Dinah Jane’s birthday is on June 22, which makes her a cancer who, in her words, is “so private but feels a lot.” And in her just-released, brand-new three-song bundle, the Fifth Harmony songstress definitely shows her emotional side — but this time, a lot less privately.
The new self-titled set of songs, which dropped early Friday (April 18), is Dinah’s first solo project on the heels of her 2018 “Bottled Up” collab with Ty Dolla $ign and Marc E. Bassy. Dinah Jane 1 touches on romantic missed connections in “Pass Me By,” listening to the same old, same old in “Heard It All Before,” and in the cathartic “Fix It,” she discusses an infinitely more difficult topic to open up about: family issues. With lyrics like “There’s no room for me in this home/ So I go do it myself because it’s all I know” and “I’m tired of fighting/ Will we ever find peace?,” the tune clearly delves into a realm that she’s kept inside all her life.
“I didn’t want to release it, but L.A. [Reid] told me, ‘This is the most personal song I’ve ever heard in my life. I think you should release it,’” she tells Billboard of her Hitco label boss. “And I thought, ‘You know what? It’s time I let people know what’s going on and what my truth is.’”
As for showing the song to her family, it was as nerve-racking as she expected. “I’m a very family person. I’ve lived with them all my life. My whole career has always been about helping them, and now that I’m branching off and releasing my own projects, I’ve been focusing more on myself and they’ve been so supportive,” she said. “After they heard ‘Fix It,’ it kind of hit a nerve and also opened up their eyes as well. They were like, ‘Sorry that I did this to you, sorry that you went through this, and sorry we put you through that while you were traveling the world.’ Speaking about this, a lot of people didn’t expect it.
“I’m so much of a closed book. I do not want anyone knowing what’s going on in my life,” she continued. “I’m very private and to myself, but I found out that expressing my story and what I’ve gone through is so much easier to come out through my music. It was very therapeutic, and in making these records, I found so much comfort and such relief. I feel so relieved just getting this all off my chest.”
But don’t expect a sob story on Dinah Jane 1. The tracks are wildly catchy and feel like old-school R&B with 2019 club-ready treatment. Furthermore, even the tough topics have an air of self-love and self-respect, something Dinah clearly recognizes is crucial in overcoming obstacles.
That same self-love and confidence were also key in pursuing her solo career. For the first time since Fifth Harmony was matched together as a group on The X Factor in 2012, Dinah is showing the world what it means to be authentically Dinah — even if it took a minute. “You can tell I’ve held onto this for a while, this style and direction. It’s definitely all me,” she explained. “It took a while for me to find that, because being in a group for seven years, you haven’t discovered much of yourself just yet. I was on the edge of my seat wondering what there is to discover. What’s out there for me? These songs are definitely my style and was so easy to fall into. I was like, ‘Wow, you were here all along! Here you are!’”
As for her fans, she’s ready for them to listen to her music and connect, “realize their truth and their worth and put themselves first.”
Listen to Dinah Jane 1 below.