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Normani opens up about the crazy behind-the-scenes of ‘Wild Side’ and why Cardi B ‘deserves to be protected’

It’s been two years since Normani asked to be everyone’s “motivation,” but now she’s back heating up the charts with her “wild side.” Not only is the single in high demand, but the enticing visual sent fans into a frenzy and is currently in the top 5 trending music videos on YouTube.

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Normani spoke exclusively with Audacy on “Wild Side,” all the craziness that took place behind the scenes and why Cardi B “deserves to be protected.”

When it comes to her newest single, Normani admits to having “anxiety” around its release. Luckily, it was “more excitement than nerves.” With her feeling that her music is the “deepest parts” of who she is, this emotional state isn’t new for her. Though, regardless of its reception, “Wild Side” feels like a true Normani record— just ask her or anyone close to her. She even expressed she’s “never been so proud of something, which I think that my fans can clearly see.”

Compared to her solo debut, “the [sonic and vocal] growth” is very apparent which further drives home the fact that this is one of the singer’s favorite songs she’s ever done. Though the recording process was exciting and full of exploration, she revealed that the overall release and visual aspect wasn’t as smooth of a ride.

At one point, she had such an “intense vision” for a bold, red monochromatic look and her stylist had to switch everything around the night before filming. For Normani, the vision wasn’t impossible and is grateful for her team because “it’s not no until it’s really no.”https://www.youtube.com/embed/DFMEBquxeO8?enablejsapi=1&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.audacy.com&widgetid=1

When it comes to her “Wild Side” collaborator, Cardi B, the 25-year-old revealed just how crucial her presence was throughout the process. “Nobody understands how much she’s supported me through this process and fought for me. Things happening behind-the-scenes that people don’t know about— she’s one of the kindest and most genuine spirits that I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing and working with,” she explained.

The singer paused for a moment and revealed that Cardi “brought peace to [her] spirit the night before releasing.” Overall, Normani feels there’s “such a misconception” and “false narrative” surrounding female artists and working together, but wants everyone to know how pure Cardi is. “I don’t think everyone deserves to know who she really really is because she’s a great person and deserves to be protected,” she explained.

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Dive into our full chat with Normani above and for more on women tapping into their “BD” energy, press play on Audacy’s exclusive station, Annie’s Girls Night Out— hosted by our own Annie Dow.

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From A version of this story originally appeared in the Aug. 28, 2021, issue of Billboard.

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