Normani‘s music video for her song “Motivation” was met with rave reviews, but the pop star behind the music was wracked with anxiety. The former Fifth Harmony singer drove herself to tears over making the video just right. Eventually, a member of Destiny’s Child had to step in to assure Normani that the project wasn’t worth crying over.
It’s not unusual for singers to work through several versions of their music videos to achieve their vision. Normani, however, went through about 50 versions according to her recent interview with Rolling Stone. The “Love Lies” singer kept making additional tweaks to the video, admitting to the outlet, “I obsess over things like that.” Even Normani’s father, Derrick Hamilton, noticed his daughter’s distress. “She was really in tears at one point,” he recalled.
Before she could go any deeper down the rabbit hole, Normani turned to a woman who is something like a mentor for the young pop star, Kelly Rowland. She’d met Rowland when the Destiny’s Child member served as a judge on The X-Factor the year after Normani and her group had competed on the show. Rowland was able to talk her down, Normani explained. “She was like, ‘You bugging just a little bit.'”
Past experiences spiked Normani’s anxiety
Traumatic experiences in the earlier half of Normani’s career have directly impacted her perfectionism. She was the target of racist online bullying after fans of fellow Fifth Harmony member Camila Cabello thought Normani had dissed Cabello by calling her “quirky.” Hamilton admits that the incident, in which Normani was sent death threats and photoshopped to look like a lynching victim, still resonates with his daughter. “She’s still scarred from that,” he told the outlet. It’s no wonder that Normani fears making one slight misstep as an artist, especially when she knows just how vile the abuse can get if she does.
As a member of Fifth Harmony, Normani had to deal with the indignities of being in a girl group, where she was often labeled simply as a dancer. She began questioning her involvement in the group when she realized her vocals had been entirely cut out of a song. “I was devastated,” she confessed. “So many things start to go through your mind, like, ‘Maybe this is my fault? What could I have done differently? Am I not working hard enough? Am I not as talented? What’s wrong with my voice?'” The short answer was no. It’s hard to stand out in a group, especially when the point of the group is for everyone to blend in. Instead of fitting in, Normani decided to bust out of the mold and take her own direction as an artist. Clearly, it’s working for her.