Dinah Jane Talks New Music, Finding Her Identity Outside Fifth Harmony & Having 'No Barriers' on 'Bottled Up'

Dinah Jane
Dennis Leupold

Dinah Jane

The singer chats about stepping into the solo spotlight with her single “Bottled Up” on the Pop Shop Podcast.

“It was kind of scary at first,” Fifth Harmony’s Dinah Jane says about releasing her new single “Bottled Up,” featuring Ty Dolla $ign and Marc E. Bassy. “I feel like people expect a lot from me. I feel like people always had an idea of who 'Dinah Jane' was, but being that this was my first [single] … I want you to get familiar with where I’ve come from.”

Where she’s come from is probably well-known to pop fans: The 21-year-old is a member of the chart-topping girl group Fifth Harmony. The act has landed nine hits on the Pop Songs airplay chart, including the No. 1 “Work From Home,” also featuring Ty, while scoring four top 10-charting albums on the Billboard 200 chart. The group is currently on hiatus while the members pursue solo endeavors. In September, Dinah Jane dropped “Bottled Up,” her first single as a solo lead artist. (Her one earlier track outside of Fifth Harmony, 2017’s “Boom Boom,” was a co-billed effort with RedOne, Daddy Yankee and French Montana.)

For “Bottled Up,” she tells Billboard's Pop Shop Podcast that the track is “really special” to her and “really personal.” “I know so many friends and family that are really close and so dear to me that have trouble expressing how they feel, so they turn to these substances to actually get their emotions out,” she says.

When she was working on the track with Bassy, she remembers being “afraid and very timid,” but she says he told her: “'No, no, no. Get your hands on this record because it’s something special. It has to come from you, of what you feel and what you see.'” The track, which was originally a ballad, got sped up, and Dinah Jane says she didn’t “let fear get in the way of the subject or let people think this is far off from who I am.”

“I just wanted to step into me being a woman as well. Not being afraid to talk about things that actually are real. There [were] no barriers when I wrote this one with him.”

How has she felt about stepping into the solo spotlight on her own? Was it scary, or was she like, "I’m ready, let’s go!"

“I wish that was the attitude in the beginning -- ‘oh yeah, I’m ready!’ -- but it wasn’t. Just ‘cause I was so used to my girls, their company, we always went everywhere together.” Now, Dinah Jane says she can write songs that are “me.” Tracks that are “very personal” where she says doesn’t “have to think about other people’s opinions and let that interfere with what I’m feeling. And I’m sure [the rest of Fifth Harmony] all feel the same way.”

Dinah Jane says she’s working on “a lot of other music,” and has written about 60 tracks already. There is a plan to release further music, but she is mum on specific details on future releases (though she says the music could be described as “urban R&B … meets '90s to 2000s”).

Also in the show, Dinah Jane relates an amazing story about why she’d love to do a record with Carrie Underwood (it involves Dinah losing a tooth, American Idol and Dinah’s grandmother’s elbow) and just how nervous Dinah was before she sang “Bottled Up” on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (the story starts with Dinah Jane asking the Pop Shop: “Do I have to keep this PG?”).

Also on the podcast, Keith and Katie discuss all things Ariana Grande (who was just announced as Billboard’s Woman of the Year!), Andrea Bocelli’s first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200, news of the Spice Girls reunion tour, and Meat Loaf’s chart-topping hit song “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That).”

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 Apple Podcasts or your favorite podcast provider. (Click here to listen to the previous edition of the show on Billboard.com.)