great, too. It's a motel party!
Dinah: We shot it in two different locations: The motel scene was in Hollywood, and we needed some more footage, so we shot the pool scene here [in New York]. The night before we shot, we performed at 6 a.m.
Ally: We were cold.
Normani: We were literally in the pool hugging each other for body warmth.
Dinah: And then the camera would come on and then we'd pose.
Normani, can you outdance the others now that you've been on Dancing with the Stars?
Ally: Totally. TOTALLY.
Normani: I learned from the show and I can apply to my girls. We can do the cha-cha and the Samba.
Ally: Next tour, we should that.
Dinah: I can almost do a split; I'm getting close.
Normani: It was so fun, and the girls were so supportive of me. It was one of the best experiences of my life.
Dinah: We came to see her and perform for her. It was weird just performing with three of us.
Normani: They killed it vocally. The harmonies were really tight. They did it beautifully and they carried me through the dance.
Is "Down" a sign of what's to come music-wise?
Ally: It's definitely the beginning of what's to come for us. This song is just the intro. It's a summer anthem. TBC. To be continued.
Lauren: We're super excited for this new chapter. We definitely have been more creatively involved this time around—we co-wrote half of the album so far—so it's really cool to have been a part of that process and to work more intimately with songwriters and producers that we have been working with over the years, because they got to know us and grow with us and got to know the people we are behind Fifth Harmony. We got to connect more to the music and really put our thoughts and our feelings into what we're singing.
Historically, girl groups go through transition periods. Have any former members given you advice about making it through?
Lauren: Kelly Rowland.
Normani: We were at a label luncheon and she gave us some really nice advice: To stick together and stay true to who we are, individually and as far as our artistry as well. And to take a lot of pictures and make things memorable, because you're never going to want to forget it.
Lauren: She was like, "I believe in y'all so hard and I'm so proud of y'all." It was really cool to see the sincerity in her eyes.
Dinah: She also said, "Let the music speak for itself." Looking back at Destiny's Child's records, they basically spoke off of experience, and I feel like that's what we're taking now on this road with 5H3.
What are your favorite Destiny's Child songs?
Ally: "Survivor" has to be one of them.
Normani: "I'm going to say 'Jumpin' Jumpin."
Dinah: I love "Cater 2 U" and "Temptation."
Fifth Harmony's five-year anniversary is coming up on July 27. Are you doing anything special to celebrate?
Normani: We've been married for five years!
Dinah: What are you guys getting me?
Lauren: We should get eachother little gifts. That would be hella cute.
Normani: Should we do a Secret Santa?
Ally: Down, down, down. Secret Santa in July!
Normani: We should get matching tattoos. If we got a really small one, that would be really cute.
Lauren: We might. Stay tuned. Or matching piercings! We'll figure it out. Maybe we'll just go to dinner.
How has your style changed since you started the band? Which designers are you into right now?
Lauren: The evolution is real.
Dinah: I must say, Steve Madden is pretty comfortable shoe-wise. I love Jessica Simpson. Giuseppe's.
Normani: We're on that Gucci right now.
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Which artists are you listening to?
Lauren: SZA's new album.
Normani: Calvin Harris.
Lauren: Calvin Harris is not playing. Calvin, hit us up!
Ally: We'd love that.
Who else would you want to collaborate with?
Normani: Nicki [Minaj].
Dinah: Chance the Rapper would be really good.
Normani: Kendrick would be dope too. That's a dream.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.