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Normani Talks Letting Go Of The Need To Be Perfect & The Heartbreak Behind "Fair"

Normani is done with striving for perfection and is finding the freedom in letting go.

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Normani has been in the music industry since she was a teenager as a part of the girl group Fifth Harmony. But since their split, the 25-year-old singer has been working hard to prove that she can make it as a solo act.

She released “Motivation” in 2019 with a memorable video that paid tribute to her favorite artists growing up and in that same year she teamed up with Sam Smith for “Dancing with a Stranger.” In 2021, she released the head-bobbing slow jam “Wild Side” featuring Cardi B and shut down the 2021 VMA’s with an incredible performance.

Normani has received a lot of support from people who want to see her win but she is also faced with doubters who question her authenticity as she seems to be projecting an image and not her real self. However, that narrative is changing thanks to her new song “Fair.” Since its debut, “Fair” has earned a lot of praise from fans and artists alike such as her former collaborator Cardi B.

The song shows Normani’s vulnerable side and it gives fans a peek into the real person behind the artist. The multi-hyphenate sat down with Zane Lowe for Apple Music Radio and they discussed a variety of things such as the story behind “Fair,” letting go of perfection, and her new album being “the best music I’ve made thus far.”

On Being Vulnerable with “Fair”

“This record is another layer of who I am and my experiences and I feel like, I grew up in the public eye so you know it’s been very, very scary and very complicated. A sense of forcing myself into this idea of perfection to protect myself but this is the first time that I’m just free-falling in a sense and it’s scary. This is me being vulnerable and really captures a true and raw point in my experience that I wanted to share.”

On Making “Fair” While She was Experiencing Heartache

“What makes it so special, like I was saying, it captured me in the moment as I was experiencing in real-time. Like I was going through it emotionally. That day I wasn't sure if I could even really pick myself up to go to the studio. But ended up, and this was the result.”

She added, “And it’s therapy for me as much as it is for everyone else it’s for me. Putting this record out I didn’t know it was gonna be for me too.”

On Learning How to Let Go and be Herself

“Being 15 years old and not being able to be a traditional 15-year-old, teenagers make mistakes without getting reprimanded. I really think it took a toll on me in a large way. I guess having that experience so early and I think that I look up and I’m like, ‘damn you’re not even freeing yourself to just be.’ You have such a tight grip and not because I want to, but because I’ve always had to, which is a disservice to me and [my fans.]”

On the Need to Feel Validated

“I had to check myself. I think it was me and James Blake, we were having a conversation. We were just talking about just validation. I’ve never been one to need [applause] but you get used to it and when you don’t it’s like okay, maybe this isn’t—it doesn't feel as important.”

On Wanting to Be More Present

“I’m practicing gratitude too. Because it’s so easy to say and look at what everybody else is doing and what you’re not and then you’re constantly chasing after the next thing and the next thing and the next thing. With 'Motivation' I totally missed it. With 'Wild Side' I promised myself that I wouldn’t and I promised to be so, so present.”

On No Longer Being Hard on Herself

“I’m giving myself grace and I’m allowing myself to go through the process but also have room to grow. I’m sometimes like I wanna do everything, everything has to be—all the time, now, but I’ve never experienced what it was like to be a new artist for me.”

Normani: “Fair,” Moving On After Heartbreak, and Ghosting Zane’s Text | Apple Music

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