Bangkok’s season of massive concerts continues when American girl group Fifth Harmony bring smash hits like “Worth it” and “Work From Home” to the stage at GMM Live House this Mar 5. We spoke to Normani Kordei about the band’s talent-show origins and becoming a four-piece.  

You worked with Simon Cowell on X-Factor. What was that like? Did you ever expect to go this far?

We all entered X-Factor as individuals and then all got eliminated. Having that chance for a big break, and then being told, “Sorry, you can’t continue in the competition,” I immediately was like, “Okay, that’s reality.” But then the judges brought us back on stage–and it was really cool, because we all had chemistry and had all become really, really close. So it was cool how it all unfolded organically. The judges saw something in us together that they hadn’t necessarily seen individually–five girls from different parts of the world. Simon knows what he’s talking about and has had so much success with putting groups together.

You’ve said in interviews that your fans are the fifth member–can you elaborate?

Well, to make light of the situation [original member Camila Cabello left in late-2016], we always say that our fans are the fifth member–and they truly and genuinely are. They’ve been there in our darkest hours and the super amazing moments as well. We’re just really, really grateful for them… the endless nights they stay up for us to win an award, camping out to watch us perform on the Today Show–all of these things don’t go unnoticed.

What’s it like working as a four-piece now?

I would say it’s the most special, memorable and humbling process, just because we had the opportunity for the first time to co-write. We co-wrote more than half of our last album [Fifth Harmony], so you can definitely hear the evolution, experience and vulnerability and get a sense of who we are, who we’ve become and everything we’ve been through. We got the chance to start from the ground up with some of the most amazing writers and producers who have also watched us grow. We’ve learned a lot about each other.

How’s the fan feedback been to the album?

The fans have really appreciated this body of work! I think it’s because they’ve seen us grow. It’s kind of like graduating, in a way! We’ve seen some of them go through high school, come out to their parents, graduate, go to college… and they’ve seen us do the same thing in our own way.

What does Fifth Harmony mean to you?

Fifth Harmony to me means sisterhood. It means that you’re allowed to be whoever it is that you want to be in the space that the four of us have created.

What’s your favourite concert you’ve ever attended?

It would have to be Beyonce’s Formation Tour. And I swear… I’m telling you, she looked at me! I actually had a moment–I was crying like a baby. I think that that body of work for me… it meant so much, especially considering I’m an African-American female from the South. I felt like it was me up on that stage! She just represents everything that I want to be.

Are you excited about your first live show in Bangkok?

Yes! I’m so excited. I’m ready to try the food, ready to meet our Harmonizers over there… it’s going to be a really amazing time!

What comes to mind when you think of Thailad?

I would say the beach! Lauren [Jauregui, bandmate] actually just went to Thailand on vacation and she was taking a bunch of pictures of everything she ate… apparently you guys have really good mangos, so I could see myself on the beach eating mangos!

Tickets for Fifth Harmony’s Bangkok show are on sale from B1,600 at