Normani is Teen Vogue’s “Girl Nextdoor”, one that slays eight-counts effortlessly and hits high notes—even amid a pandemic. The “Motivation” songstress spoke with writer Tre’vell Anderson about vulnerability, representation, and her post-Fifth Harmony foray into music as a solo artist.
“I really want to create a body of work that’s going to count,” said Normani or the October cover story.
She also spoke on her appearance in Cardi and Megan Thee Stallion’s “WAP” video. According to Normani, her sultry side-split scene was about embracing sexuality, especially as a black woman.
“The ‘WAP’ video I was really, really excited to be a part of, just because I feel like we’re in a time in music where women — and Black women — are really on top, which is something I feel like we haven’t seen in a very, very long time. Where I come from, we were all about female empowerment. The fact that I could be a part of such a special moment embracing our sexuality, in which I definitely think there’s a double standard, [was exciting] to be a part of it.”
Check out more Normani x Teen Vogue quotes below.
“Vulnerability is talking about the fact that I do get anxiety sometimes, and just showing the consumer what that feels like for me. Just the fact that I am in a position that I’m in, but I don’t want to be so unattainable. I’m just the girl next door.”
On creating her upcoming new album:
“There’s so much expectation that I have for myself, so adding [fans’ expectations] onto that can be a lot, but it really does motivate me. I really want to create a body of work that’s going to count, you know? I’m never going to get my first album back.”
On being a positive example for other young Black women:
“Representation, like I always say, is key. To be a young woman that looks like myself, I just feel like [being a positive example] is a part of my legacy. It’s me wanting to create better opportunities for us, and also just for people who think that they got us figured out, [I want to show that] we are multifaceted and capable of much more than we get credit for, in the music industry and also in society. I feel like I have a duty.”
On seeing herself as a vessel for change:
“Honestly, for me, it’s bigger than the music. As much as I love what I do, I want to change lives and I want to reach as many people as I can. I feel like that’s the difference between doing something that you love and also having purpose. I want to tell our stories and, like I said, be a representation that Black girls can do anything…I feel like it’s my calling.”
Cover Crew Credits
Photographer: Micaiah Carter
Stylist: Zerina Akers
Hair: Ashanti Lation
Makeup: Grace Pae
Production: Hyperion LA
Story by: Tre’vell Anderson
For more, read the full Teen Vogue October cover feature with Normani HERE.