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Normani knows Houston is home.

The singer can rattle off her love of Turkey Leg Hut, Shipley Do-Nuts and chart how having to leave New Orleans as a child due to Hurricane Katrina turned out to be one of the best decisions for her life.

“I said, isn’t Beyoncé from Houston?” Normani told her parents. “It was a big decision at the age of 9, but it changed my life. I love my home, both of my homes.”

The 25-year-old has become more open and vulnerable about her career in recent years. After her exit from Fifth Harmony, she struck out on her own, releasing singles such as “Love Lies” with fellow Texan Khalid in 2018 as well as “Waves” with 6lack and “Motivation” in 2019. However, her sultry new anthem “Wild Side” featuring Cardi B has given fans more ammo to hope for a full-fledged project and its eye-catching visual more reason to believe she’s one of the next “it” girls in music.

“I wanted to push myself,” she said of “Wild Side.” “I wanted to bend myself, stretch myself and not only show to the rest of the world what I’m capable of but show myself, ‘You still got it.’ Cause I haven’t danced in a year. We were in a pandemic and I couldn’t take an online dance class, but I missed dancing. I hadn’t danced like that in a minute.”

While the project doesn’t have a release date, Normani shared with Good Morning H-Town’s J Mac her complete involvement in its creation and how fans will see “the best of her” and her ways of shedding the need to be a perfectionist and being comfortable with being vulnerable.

“My mom, she was diagnosed with breast cancer last year,” she revealed. “Me even talking about it in an interview, that’s my … that’s the deepest parts of me. I remember we had a conversation in my guest room and something felt different. We’re best friends and she’s really adamant about going on walks together and spending time together and she was very adamant. And I knew something was wrong. I could see the fear in her eyes and she just broke down. Like I knew, we knew. But to get validation and confirmation we would be going through this a second time around as a family? There’s no other place I’d rather be than home.”

She continued, “During her chemo and radiation, I felt really guilty. Like what the f*ck am I doing? Yes, this is important but my mom is fighting for her life. It was a lot to think about as a family. But I wasn’t missing her surgery. It wasn’t a simple surgery because they found something else. But my mom is the strongest person I really know and having her as a mother, as a strong Black woman, has always been a dream. I couldn’t ask for a better mom.”

Watch the full interview with J Mac up top where Normani dished on her love life with her boyfriend, dream collaborations and more! Subscribe to 979 The Box on YouTube.

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