The 25-year-old singer starred in the music video for “WAP,” Cardi and Megan Thee Stallion’s Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 smash from last summer, but Normani remembers a different time, when critics were “slut shaming” her and the rest of her Fifth Harmony bandmates for their 2016 “Work From Home” video. She gave props to female artists including the City Girls and Cardi who have helped pave the way for her to feel more “sexually liberated and fulfilled and not be called a whore or a slut” in her music.
“When the ‘WAP’ video came out, I’m, [sings] ‘Yeeeahhhh!'” she rejoiced.
By the time she dropped her debut solo single “Motivation” on Aug. 16, 2019, almost one year to the date before the release of “WAP,” Normani revealed her debut album was in the works. She added that she’s looking for one more song to complete the 14-track project before she puts it out into the world, but admitted her strategy in the studio requires a lot of experimentation, which also requires a lot of time.
“I needed time to play, I needed time to experiment,” she said. “I’m a blessing to work with, but I know that I’m also hard because I have a vision, and I’m always willing in the studio to go the extra mile.”
“Wild Side” was finished around six months ago, during quarantine, Normani noted, but Cardi got involved much, much later — and actually “manifested” it through Twitter back in March. When the “Up” rapper posted a behind-the-scenes video of Normani dancing during the “WAP” shoot last August, Cardi hinted that she knew about the singer’s project and couldn’t wait for her fans to finally hear it. But when she heard a 15-second snippet of “Wild Side” on the “Motivation” singer’s social media this spring, Cardi knew which track on the project she wanted to hop on. Normani believes it was God’s plan to put Cardi on a song that was originally meant to be a solo.
“I knew I wanted to do something with her, but I was already in rehearsal for three weeks for the music video. We had already been in rehearsal, and I called her stylist because he’s also my stylist, and I was like, ‘Yo, like, we gotta figure something out. Like this link-up has to happen. There’s no other way. It just has to happen, there’s no option,'” she recalled. “And he was like, ‘Actually, she mentioned “Wild Side.” She was like, “Is it that ‘Wild Side’ song? Is it the ‘Wild Side’ song?”‘ Because I had posted the clip like two months ago. And I remember she tweeted my mom and she was like, ‘Momma Normani! When is ‘We can’t just keep talkin’ about it’ coming out?’ I feel like she manifested it, to be honest.”
Watch her new interview on the Zach Sang Show below.