Normani on “Motivation”: “I wanted to give people what they had been waiting for” – The FADER

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My grandmother’s actually in the video — She opens up the first shot with Janae, who plays a younger version of me. My cousins were there, and everybody was encouraging and supporting me. The energy that we had on set really translated through the video. I wanted it to be fun and free-spirited — a community of people just having a good time. I think that’s what y’all got.

I was on the phone with one of my friends back in Houston, and he was like, Did you actually mean to pay homage to every single artist literally in every scene? I was like, Yo, I didn’t even think about it like that. But that’s really dope that it naturally just happened to be that! I just knew that I wanted an early-2000s music video. I did my research: I looked up the styling, and hairstyles. Every bit of what you see in the video, I pretty much knew what was happening. One reference that I made was Jennifer Lopez’s “I’m Real” music video — which is funny, because Dave Meyers shot that. But I just told him I wanted an early-2000s vibe because that was my favorite era of music. It made me fall in love with music the most. I can only remember what it made me feel as a young kid, which is also portrayed in the video, but I wanted to be one of those artists in the early 2000s so I was like, OK, it can happen here.

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