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    Back in 2012, four ladies who had never met before were partnered by Simon Cowell on X Factor, who saw a spark ignited for pop stardom. And thus, the bright comet that would become Fifth Harmony was born like a swirling nebula of budding talent. Ally Brooke, Normani Kordrei, Camilla Cabello,Lauren Jauregui and Dinah Jane Hansen have since evolved into growing queens of the pop/R&B world, steadily empowering with positive messages of feminism, strength and, above-all, radiating confidence. Before they arrive next week for their Reflection: The Summer Tour concert in The Louisville Palace, Ally and Normani graciously agreed to give Louisville.com a glimpse into how this rising success first started to soar.

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    Louisville.com: In addition to a celebration of girl power through sassy lyrics and a full-throttle dance party, what else can fans expect to see from your Reflection: The Summer Tour concert?

    Ally Brooke: To just go and have fun- it’ll be a good time and obviously [you’ll] see lots of dancing and everything. You see, it’s very diverse too, because it’s kind of like the album; it has different genres… and different levels of energy…

    Also, our opening acts are very diverse as well. You know, we’re going out with Debby Ryan + The Never Ending, Bea Miller, Common Kings, Natalie LaRose. It’s going to be great. It’s going to be a big party. And you know, you’ll see us interacting a lot with the fans as well.

    Lou.com: And how does it feel to have another X Factor alum on tour with you?

    Ally: It’s crazy- we love Bea! And of course, you know, we literally watched her on the show- and grew with her on the show, and it’s crazy to see how much she has evolved as an artist. She’s doing her own thing and killing it... She’s so young and to be so passionate like that? So confident. So talented. It’s quite amazing. So, it’s a really beautiful thing kind of how that all comes full circle, you know?

    Lou.com: Definitely. I was going to mention- major congratulations are in order for your single “Worth It,” which is exploding on the charts right now. I’ve seen interviews you all have done where you have mentioned it was actually Kid Ink’s song and you had input in gearing that towards a female perspective. Can you elaborate a little on that?

    Ally: Yeah, for sure. Well, I just remember hearing it in the studio and I loved the song. I thought it was so good and it got me pretty happy and dancing. It originally was kind of like a different song. It was Kid Ink’s song. The lyrics were different. We altered them a little bit and obviously put our own spin on it. Kind of changed the melodies a little bit… I really one day want to hear the original recording that we heard and compare it to the version that we have, because it would be really cool to see how different it is.

    Lou.com: Did you all go line-by-line, note-by-note to put the Fifth Harmony spin on it?

    Ally: Yeah, for sure. We each kind of went in the booth and kind of did different parts and we put our own spin on it, for sure. We always like to do that. We don’t like to keep it as we heard on the demo. We like to put our own input on it- our own flavor.

    Lou.com: You have evolved so much from the incredible potential you first showcased on X Factor. Part of that transformation, it’s safe to say, includes a great emphasis on choreography. At what point did you decide to prioritize movement into your performance?

    Ally: Oh my gosh. Well, definitely on “Boss,” to where… we decided basically that song was definitely new for us. It was a new style, a new attitude. And we needed to really bring it up as far as dancing. Of course, if you hear that song, how could you not want [that]? So we brought in Sean Bankhead, who is our choreographer. He is incredible!

    And it’s funny- we were in rehearsal yesterday and actually talking to him about this. We were like, “You are the reason why we are dancing and why have evolved in our shows so much. We have completely transformed, because of you.” So, yeah, kind of the whole change of music really influenced the change of the choreography kind of stepping up.

    Lou.com: And how did you first meet your choreographer, Sean Bankhead?

    Ally: That came through working with Christina Robertson. He was working with her too. And [to Normani] do you remember, we were working on “Boss” and the music video was coming up? …We got in a room with him and vibed. And do you remember, we were all blown away from the first time he performed the number for us through? We were like, “Oh my gosh, we’re going to do that! That’s awesome!”

    Lou.com: So you just clicked with him. He just understood the style you were seeking out for “Boss?”

    Normani: Yeah, definitely the beginning of “Boss” and kind of just the new image that we had kind of taken. Sean has taken us literally to the next level. He’s amazing and it’s great that we click with him on a work level. And then also, just personally, he’s the best person ever. We can talk to him outside of work, hang out with him outside of work, and go to him if we ever need like advice or anything. He’s really all-around just awesome.

    Lou.com: That probably also helps on the work level when you click so well professionally and personally.

    Normani: Exactly. That makes things so much easier.

    Appearing on The Today Show this morning of 07/10/15; In order of appearance from left to right: Lauren Jauregui, Normani Kordrei, Camilla Cabello, Ally Brooke, and Dinah Jane Hansen

    Lou.com: Along with “Boss,” it seems that in this stage with your evolution as artists in particular, themes of feminism, empowerment, and confidence really seem to shine. You’re revising gender roles with an audacious twist. How did you gravitate towards this identity?

    Ally: Well, we’ve always wanted to have that theme in our music, for sure. And this album, …we kind of talked… and we were like, “Hey, you know, we want that girl empowerment theme…” and we wanted to put that out there on this album. So we worked… with record producers to make that happen.

    Lou.com: So would you say “Boss” kind of kick-started everything? Or were you already searching for that and “Boss” just felt right?

    Normani: We were definitely looking for just musically something new and refreshing. Something a little more edgy and cool. And “Boss” kind of did kick-start that, because as you see, we did “Boss” and then also “Worth It” is a little more similar to it…. A bit different. Just because we have that dynamic on the album. But image-wise, I definitely think “Boss” was the beginning of it. And we kind of like the place that we’re at.

    Lou.com: Definitely. You all are really rising on the scene right now.

    Normani: Yeah, and it was nothing that was forced or anything at all. It’s kind of just what we’ve evolved into, because we are growing women, and we kind of just found our place where we are right now.

    Lou.com: Lyrically, musically, rhythmically, everything- it seems to be an organic transformation.

    Normani: Exactly, exactly.

    Lou.com: One of the most progressive and refreshing aspects of your group is the way you are redefining tired stereotypes of what it used to mean to be a pop star. You’re all minorities. You’re each paving your own paths. You each have rich heritages- ranging from Polynesian to Mexican to Cuban descent. What do your backgrounds mean to you in the context of all you have achieved?

    Normani: Well, thanks! That’s really nice. I think that it’s just an honor to be in the position that we’re in right now, because we are all from middle-class families- and they worked so hard to get us to the place where we are right now. Whether it be for paying for a performance, clothes for a performance, vocal lessons, or what have you.

    It’s just really awesome that we get to do what we love.  What we have always dreamed of doing. And we also get to represent those families that are middle-class- and let them know that they can do whatever they put their mind to. You don’t have to come from the most wealthy family or rich family just to do what you love.

    Lou.com: It must be great to have kids now who are growing up, and they see you as role models. And they think they can now achieve things that they never thought they could either.

    Ally: Yeah, it’s pretty insane. And you know, it’s exactly what we want. We want our fans to know that, hey, don’t [let anything] hold you back… To just go for your dreams and don’t be afraid [to go after] what you want.

    Lou.com: Speaking of dreams and inspiring fans, one of your songs is “Brave, Honest, Beautiful.” Would you say that songs like that have made you a bolder group? Or would you say that you’re now choosing these songs as a reflection of your surging confidence and who you’re evolving into as artists?

    Normani: I definitely think it’s the second one- what you just said. We follow authenticity, and for us, that… is literally our message to our fans. Since we’re all about girl empowerment. We talk about it constantly in interviews and also in songs- any chance we get. It’s really important to us to just encourage [our fans] and make them feel confident, and we do that in that song.

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    Both Ally and Normani lit up in conversation at the mention of Meghan Trainor-penned "Brave, Honest, Beautiful," a song that has the capacity to make even the shyest fan's inner pop star leap forward on life's stage. Next Wednesday, July 15th at 7:00 p.m., prepare to celebrate looking good (not for gawkers, but for yourself!) by rocking out to "Reflection;" sway to some throwback reggae-tinged Mariah Carey as you remember the rush of falling in love with "Like Mariah;" single out those who have done you wrong through sassy bonding with "We Know;" and revel in the massive hit "Worth It" with every fierce gyration of choreography. Witness the inspiring charisma- it's the perfect way to soak up summer. Because these ladies will make you remember why supporting one another and loving yourself is the coolest thing you can do. 

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    Tickets range $29.50 - $59.50. Service charges not included on ticket prices. Tickets subject to price increases day of show. Tickets may be purchased at www.LouisvillePalace.com, The Louisville Palace Box Office (625 South Fourth Street), all Ticketmaster locations or charge by phone at 1-800-745-3000. 

     

    Cover Photo: Courtesy of Epic Records/Ted Emmons; Logo, Third, and Fourth Photo: Courtesy of Fifth Harmony's Facebook page

    Julie Lamb's picture

    About Julie Lamb

    Curly-haired owner of one massive sweet tooth, believer of Harry Potter and Disney fairytales, and a fierce lover of all things literary and the arts.

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