More than her "Wild Side," Normani wanted to show her artistry and musical diversity with her new track — even if she was afraid to play it for her dad at first!
Speaking to Apple Music's Ebro Darden, Normani, 25, opened up about what she wanted to showcase to her fans with her new single and why she was nervous to play the sexually-tinged song for father Derrick Hamilton.
"I was so terrified to play this song for my dad… terrified… oh my goodness….avoiding it, he kept asking to hear the record because everyone else heard it but he didn't hear it," she said.
"And my dad is my biggest fan... he works nightshifts. He hustles for his family and so to get through the night sometimes he listens to all my records and he was dying to listen to this one and I was just like, 'Dad, um, I'll play it for you later.'"
Normani added that her mom Andrea Hamilton — who recently celebrated having her final set of radiation after battling breast cancer — played him the track.
"He was like 'That s— is hard,' he's like 'that s— is fire' and he told me all the time, every single day, I kid you not: he's like, 'Are you ready to take over the world? Are you ready to take over the world?'" she said. "He loves the song, he loves the record."
The singer explains that she always felt that "I never had room to make mistakes" because she has consistently been compared to top-notch artists.
"[It's] beautiful and I'm very honored by that, but at the same time, it's scary," she said. "But that is an extra pressure on me that I felt like I couldn't make any mistake that any new artist would be allowed to make, which is why I end up being a perfectionist and in a way, it robbed me from being able to enjoy the recording process of making my first album."
As for what she wanted people to take from the record, she said she wanted to show a completely different side to her artistry.
"It was very important for me to lead with this record, specifically because representation is key, and me coming from a multi-cultural group, a very mainstream pop group, I wanted my fans to see this other layer of me," she said, referring to her past in Fifth Harmony. "Not just artistically but like, this is who I am as a person. I'm a Black female who can do the pop s— but I can also be on a record with Cardi, and I could do features with 6LACK. I'm all of those things."
"I feel like people are so quick to put me in a box and create barriers but I've always been expressive of the fact that I want to be genre-less, I can do it all," she added.
Kevin Mazur/WireImage Normani
The track features none other than Cardi B, a collaboration that came while she was already preparing the music video.
"I said we have to make something happen, not even having this record in mind, but I knew I wanted to do something with her," she said. "In a matter of 30 minutes, [our stylist Colin] called back and said that she wants to be on 'Wild Side.'"
"She was such a trouper. Pregnant and all. She showed up to the music video shoot, she showed up to the artwork shoot, and she didn't complain one bit," Normani added about Cardi joining the track. "Like she is one of the most genuine spirits I ever had the pressure of meeting. And I wish the world could experience her the way that I have been fortunate enough to. She was very very encouraging throughout the whole process… just reminding me of who I am… and sometimes I lose sight of that."