For their huge legion of dedicated fans, Fifth Harmony will need no introduction. The girl group, formed during the second series of X Factor USA, have a devoted following who have supported the group from their beginnings on the show, right through their first EP Better Together, all the way up to the release of their first full length album, Reflection. It is this selfsame group of fans who catapulted all three of the album’s singles into Platinum territory, and ensured that Worth It, their collaboration with Kid Ink rose to 14th on the Billboard Hot 100.
Fifth Harmony are also well known for their philanthropic efforts. They have performed for patients and Children’s Hospitals, and formed an impressive partnership with the Girl Scouts of America. Aware of the struggles affecting their predominantly young audience, the band also were announced as ambassadors for the Cybersmile Foundation, an initiative designed to tackle cyberbullying head on.
We spoke to all five members of the group about Worth It, their fans, and the careers they would choose if they couldn’t be musicians…
Joseph Earp: How are you and where in the world does our interview find you today?
Normani Kordei: We’re in LA right now, just got back from Chicago and have a full week here this week.
JE: Your single Worth It and its accompanying music video has a distinct and really welcome feminist bent. How do you feel women are represented on the whole in the music industry today? Do you feel like gender stereotyping in music still exists?
Lauren Jauregui: Gender stereotyping 100% still exists. Look at any rap video, a woman’s role is still to look good, to look sexy next to a man. Women in the music industry are still asked more about their clothes than about what’s on their mind. I think that males face their own stereotyping and would love to see both genders represented in a more authentic and realistic way.
JE: The track mixes up a lot of influences: there’s hip hop, r n’ b and pop all in there. What attracts you to that mix of styles?
Ally Brooke Hernandez: We’re 5 girls with 5 unique styles and 5 different tastes in music. The mix in styles represents our individuality and we love that about this album.
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JE: What do you think Fifth Harmony brings to music that perhaps other girl groups lack?
Camila Cabello: We have so much respect for every female in this industry, everyone has their own uniqueness to them so I don’t think that there’s anything we have that someone else lacks but if there’s one thing that makes us special I would say it’s our diversity. We have the spectrum of ethnicities, sizes and personalities and somehow it just works as a group.
JE: Worth It features a Kid Ink spot. How did your collaboration with Kid Ink begin? How did you find working with him?
Dinah Jane Hansen: We were introduced by the producers Stargate and were ecstatic to have him on the track. He was the missing piece to it and are so thankful for this collaboration.
JE: Reflection has been described as your most mature work to date. How do you feel like you changed between writing your debut EP Better Together and when you began working on Reflection?
Lauren Jauregui: During Better Together I think we were still figuring out who we were as individuals and as a group and not that we fully have it all down now but we definitely have more stability and confidence in who we are and just know ourselves better. I think that really makes a difference in the music.
JE: You are well known for your philanthropy work. How did you become involved with charities like the Ryan Seacrest Foundation and the #ImABOSS campaign?
Ally Brooke Hernandez: The platform that we have now is nothing if we can’t use it to help others. We have been approached and have reached out to work with so many different organizations. We love to help out and support amazing organizations and campaigns like these and can’t wait to do more work in the future.
JE: What is the best reaction you’ve ever had when meeting a fan?
Normani Kordei: I don’t know if it would be considered a reaction but my favorite fan moment is when were in new york and a fan ran next to our van all the way to the airport. We were cheering him on the whole way!
JE: What is your favourite thing about being on tour?
Camila Cabello: My favorite thing about being on tour is getting to meet fans in so many different cities. Only on tour can we get to see and thank our fans face to face in a new city each night. We would love the opportunity to connect with each one.
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JE: Your band was born out of the X Factor. Do you feel like having that reality tv show background provided some unexpected challenges for you?
Camila Cabello: I think coming out of a reality show is difficult because you feel like you’ve proven yourself and then you get out of the show and have to prove yourself in a whole new way. It’s been challenging but I wouldn’t trade it for anything
JE: If you couldn’t be a musician, what would you choose as a career?
Ally Brooke Hernandez: I would be a pastry chef or baker!
Normani Kordei: I know this is weird but I would want to be a dentist. I think that teeth are so interesting :)
Lauren Jauregui: I would be in school studying and deciding what I want to do maybe psychology or something along those lines.
Dinah Jane Hansen: I would want to be a nurse. I really love taking care of people.
Camila Cabello: I would want to be a doctor because no day would be the same and you get to help people everyday.
Fifth Harmony’s debut album Reflection is out now