In the midst of rumors swirling around whether or not there will be a Fifth Harmony breakup, Normani Kordei has released a solo track and joined in the footsteps of Lauren Jauregui and ex-bandmate Camila Cabello.
Kordei was a founding member of the all-girl group Fifth Harmony in 2012 on The X Factor along with Jauregui, Cabello, Ally Brooke Hernandez, and Dinah Jane Hansen. Camila’s announced departure from the band this weekend raised questions about whether or not Fifth Harmony will break up in the near future, and recently released solo tracks from Normani and Lauren have also added fuel to the fire.
On December 16, Normani released a mashup cover of Drake’s “Fake Love” and “Sneakin'” on her personal YouTube page, an account she has used since before her days in Fifth Harmony.
Kordei’s cover track uses minimal production to place more of the focus on her vocals, and she provides some of the background vocals as well. While Fifth Harmony’s songs usually emphasize percussion and a powerhouse chorus, Normani’s cover is more stripped down.
Kordei has also previously placed another cover on her YouTube page: “Say It” by Tory Lanez.
On December 8, Normani’s fellow member of Fifth Harmony Lauren Jauregui also released new music in a more official capacity. Lauren reached out to The Fader to premiere “Back to Me,” a collaboration with duo Marian Hill. The track features vocals from Lauren and Marian Hill’s vocalist Samantha Gongol.
The track is woozy and minimalist, with a hypnotic background beat and a chanted chorus.
Lauren emailed The Fader to discuss her first solo track outside of Fifth Harmony, gushing about working with Marian Hill.
“Being able to form a genuine connection with them and then write together on this track was such an honor. I’m happy to be able to give people a snippet of my vibe for the first time in collaboration with them. I’m very proud of this track so I hope everyone enjoys it.”
Jauregui’s comments indicate that her work with Fifth Harmony may not necessarily be where her musical tastes lie. Lauren wrote that the release of the track marked the “first time” her “vibe” was reaching audiences, implying that Fifth Harmony is not as compliant with her personal style. If Lauren continues to release solo music, it is likely that her new songs will sound more like “Back to Me” and less like bombastic, production-heavy Fifth Harmony tracks “That’s My Girl” or “Worth It.”
A discussion of Fifth Harmony solo projects is incomplete without mentioning ex-member Camila Cabello and her two recent team-ups with other musicians. In November of 2015, while still a member of Fifth Harmony, Camila partnered with pop singer-songwriter Shawn Mendes to release “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” a pop duet.
The track by Cabello and Mendes is a catchy meditation on infidelity full of guitar riffs and breathy vocalizations. The track peaked at No. 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 and spent twenty weeks on the chart. While performing with Fifth Harmony on last year’s Jingle Ball tour, Camila also performed the track a few times with Shawn.
More recently, last month Cabello released “Bad Things,” a collaboration with rapper Machine Gun Kelly. The track, which currently sits at No. 14 on the Billboard Hot 100, peaked at No. 10. The song features rap verses by Machine Gun Kelly and a chorus of Camila singing a reworking of the song “Out of My Head” by Fastball.
Camila and Machine Gun Kelly have so far performed the track on this year’s Jingle Ball tour as well as on Jimmy Fallon’s The Tonight Show and James Corden’s Late Late Show, according to Headline Planet.
While Camila, Lauren, and Normani are the only members of Fifth Harmony to have released music, we could be seeing tracks from Dinah Jane Hansen and Ally Brooke Hernandez, too.
In June of this year, MTV reported that Dinah Jane was spotted in the studio without her bandmates, making sure to emphasize that solo projects do not necessarily imply a Fifth Harmony breakup. Unreality TV also reported on the potential of Ally Brooke releasing some solo music outside of Fifth Harmony. When a fan tweeted that Ally should release solo music, Brooke responded asking them to have “patience,” implying a track or two may already be in the works.
Of the five (now four) members of Fifth Harmony, which has had the best new solo project?
Leave a comment below about whether your favorite Fifth Harmony solo project is by Lauren Jauregui, Camila Cabello, or Normani Kordei.
[Featured Image by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for iHeart]