Interview by Diane Tezeno
How did you hear about the X-Factor auditions?
My mom motivated me to go out and audition for X-Factor, at first I didn’t want to, but I am glad I did. My mom and my dad always inspire me to keep pushing because sometimes I lack confidence and they believe in me more than I believe in myself a lot of the time. I couldn’t have imagined any of this would happen, but I am just so grateful to be a part of this and I couldn’t have asked for anything better.
When did you first know you had this talent?
Well I started singing when I was 3. My mom said that I was always watching musicals on TV and she said I told her ‘Mommie I want to be on the TV one day, I want to do that, and she has just been pushing me ever since. I knew that I actually wanted to sing when I was about 7. I would always sing Alicia Keys “If I Ain’t Got You,” and would keep singing it over and over until I got it right.
When did you begin to take steps to develop your talent?
Actually, right before all of this happen, I had started taking vocal lessons and recording in the studio and going out and do auditions, so actually this is all new to me. I began taking lessons from Scott Jones and Toni Davis of Key Innovations.
Where do you hope this opportunity to compete on X-Factor will lead you?
Well I really believe that everything happens for a reason, God has a plan for all of us. So I hope that [Fifth Harmony] stays together as a group even after the show. I am not boasting or anything but I feel that I have something special with these girls, honestly, when we sing I get a feeling that nobody can touch us, you know.
Describe your journey on X-Factor?
In my first audition I sang “I’m Going Down,” by Mary J. Blige and then they asked me to sing another song. I had my family’s support and I just kept going and trying to make the next round and then there was the boot camp and I got eliminated unfortunately. I remember they began calling contestants back to the stage and they called my name and I thought, this must be something good, hopefully. They ended up putting us in a group. I was just so happy that we got that extra opportunity and all of the girls were so talented.
What were your thoughts on the group’s performance of the song “Impossible”?
We got amazing positive feedback after “Impossible,” I definitely think that was one of our best performances. Maybe because it was our first performance together and we actually witnessed that we could perform together and sound good as a group.
How did you feel when you were selected to continue after singing “I Stand By You?”
We were so grateful that we were able to continue on as a group. It is so sad because some of the others are leaving so it is kind of a bittersweet thing, but after all it is a competition and there can only be one winner so I guess that is just how it goes because everybody is so phenomenal.
Whose comments have impressed you the most on the show?
Honestly, the judges all are good, they are all so wise, so all of their comments helps us in different ways.
Who is your favorite singer?
Beyoncé is definitely my favorite. I am a shy person in general and it takes me a while to get started but on stage they say I am a totally different person. I use Beyoncé as my alter ego.
Where would you like to see yourself after this competition, win or lose?
I just want to see myself continuing on because the competition has given me the confidence that I felt I really needed. This is something that I want to do for the rest of my life. And I definitely want to stay in the group with the girls because we have so much more to offer after this competition is over.
Where would you like to see yourself in five years as a vocalist?
Hopefully like at a music awards show or winning a Grammy’s or something, I don’t know.
What has been the response from friends?
Oh gosh, the response I have gotten from my friends has been amazing, they have really encouraged me to keep going and I know that they are excited for me and praying for me. I have a great support system back home, and even if I don’t win, I have awesome friends to go back to and I love them back and they are proud of me either way.
Do you plan to stay in the Houston area?
Hopefully we will be moving to California only because there are better opportunities there, but I am going to miss all my family and friends, but California is the place to be.
What would you say to a young person to encourage them to follow their dreams.
I would say to not be afraid. I am still in the process of actually working on my confidence and everything, but I think that you should believe in yourself and that all things are possible. And you just need to just go out there and not be afraid and just do it. Just do it.
You can follow her on Twitter @NormaniKordei.