Return to 5th Harmony

Girl group Fifth Harmony headlining show at Jacobs Pavilion

By John Benson,
POSTED: 06/24/14, 1:10 PM EDT

Hungry for success is how the members of pop act Fifth Harmony are feeling these days.
Two years removed from appearing on “The X Factor,” the quintet — Ally Brooke, Normani Kordei, Lauren Jauregui, Camila Cabello and Dinah Hansen — is touring nonstop to support the release of its debut album due out this fall.

In fact, the girls came through Northeast Ohio this spring opening for Demi Lovato’s “Neon Lights Tour.” Apparently the Rock Hall City really made an impression on the singers.
“My memory of Cleveland doesn’t have anything to do with the show but the hotel we were staying at had a restaurant across the street that had the best hot wings that me and Ally ever had,” Kordei said. “We’re food critics. We like to eat.”

When it comes to pop music, the beats and melodies change, but girl empowerment never goes out of fashion. That’s the message behind Fifth Harmony, which formed two years ago when all five singers auditioned as solo artists on the “The X Factor” but after being eliminated were encouraged to form a group.

“The judges decided we’d be better together, so they brought us back, and the rest is history,” Brooke said.

With “X Factor” promotion and exposure buoying the outfit early on, Fifth Harmony released its debut EP, “Better Together,” last fall. The five-track effort landed at No. 6 on the Billboard Top 200 and reached the top 10 on iTunes in 41 countries. The EP also spawned the hit lead single, “Miss Movin’ On.”

Fifth Harmony then opened for Lovato last spring, as well as started its own headlining show, “5th Time’s a Charm,” which comes through Cleveland June 25 at Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica. The girls will also be back in the Rock Hall City in September opening for Austin Mahone at the Wolstein Center.

“It’s great having our own headlining tour,” Kordei said. “The last show we did was in New Jersey, and we sold the most tickets yet. That was a huge accomplishment. It’s nice to get more intimate but the Austin Mahone Tour is in arenas so it’s a big contrast.”

Something else that’s a contrast will be the style of Fifth Harmony’s new album. Compared to the EP, the new CD, which includes lead single“BO$$” and is due out next month, shows some evolution. Usually a pop act doesn’t pull out the mature card until after it hits the big time with the tweener audience, but already the girls are talking about evolving.

“Musically, the EP was a bit more poppy, and the album will have more beats and be about the bass,” Kordei said. “It’s super urban, and there will be a lot of dance breaks. It’s just like more mature.”

Perhaps the evolution has something to do with Fifth Harmony recently being a big winner at the 2014 Radio Disney Music Awards, where it won trophies for Breakout Artist of the Year and Best Song to Rock Out to With Your BFF. Also, the act has a Fifth Harmony Barbie doll collection coming out in the fall.

So is Fifth Harmony leaving behind a Disney Radio-friendly sound for more of a Kiss-FM feel to its music?

“We’re not abandoning the Disney audience at all,” Brooke said. “As the Disney audience grows, we’ll grow, so it kind of coincides with that.”

Finally, when asked to gauge the current temperature of Fifth Harmony’s career using wing sauces, Kordei laughed, “It’s not hot wings yet, but I think it’s the notch just before it. I feel like our new music is definitely going to set us at fiery hot. The hottest you can get.”


Who: Fifth Harmony with Before You Exit.
When: 7:30 p.m. June 25.
Where: Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica, 2014 Sycamore St., Cleveland.
Tickets: $25 at Ticketmaster outlets.