It’s been less than a week and I’m still mesmerized by Normani’s incredible dance move in the “Motivation” music video, when she bounces a basketball off her knee and then her butt. But was it real?
Indeed it was, according to her. “I had nailed [the basketball-spin move] before a couple times in rehearsal, but I don’t think I got it the very, very first [take],” she told The Fader in an interview about the video.
Normani said she shot the video in the middle of her tour (where she opened for Ariana Grande), which meant she barely had time to prepare. NBD, because caffeine got her through it:
“I had five espresso shots from Starbucks and one day to do all that choreography that you saw in the video. I had two days to rehearse beforehand, so I was on tour practicing ‘Motivation’ in the dressing room.”
As for all the classic visual references, including scenes and choreography inspired by J. Lo, Ciara and Beyoncé, she says it all happened kind of organically:
“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.”
Congrats to Normani on a perfect video, but I hope she never drinks five espresso shots again (even for mastering choreography!) for the sake of her health.