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As contestants on The X Factor in 2012, Fifth Harmony are the very definition of a prefab group. Sure, that term sounds judgy, but the women are now trying to answer the same question that’s faced every made-for-TV group since the Monkees: How do you transition into artists with a capital A? That answer might lie in their new album, 7/27, out in May.
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Like everything that’s in the works in mass culture nowadays, their new album is sealed behind a veil of NSA-style secrecy. But the group promises it’s a clearer vision for what Fifth Harmony are — and will become. “We’ve had a lot more creative say,” Normani Kordei tells EW. "It's more personal than the last."
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When it comes to discussing their new album, Fifth Harmony are much more guarded, but they are confident it marks an evolution from their previous work. “I think on [2015’s] Reflection, and since we got off X Factor, we tried to establish what best represented us,” says Camila Cabello.
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“People will get a deeper insight into who we are,” Ally Brooke Hernandez says of the new album. “We talk about topics from love to heartbreak to confusion about someone. The main thing for all of us was having a ballad, a slower song. Finally, they get to hear more of a vulnerable side to us! We didn’t really have that in Reflection, and that’s something we all fought for.”
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One thing that isn’t changing: The name “Fifth Harmony,” which was actually the third name for the group formerly known as LYLAS and 1432. “You take control of your name,” says Dinah Jane Hansen. “The way you carry your name is the vibe people get off it.”
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Lauren Jauregui, Normani Kordei, Ally Brooke Hernandez, Camila Cabello, and Dinah Jane Hansen were exclusively photographed for Entertainment Weekly at the Moonlight Rollerway in Glendale, Calif., on March 11, 2016.
To continue reading more about Fifth Harmony, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, on newsstands now, or buy it here – and subscribe now for more exclusive interviews and photos, only in EW.