“Last year, we all learned a lesson about mental health and making sure you step away from something. It just makes this stronger,” says Jauregui. “Fifth Harmony is the home base,” offers Kordei, “where we always come back.” “Yasss,” says Hernandez.
Of course, when your break from work is more work, there isn’t much room for, like, life. They all describe their days as a “blur,” and Hansen says she doesn’t know “what vacation means.” For those who keep asking: No, Kordei still hasn’t had a chance to go on that date with DWTS’ Bonner Bolton. And in a quiet moment in the kitchen, Hernandez confesses that there’s nothing she wants more than to get married. But the women don’t even have homes apart from their families -- the houses would sit empty.
It was only 14 months ago, in the middle of my interview with the group for its first Billboard cover, that the same four sitting here broke down in tears detailing the extent of their fatigue and stress. “Jesus Christ, dark times,” recalls Jauregui, and they didn’t let up. The same day Cabello’s exit was announced, there was a leak of what seemed to be a recording of Jauregui telling Hernandez the band was treated like “literal slaves.” “I don’t know where that came from,” says Jauregui, “but that’s what the game does to you sometimes: runs you dry.” But it was a bit more than that.
“We were little girls coming off of a TV show and had a team of people trying to sculpt us into something we weren’t,” says Hansen. “They took advantage, like, ‘Get in there and record this, you thing,’?” says Jauregui.
“If you’re told you can’t do something when there’s a creative desire to do it, that’s depressing,” says Geri Horner -- nee Halliwell, aka Ginger Spice -- who just released her first single in 12 years. “Spice Girls always wrote our own stuff, but I can relate to that.”