“To have a record that I cared so deeply about with Khalid -- he’s one of my closest friends… We knew that the song felt good, but we didn’t necessarily know… you hope for the best, but you really don’t know. So it’s just really cool to see it soaring and spreading its wings and doing so amazing and connecting with so many people. It’s been awesome.”
Considering the song was released way back on Feb. 14 -- and didn’t make its Pop Songs chart debut until April -- what does it feel like for her to see the song build in popularity, and did she feel like new fans were getting to know her in the process?
“I honestly think that’s the special part,” Normani says. “I think that it’s really beautiful to see the growth… Because I feel it means people are discovering the song each and every day. People that didn’t necessarily even know who I was or who Khalid was… It’s just really cool to see our little baby win!”
Normani also gave Billboard an update on the status of her upcoming solo debut album.
“I've been in the studio for the last few months just really starting from the ground up,” she says. “I've been co-producing, I've been co-writing, I've been in with a lot of amazing songwriters and producers that I've been wanting to work with for such a long time now -- that are actually fans of mine, which is kinda crazy. … Sonically and creatively, I'm able to do absolutely anything that I wanna do now. It's like a kid in a candy shop. It's overwhelming sometimes, because there's like so much you can do but the options are limitless, so I'm excited.”
As previously reported, Normani has Missy Elliott on her list of planned collaborators for the project (she’s “definitely at the top of the list”). Normani is also hoping to work with Ryan Tedder, saying “we actually have something lined up very soon.”
Before the album comes out, Normani says she has “some records coming out very soon” that aren’t “necessarily part of my personal project, my album.” She also hints at a “really huge” collaboration with one of the “greatest vocalists of this time right now,” who is a man and is a “close friend.” Start your guessing engines!
Also on the Pop Shop Podcast, we’ve got news about Brockhampton’s debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, 5 Seconds of Summer hitting No. 1 on the Pop Songs chart with “Youngblood,” Kanye West’s eventful appearance on NBC’s Saturday Night Live, and why the Sept. 28 album release schedule was so packed with A-listers (Lil Wayne! Cher! Logic!).
The Billboard Pop Shop Podcast is your one-stop shop for all things pop on Billboard's weekly charts. You can always count on a lively discussion about the latest pop news, fun chart stats and stories, new music, and guest interviews with music stars and folks from the world of pop. Casual pop fans and chart junkies can hear Billboard's senior director of charts Keith Caulfield and deputy editor, digital Katie Atkinson every week on the podcast, which can be streamed on Billboard.com or downloaded in iTunes or your favorite podcast provider. (Click here to listen to the previous Tuesday’s edition of the show on Billboard.com.)
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