Fifth Harmony was created during the second season of X Factor USA in 2012. Despite falling short of first place, the modern-day girl group, starring Lauren, Normani, Ally, Dinah, and Camila, was able to ink a deal with L.A. Reid’s Epic Records after the show. Since they signed the dotted line, they have proven to be a formidable force by bulldozing their way through the pop world, thanks to radio-friendly singles like “Miss Movin’ On,” “Bo$$,” and “Sledgehammer.” Earlier this year, they released their first album, Reflection, which debuted at No. 5 on the charts, selling over 80,000 in its first week. Their newest single, “Worth It,” featuring Kid Ink, was certified platinum in the beginning of June, notching the group’s first Top 15 hit on Billboard.
We recently caught up with the girls to talk about their chemistry as a group, their favorite rappers, and how their current radio banger, “Worth It,” almost didn’t make the album. Get to know them below, and check out an extended interview on Slurpee's All Access Chill for more.
Who would you guys say are your favorite rappers out right now?
Lauren: For me, my favorite rapper is Drake. Drake is 100 percent No. 1 in my book. And then Childish Gambino and Kendrick Lamar. I love lyricists. The things that they say mean something. I love that sensitivity coupled with the thug thing—Chance the Rapper too.
Normani: For me it would be Kanye West, Drake, Kendrick Lamar, and recently it would be Meek Mill.
Ally: Definitely Drake. He’s amazing. I love how he can be so sensitive in one moment and then so hood the next. I love Kendrick Lamar and really appreciate that he wants to make a great impact on our generation. Childish Gambino is so sick. His flow—he’s just so smart and elegant.
Dinah: Tupac. I love his lyrics. Snoop Dogg is so smooth, he’s not as aggressive, his flow is clean. I would also say Fetty Wap—I don’t know if he classifies as a singer or a rapper. And Young Thug.
Camila: I’m going to say Drake and Kendrick Lamar as well. I haven’t actually listened to Kendrick’s second album yet, but I loved his first because it was like getting a picture of his little universe. I like how he included scenes where people were talking to bring the characters in his stories to life. I’m also going to say Nicki Minaj. It’s really cool that a woman can be surrounded by a bunch of gangster men and just go and kill it, and do it fearlessly, and be No. 1.
You must field a lot of stereotypical questions about how you deal with cattiness and conflict as a girl group. On the flip side, how has being in a group taught you to respect each other?
Lauren: We’ve just gotten to know each other on a really intimate level over the course of these three years that we’ve been together. We’ve been through so much. We’ve been through the highest points of our lives together and the lowest points of our lives together. Through that process you get to know the best of people and the worst of them, and I feel like respect is knowing both and being able to surpass the negative things. You have to recognize that they’re human beings and they’re going to have their negative things, just like you’re going to have your negative things. Learning to work together has taught us to do that. Also being role models for younger girls has helped us. We talk about it so much, how we love seeing when women amp each other up and help build each other up and not tear each other down. I feel like that mentality has helped us a lot and the respect that we have for each other.
Let’s talk about “Worth It.” It’s certified platinum and definite song of the summer material. When you guys were working on that song did you think it was going to pop?
Lauren: I honestly didn’t think it was going to make the album.
Dinah: It’s funny, because we walk into the studio—we were given this song—and it was basically Kid’s song. There were no females on the song. When Stargate gave us the song, we changed some of the lyrics and a bit of the concepts to make it fit our perspective. Then we went into the studio without thinking we were ever going to take it this far. We’re feeling very blessed with how it’s doing. They always say it’s the song you don’t expect that pops. That was definitely the one we weren’t expecting.
What can we expect from your upcoming tour? For somebody who doesn’t know anything about you—no idea what your music sounds like, no idea what you look like, or how you dress, or that you can dance—what’s the two-line pitch?
Normani: You can definitely expect a ton of dancing. Our choreographer Sean Bankhead is incredible. He’s so talented. He’s hyped up our performance value majorly. This tour is a huge step in that direction. There will be a few songs that people haven’t heard us perform yet.
Camila: If you want to go to a concert where you want to sit down—don’t come.
Dinah: Bring extra water because you are going to dance, and we’ve even see people faint.
Lauren: If you need a confidence boost, come. Lots of sass. If you’re going through a breakup, going through a tough time, had a bad day at school, come out, have fun, we’ll Nicki Minaj it up.
Anything else you want to share?
Ally: Watch out for my fire mixtape coming later this year. [Laughs.]
Camila: Shout out to all of our fans for loving us, and supporting us, requesting our songs on the radio. We love you, and we can’t wait to see you on tour.
Interview by Dana Droppo