The popstar just wants to be herself.
Normani has been revealed as Cosmo's "Decembuary" cover star. In the recent issue, the breakout star opens up about what she wanted her "Motivation" music video, and her work at large, to feel like. "I told the director, 'I want this to be as black as possible,'" she told Cosmo. "I was like, let’s show black culture. Why does pop music have to be so white? Why don’t we make it a little bit more me?" To demonstrate how white pop music has always been, she explains, although she loved watching the pop girls of her generation—Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and Mandy Moore, to name a few—on MTV and listening to their music, it made her feel invisible. To feel more represented, she would watch 106 & Park on BET to see fellow black girls like Lil' Kim and Ciara who looked like her and were doing what she wanted to do. The significance of seeing these stars on TV even inspired the opening scene for the "Motivation" music video, where a young black girl rushes to watch Normani perform on a fictional version of 106 & Park.
The article points out that Normani is "just the new-new in a long line of strong black pop artists" like Billie Holliday, Tina Turner, Whitney Houston, and Rihanna, who all set the groundwork for each generation to follow. Normani, who just became the first brand ambassador for Rihanna's lingerie line, Savage x Fenty, wants to finish what these women who came before her started, which means honouring all of their legacies in an "authentic way." “You’ll know that I’m a black girl, even if it’s on the quote unquote whitest record ever," she proclaims.
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The former Fifth Harmony member also discusses the messy disbanding of the former girl group, her dance career, and the support she's received from some of the worlds biggest stars. She recently opened for Ariana Grande on her "Sweetener" tour, and has a song called “Bad To You” with Ari and Nicki Minaj featured on the new Charlie's Angel's soundtrack. She has also been backed by music's power couple. "Bey and Jay-Z have definitely been vocal about how much they want me to win," she confirms, though she points out that she'd like to keep the "specifics" to herself because "it's just so special."
Watch out for this pop princess, 'cause it looks like she's about to take over.