Normani has made a name for herself as a star solo artist after her years as a part of girl group Fifth Harmony. Her latest single, “Wild Side,” featured a guest appearance from none other than Cardi B. When it came time to film the music video, her current pregnancy was a secret that had to be let out.
Normani’s ‘Wild Side’ video was wild indeed
After the release of her debut solo single “Motivation” in 2019, Normani fans have been eagerly awaiting to see what the singer would release next. In the time since then, she became a frequent figure in Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty fashion shows and continued to show her abilities as a singer and dancer, even collaborating with the likes of Megan Thee Stallion.
For her single “Wild Side,” Normani teamed up with another iconic female rapper: Cardi B. It’s a slinky R&B song better suited for the bedroom late at night, marking a departure from the pop sounds of “Motivation.”
The music video for “Wild Side” was as wild as one would expect, with complicated choreography resembling Janet Jackson in the 1980s and ’90s. Normani has been known for her dance abilities for years, and she hit every beat in the song with precise dance moves in the video.
Normani and Cardi B teamed up for the ‘Wild Side’ video
The “Wild Side” video was choreographed by Sean Bankhead. Normani has worked with Bankhead for years — he choreographed Fifth Harmony’s “BO$$” video — and he’s created dance routines for Missy Elliott, Drake, Summer Walker, and more. One of his past clients was Cardi B for her “Up” music video and accompanying Grammy performance.
Bankhead reflected on the experience of choreographing Normani’s “Wild Side” video in an interview with Pitchfork. “It’s so funny because I had just done [Cardi’s] ‘Up’ video and the Grammy performance, and so I actually heard about her being pregnant before Normani or anybody else on the team knew,” Bankhead recounted. “So [Normani] was like, ‘Cardi wants to get on the song!’ and, mind you, this was happening while we were rehearsing for the video. So every scene was already perfectly thought out.”
Normani was excited to have Cardi appear in the video, but was completely in the dark about Cardi’s pregnancy with her second child. “When she was like, ‘We’re going to put [Cardi] in the video,’ I’m looking like, ‘Oh my God, she has no clue this woman is pregnant.’ And I didn’t want to be the one to tell her, either,” Bankhead remembered. “So I sat on that information as long as I could. She wanted her to dance and hang on wires and do all this stuff. I was like, ‘I got to tell you something.’”
Normani was grateful to have Cardi B in the ‘Wild Side’ video
Even though she didn’t get to have Cardi do intense stunts in the video, she was grateful to have the Grammy-winning rapper showing off her pregnant body and adding even more sex appeal to the sultry video.
Normani later recounted in a statement just how Cardi’s involvement came about. “I had already been in rehearsal for about three weeks preparing for the video when Cardi heard the record for the first time,” the singer said. “She really showed up for me and brought this record to life by simply doing what Cardi does best. I love that woman down and I’m forever grateful.”
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