Normani’s mother, who is battling breast cancer, motivated the singer to release “Wild Side” into the world.
Normani got personal in a recent interview with Los Angeles’ Power 106, in which she talked about all things “Wild Side,” embracing her sexuality, feeling lucky to get to know Cardi B and admitting that delving into the new music “really saved” her while her mom was going through chemotherapy and radiation.
“This past year, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer,” Normani said in the interview with host Bryhana. “For me, this work that I was able to put out into the world, like, this really saved me, to be completely honest. Even just being on FaceTime with her as she’s going through her chemo and her radiation, and just wanting me to update her on how this video is going, and how the music is coming, it really got her through that. It got my family through the darkest time of our lives.”
She continued, “This was the second time that she had to go through cancer. The first time I was four. So for it to happen all over again, in such a pivotal and heightened moment for my career… there’s so many moments I was like, ‘I need to be at home’ and I felt guilty for not being able to be physically there with her.”
But her mother pushed her forward, she says.
“I literally remember being in the doctor’s office with her,” recalled Normani, who tweeted about her mom’s diagnosis last fall. “Right after she had her surgery. This was in October. She’s like, ‘Baby, I’m gonna be fine. What I need you to do is focus. I need you to be Normani. I need you to be the best version of yourself. I need you to continue to work hard. We gotta get this music out. We have the world to impact.’ She was just like, ‘I’m gonna be fine.’ Anything that my mom says, to be completely honest, I believe.”
“Her strength throughout her experience has been the strength that I’ve needed to even be able to allow this [song] to even be a thought,” added Normani.
Normani also took a moment to praise Cardi, who’s featured on the single and in its sensual music video — all while pregnant with her second child.
“I just wish that the world could experience her the way I have,” said Normani. “I feel lucky to have been able to experience such a genuine person, and a kindhearted person. For me, that goes a long way because like I said, she didn’t have to go out [of] the way, you know. The fact that she even made the video — she’s pregnant! I know for her, I know that probably took a level of trust in me.”
She gave a little behind-the-scenes glimpse at the making of the scene the two artists share in the visual: “We actually had a bra and a panty on. She was pregnant. She was full. Obviously not as full as she is now, but she was showing. And she looked bomb.”
“For me, the main goal was really just embrace my sexuality,” Normani said of releasing “Wild Side” this summer. “I’m a grown woman, I’m 25. I’ve evolved so much over the course of the last two years, so visually I felt like that had to be in alignment with that.”
Normani told her fans who have been patiently waiting for her album to “trust me. Part of it was me overthinking, yes, but also I’ve been making the best music that I feel like I’ve personally ever created. In order to get to that place, I needed time.”
Watch the full interview below.