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Normani Dazzles for Dazed, Dishes on ‘Dopamine’ Delay & Confidence to “Talk My Sh*t”


Normani is ready for her close up and she’s seizing the moment.

Next Friday, June 14, brings with it the long (long!) awaited release of the singer’s debut album Dopamine.’

And while fans have been salivating for the set since the 28-year-old set sail on her solo journey in 2019, Normani appears all sorts of content with the qualitative time taken to cook up the LP – which is home to singles ‘1:59’ and ‘Candy Paint.’

Dazzling on the cover Dazed magazine’s latest issue, the stage blazer paired the spread with an insightful interview. One in which she opens up about her journey to ‘Dopamine,’ what fans can expect, navigating both of her parents being diagnosed with cancer, and much more.

Pics and quotes after the jump….

On Her Time in Fifth Harmony:

“I was the only Black girl, the only one that looked like me, which was a totally different experience from the other girls – and that’s not to take away from their experience, because I know what we went through collectively. We really did do the best with what was given to us under very unrealistic circumstances, but being the only Black girl in a very successful mainstream pop girl group, I definitely felt like a token. I don’t know if I was able to articulate that at the time.”

On Why She Wasn’t Wowed With Debut Solo Single ‘Motivation’:

“I didn’t like that song, I’m gonna be honest. It just felt really easy – it felt like the right thing to do, but it didn’t necessarily feel authentic. We knew that it would work, but even with me having that knowledge, I was still like, it’s just as important for me to feel represented. I legit was like, ‘OK, I guess if y’all are happy…’”

On Finding Herself Artistically:

“Coming out of the group, I didn’t necessarily know who or what Normani even sounded like. I needed some time to have life experiences, challenge myself in the studio and not be afraid. [It] probably looks a little crazy” [to roll out your album over a six-year period, but she doesn’t let the outside noise bother her]

I know what it’s like to put out music that I don’t necessarily believe in. It hurts when I don’t feel like I’m able to be fully represented or when I have to stand behind something I don’t believe in, and I did that for so long. So I made an oath to myself that, when I got the opportunity, I was gonna do things my way, and be unapologetic about that.”

On Gaining Confidence:

“I feel like I’ve been humble, you know? I’m known to be kind of meek – I keep to myself. I remember going to the studio with [co-writer] Starrah and [Dopamine executive producer] Tommy Brown and I was just like, ‘I want to talk my sh*t.’ It wasn’t easy, but I don’t think that, sonically, I would have ended up in the place I’m in now if I had put a project out a lot sooner.”

On Being Inspired By Beyonce:

“This country album for Beyoncé is so important. People can say what they want to but, like, why look at a Black artist and be quick to label? That’s what I set out to do as well – like, there’s so much power in me. In the group, I didn’t recognise it – but now that I’m out of it, I recognise that it was my superpower, me in my Blackness.”

On Her Parents Being Diagnosed with Cancer:

“It was hard feeling misunderstood because of the lack of knowledge people had for my circumstances in real-time.I don’t even know if I had the energy to explain – my emotional, spiritual and mental endurance was really tested. When my parents got sick, I didn’t have the mental capacity to even try to be creative, but I pushed myself anyway. If it weren’t for them, I probably wouldn’t have, but I know it’s what got them through such a tough time – they needed to see me persevere and push through and continue to move forward.”

On the Triumph of ‘Dopamine’:

“I feel like it embodies everything I wanted to say – it feels dominant, strong, assertive – but on the flipside, there are so many layers to what dopamine is. You get the highs, the lows, the thrill of it all. And it’s a little toxic, too.

I’ve grown so much in my tastes, the things that I like are very different than the things I liked before, but I think it’s a perfect hybrid of past and present.”

[Photo Credit: Dazed / Mikael Jansson]



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