EDITOR X WARDROBE: MICHAEL ST. MICHAEL @michaelstmichael
INTERVIEW: DYLAN JADER @thedylanjader
PHOTOGRAPHY: MEENO @meenophoto
HAIR: RENE CORTEZ @hairbyrenecortez
MUA: KSENIYA DURST @kseniyadurst
Prune: You originally auditioned for The X Factor in 2012 and had a roller coaster experience. What was it like to compete on the show?
Ally: Competing on The X Factor was a very crazy experience. Everything was constantly changing and there were so many stressful moments. It all happened at once and I became an adult. Obviously, it was an amazing experience because it led me to where I am today.
Prune: When Fifth Harmony did not win The X Factor, did that concern you as a group?
Ally: After the show, we were a little bummed. Right after the show we had a party with Simon (Cowell) and the contestants. At that party, we were told we were being signed to a major record label. We were so excited that nothing else mattered but that.
Prune: Despite losing the competition, Fifth Harmony went on to take over the music industry. How did The X Factor change your life?
Ally: That is a big question. The X Factor changed my life in so many ways. We have been able to experience so much at a young age. We’re able to do what we love every day – perform, sing, write, and be part of the music industry. We’ve been able to touch the lives of many people and kids – young men and women – all around the world. I’m very grateful for everything that has come our way. It has been such an incredible journey, and the fact that people love us and support our music is something I definitely cherish.
Prune: You recently were featured on Lost Kings’ “Look at Us Now” with A$AP Ferg. Talk to me about this song and working as a solo artist for the first time in your professional career.
Ally: It was very exciting to be part of the collaboration. When I first heard the song, I fell in love. I thought it was a strong song, and it made me dance and put the song on repeat. Being able to go into the studio with Lost Kings was so comfortable. You never know how it will be working with other people, but they were so kind, so much fun, so creative, and so open to any ideas that I had. It was a fun hangout session while doing what I love, which is creating music.
Prune: Do you have any fears about Fifth Harmony breaking up as a whole?
Ally: We feel stronger than ever right now. We’re ecstatic for what we have coming up and our single, “Down”, has done so well. It is our highest debuting song, ever. We’re just getting started. We’re taking every day, enjoying it, owning it, and having fun. It’s so important to have fun with all the craziness, and it’s important to be there for each other – the four of us have such a strong friendship.
Prune: As a female group, you have a large influence over young girls. How do you hope to empower women as a group?
Ally: For us, it’s very important to show girl power and help people feel as empowered as possible. We really spread love and positivity throughout our music, and throughout our interactions with people and each other. For us, that is the most important thing. The relationship and bond that the four of us have is amazing and we want to be able to show that love to our fans and to the world. Hopefully we can inspire others to do the same – to lift each other up and encourage one another, and to be there for friends.
Prune: You have many fans as an artist, but what artist are you a fan of?
Ally: I am such a fan of so many different people. It ranges from Adele to Justin Timberlake to Bruno Mars. Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Lady Gaga – I have such a wide range of people and music that I adore. Right now, I love Dua Lipa. She is a really outstanding talent, and she’s an artist on the rise. I think her voice is so strong – you haven’t heard a voice like that in a long time.
Prune: You’re the oldest member of Fifth Harmony. Are you the mom of the group?
Ally: I definitely feel like the mom of the group. I try my best to make sure everybody is on time and focused. I try my best to be the rock for the group. What is really sweet, is for my birthday post, Normani actually put that in her message on Instagram to me. She wrote a heartfelt message to me, and it is so nice that I am viewed as that by the girls. I just try to be as much of an example and leader as I can be, because I know this industry can be tough. There are moments of feeling over the moon, and moments of feeling low and lost, so I try my best to be there for my girls.
Prune: Outside of singing, do you have any other passions?
Ally: I do. I have a passion for acting. I think it is something so beautiful and euphoric to transform yourself into another character, and through music I feel I can do that as well. Just to be able to create in general is a sensational feeling. I also love to bake – cookies, cakes, pies – you name it, I can pretty much bake it. I love spending time with my loved ones, that really is a passion of mine.
Prune: What is your favorite memory with Fifth Harmony?
Ally: When we premiered “Down” for the first time, we saw the reaction of our fans, friends and family. When we saw it was the highest we had ever debuted, it was a moment where we all looked at each other, screamed, freaked out, and teared up. That was one of my favorite memories because it was such a big moment for us. Any new music you put out, you never know how people are going to react, but the fact that we received such high accolades for it was unbelievable.
Prune: Time to talk fashion. What is your everyday style?
Ally: Definitely more laid back and comfortable. When I’m not in front of a camera, I tend to wear high waisted shorts, a crop top with comfortable flats, hair in a bun, and no makeup or maybe just a little bit. I love to feel cozy.
Prune: What are your three favorite fashion trends at the moment?
Ally: I’m really feeling black. Lately I’ve been really into it – it’s really chic no matter where you are, it always looks nice, and it’s slimming, which is always nice. I love the 90s style, that is what the group is going for. It’s comfortable and makes you feel cool, and it’s a throwback vibe, which is always fun. I’m really into denim right now as well.
Prune: Finally, fashion pruning. What current trend would you like to eliminate?
Ally: I can’t think of anything that I’d like to eliminate. Certain people can rock certain looks. Something that might not look good on me will look amazing on another girl.