Girl Power: Inside Look on Fifth Harmony

The members of Fifth Harmony sit for an interview before their concert at the Stanislaus County Fair in Turlock.
The members of Fifth Harmony sit for an interview before their concert at the Stanislaus County Fair in Turlock. Teens in the Newsroom program

On July 16, hundreds of kids and teenagers showed their dedication and determination at the Stanislaus County Fair. In the hundred-degree heat of summer, young people stood in lines for hours, and some had even camped out since the early hours of the morning. But why would anyone, let alone teenagers, want to wake up early on a summer day to wait in the heat? Because popular girl group Fifth Harmony was performing and, of course, it was important to snag the best seats for the concert.

Fifth Harmony, consisting of members Ally Brooke Hernandez, Lauren Jauregui, Normani Hamilton, Dinah Jane Hansen and Camila Cabello, is an American singing group formed on the second season of “The X Factor,” in which they placed third. Since then, the popularity of the group has taken off and it has become one of the biggest girl bands in the world.

In fact, a week before its county fair show, Fifth Harmony performed its music, including the latest single, “BO$$,” on the “Today” show. The band has opened for renowned musicians and pop stars Little Mix, Demi Lovato, Austin Mahone and Cher Llyod.

Starting in the wee hours of the morning, fans began lining up to claim premium seats for the 8:30 p.m. show. “We’ve been waiting since 10 this morning to get seats!” chimed a group of girls including Ellie Colville, Mackenzie Campbell, Abby Haggstrom, Maya Luis and Lauren Edh. “We’ve loved Fifth Harmony since the ‘X-Factor’ days,” one of the group said, “and we are so excited to see them perform right before us.”

When asked about what makes Fifth Harmony unique from other bands in the world, another fan, Mackenzie O’Dell, said, “Their confidence. The girls are all about living life on their own terms. Fifth Harmony is completely dedicated to the idea of female empowerment and they are not afraid to show it to the world.”

Fifth Harmony took time for an interview before the show. The band is so welcoming, entertaining and, most important, down to earth. The singers are expressive, passionate, and fun loving.

Your band has become this icon for girls my age, younger, and older. So many girls are inspired by your work ethic, fashion, attitude and, most important, music. What are your thoughts on being considered a girl movement and advocates of girl power?

Fifth Harmony: We’re really all about encouraging one another and we’ve often discussed with each other how girls nowadays bring each other down. It’s really sad to see because we all should be coming together to lift one another rather than discourage or bully. We’re really grateful for this platform because it allows us to promote girls uniting to make the world a better place.

I am sure you have received this question countless times, but I will ask again. If you had not auditioned for “The X-Factor” that day, what would you be doing today?

Camila Cabello: It’s summer right now, so on a typical summer day, I would be in my pajamas on the Internet, eating cereal.

Dinah Hansen: I think Camila nailed it! I would be doing the same!

Lauren Jauregi: Life wise, I would be a senior in high school right now, so I would be preparing myself for college!

Normani Hamilton: I would also be a senior in high school, so college would be soon. I would probably be at the dance studio practicing for competition season.

Ally Brooke Hernandez: There are so many different routes I could’ve taken careerwise! I would either go to culinary school, because I love baking, major in music at college, or work at my church!

When you’re on tour, you are spending a lot of time together. What is a thread that connects you together? What is something that you can always bond over, besides your music?

Fifth Harmony: We don’t connect! Just kidding. But our morals and values that we have instilled in us from our families connects us together. We always believe in ourselves!

What was the inspiration behind your latest hit single, “BO$$”?

Fifth Harmony: It’s a fun song, so it’s not supposed to be taken seriously or of literal merit, but it’s a fun way of expressing girl power and that we don’t need male opinion to influence anything that we do. We as girls stand out by our own standards. Like the chorus of our song, Michelle Obama is a great role model for that because she holds her own even though her husband is president. She is an advocate for so many amazing topics. The lyric “purse getting heavy making Oprah dollars” from “BO$$” basically states that Oprah earned her money by doing the things she loved, pursuing her dreams and working hard. The song is a fun way of conveying that message without preaching “we love women” blatantly.

The music video for “BO$$” has received millions of views on YouTube. Are you happy with the way the video came out? What theme were you shooting for with the video?

Fifth Harmony: Being able to experience all the different scenes and setups and bringing them to life was so incredible! The production team was amazing, from the dancers to the guys, who made it seem like we were not working at all!

When will the new album be released?

Fifth Harmony: You can be expecting our new album this fall!

Where do you see yourselves in 10 years?

Fifth Harmony: For us as a band, hopefully at least winning a Grammy and/or a world tour! In 10 years, we will be 26, 27, or 31! Maybe babies? By 10 years, we hope we are not alone and single!

What message would you like to deliver to girls of this generation and younger? What would you like people to gain from your music?

Fifth Harmony: We want girls to strive to be confident, fearless, and to love themselves, even though sometimes even we struggle with that. Especially online, there is so much cyberbullying that it brings us to tears. Girls too often compare themselves with each other, instead of coming together. Finding beauty in imperfection helps unite those that may have similar issues to relate to. Overall, just have a good time and enjoy life! It’s too short.

Quick, now

After the serious interview, we played a game of “hot seat,” in which I asked the girls some fun questions they had to respond to quickly!

One direction or Five Seconds of Summer?

Dinah: 5 Seconds of Summer

Lauren: 5 Seconds of Summer … oh, wait, One Direction!

Normani: One Direction

Ally: One Direction of Summer!

Camila: One Direction of Summer!

If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would you eat?

Dinah: Hot Cheetos

Lauren: Sushi

Normani: Buffalo wings

Ally: Tacos

Camila: French fries

Which Disney prince would you want to have your fairy-tale ending with?

Lauren: Can I have 3? Eric, Aladdin and the Beast! Also, Captain Li Shang from “Mulan!” Tarzan is pretty hot!

Dinah: I’d also say Eric!

Normani: Prince Naveen and Prince Charming! Oooh, Tarzan is fiiine!

Camila: Aladdin!

Ally: Prince Eric or the Beast!

Worst part of fame?

Dinah: I would say, not being able to eat as much as I want!

Lauren: People forming an opinion about us when they have no idea who we are.

Normani: Wearing makeup every day! It affects our skin and we’ve been breaking out more. Before “X-Factor,” we didn’t wear makeup!

Ally: Having what we say or do magnified. Also, not having some time for privacy.

Camila: Being away from family and not having time to spend with loved ones.

If you could go on a shopping spree with an unlimited budget, which store would you go to first?

Lauren: Wasteland or Urban Outfitters!

Normani: Guess or Zara

Camila: Victoria’s Secret

Ally: Gucci

Dinah: Juicy Couture

What is a rumor you would like to spread about yourselves around the world?

Ally: That I once saved 10 lives in one day! It’s not true, but that’s what rumors are!

Normani: A rumor that I slept over at Beyoncé and Jay Z’s house. Not in that way!

Dinah: That I was able to take care of an orphanage

Camila: Being the funniest person in the world, because that could happen.

Lauren: That I could hypnotize people with my eyes!

Describe your Harmonizers in 3 words.

Fifth Harmony: Energetic, loyal and passionate!