photo: Splash News

Singer Normani may be best known as being part of the girl group Fifth Harmony. The group is on an indefinite hiatus, but the girls have used that time to branch out into solo careers. Normani is notably the only black girl in the group, and in an interview with Billboard, she describes her experience with racism. She said, "'I work just as hard. I feel like I have to work 10 times harder just to prove to everybody that I also deserve to be here.”

Singer Normani sat down with Billboard.

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Singer Normani of girl group Fifth Harmony sat down with Billboard to discuss her music career. She has an upcoming solo album in the works and talked about how she signed to a new label to get her music out there. 

She talks about different inspirations she's had and the success she's experienced thus far. 

The song "Love Lies" with Khalid was a big hit when it was first released last year. It made it to number one on Billboard's Pop Songs radio airplay chart and it was the first time for both artists. She also opened for Ariana Grande on her Sweetener tour. 

Even with this success, Normani says she dealt with racism. 

"Even in the mainstream, there’s not many of us," she says. Especially when it comes to darker-skinned or "chocolate" girls, there isn't much representation. She references singer SZA as the only other dark-skinned mainstream female artist today.

She would even cry about it. 

Normani said she would "cry like I've never cried before." The article mentions the song "No Way," in which Normani is the only one in the group made to sing background vocals. The other girls had individual solo verses. 

It shook her confidence. 

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She said those kinds of experiences made her question herself and her abilities. It made her question whether the issue was her skin color or whether she wasn't talented enough to be noticed. 

Things got especially difficult for Normani after she mentioned Camila Cabello in an interview a couple years back. 

In 2016, fans of Camila Cabello lashed out at Normani for comments she made during a Facebook Live interview. Cabello's fans began to send her death threats, including racial slurs and pictures of lynchings, when she described Camila as "quirky." 

Normani responded to the hate by saying that she had been "racially cyber-bullied with tweets and pictures so horrific and racially charged that I can’t subject myself any longer to the hate”; she closed her Twitter account. 

She's keeping her head up.

She chooses to stay positive in her time with Billboard. She talks about having vegan ice cream for the first time with Grande, and how she loved working with her idol Pharrell Williams. 

She wants to be an inspiration to other black women. 

When forced to choose whether she's a Beyoncé or a Kelly Rowland, she chooses Rowland. “I see myself in Kelly,” she says in the interview. “She’s killing it for brown girls. She carries herself gracefully."

Normani has fans who stand by her.

This fan talks about the industry as a whole and how it's not kind toward black people. Colorism is like racism and plays a special part in the way darker-skinned women are treated. Normani mentioned "chocolate girls" not having much reputation in the industry. There are simply more Beyoncés, Nickis, and Rihannas out there than Normanis and SZAs. 

And this is a prime example of what Normani is talking about. This publication used a picture of singer Justine Skye, NOT Normani, when talking about the racism she experienced. 

This person brings up the fact that none of the other members of Fifth Harmony have spoken up about racism. It is quite possible that they all support one another in private, but not speaking out publicly could make it look as if they aren't on Normani's side. 

But she won't let that stop her. 

Normani won't let anyone stop her. She has aspirations of performing at the Grammys and traveling the world.  

And there's a lot of anticipation for her solo album. 

People are definitely excited to see what Normani brings to the solo charts. She has no official release date yet, but we already can't wait.