Is Fifth Harmony cursed? Or maybe it’s like that romantic comedy Good Luck Chuck, where every woman who dates Dane Cook finds her soulmate and gets married right after she dates him. In this instance, Dane Cook would be Fifth Harmony and Jessica Alba would be Camila Cabello, Lauren Jauregi and now Normani, who have all found solo success after leaving the girl group.
Normani’s latest success is her new single with Sam Smith, “Dancing With a Stranger,” a sexy, rumbling track about finding someone new after a breakup that Smith says was inspired by his time on the road.
“It bottles everything I was feeling whilst juggling my personal life and touring,” he said, according to Billboard.”It is also such a beautiful moment for me as I’m a huge, huge fan of Normani and everything she is. I’m so excited to watch her light shine.” The song is also likely inspired by Smith’s breakup with 13 Reasons Why star Brandon Flynn, as Smith told The Times last fall that he’s "still trying to figure out what I took from that relationship and what it meant to me. It's still quite raw."
Listening to the lyrics (“Look what you made me do, I’m with somebody new”) it’s hard not to hear them also as Normani speaking to her former bandmates. The singer recently told Billboard that as the only black member of the group, there was an inherent distance between her and the rest of the girls. “I can give them credit for trying to be there for me, but at the same time... The girls don't experience things the way I did," she said.
She was also the member most targeted by trolls online. "You think, 'Why am I the least followed in the group?' Even if you don't recognize that you're paying close attention to it, it takes a toll on your confidence,” she told Billboard. “You worry — is it me? Is it because I'm black? Or am I just not talented?"
Now that Normani has gone solo, it’s clear that talent wasn’t the issue. Her sultry voice is the perfect counterpoint to Smith’s own deep tone on “Dancing With a Stranger” as they sing about lovers old and new. “I don’t want to be alone tonight/It’s pretty clear that I’m not over you/I’m still thinking ‘bout the things you do/So I don’t want to be alone tonight,” Smith sings. “Can you light the fire/I need somebody who can take control/I know exactly what I need to do/Cos I don’t want to be alone tonight.”
Listen to “Dancing With a Stranger” below.