Fifth Har­mony

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Fifth Har­mony are a re­al­ity girl group from the US X Fac­tor with their eyes firmly set on break­ing the UK. You might re­mem­ber them on our ver­sion in De­cem­ber, singing their last sin­gle Bo$$, a fe­male em­pow­er­ment an­them with back­ing vo­cals hark­ing back to En Vogue’s My Love (You’re Never Gonna Get It), cou­pled with the very mod­ern sounds and go-girl sen­ti­ments of Salute and Run the World (Girls). They’re the com­bi­na­tion of our great­est X Fac­tor ex­ports, be­ing a hy­brid of Lit­tle Mix and One Di­rec­tion – the for­mer partly in sound and style, and the lat­ter in on­line hys­te­ria and fan de­vo­tion.

So ob­vi­ously we just had to speak with them. No­tably, the charm­ing and ex­citable Di­nah. She tells us about their trav­el­ling sis­ter­hood – they used to be called LYLAS (Love You Like A Sis­ter) – and the support they give each other on tour. “Be­ing on the road es­pe­cially is hard,” she says, “and we have each other to cry on, ‘cos you know we’re girls. There are mo­ments when we need tears. We start drop­ping down tears and that’s where the sis­terly thing comes in handy, es­pe­cially when it comes to boys. We just try to lean on each other.”

As well as their sib­ling-like bonds, another de­scrip­tion that fol­lows Fifth Har­mony around is ‘goofy’, a role in which Di­nah de­lights. “Well, I’m the prankster of the group, so I like to pull pranks on the girls. We were on the Demi Lo­vato tour and I got a lit­tle too ex­cited, I was like, ‘Oh I think it’d be so cool if I put some whipped cream in a bowl and slam it in her face.’ And that’s what I did on the last show. ‘Demi I love you!’ And then I splat­tered this pie in her face.” Way harsh Tai. She laughs, “Yeah! She wanted to kill me af­ter­wards, but we both laughed it off…”

The one thing we didn’t tell you about Di­nah Jane Hansen is her age. She’s 17, born two years after Clue­less came out. But does be­ing the youngest mem­ber mean you can get away with th­ese things?

“Yeah, some­times,” she laughs again, “I think ‘cos I’m the youngest, ev­ery­one is ‘Di­nah is fine, Di­nah can slide.’ So I’m like ‘OK!’”

Along­side their sassy Bo$$ sin­gle, they’ve got pen­cilled-in sin­gle Sledge­ham­mer (an ab­so­lute elec­tropop banger, if you’re ask­ing) and have even recorded songs with Meghan Trainor for their de­but al­bum Re­flec­tions. What we want to know is, are there any­more elec­tropop num­bers to come?

“On this al­bum, you can tell from the sin­gles that’ve come out like Bo$$ and Sledge­ham­mer, that the sound doesn’t re­ally match, they don’t re­ally sound re­lated. We’re show­ing we’re be­ing ver­sa­tile on this al­bum. Be­cause we’re five girls and we like five dif­fer­ent things, dif­fer­ent sounds. Camila, she likes the Ed Sheeran feel, Nor­mani and I like the RnB, Lau­ren likes the in­die stuff and Ally the pop stuff. There’s a mix of so many things.”

For X Fac­tor fi­nal­ists com­ing third, they’ve al­ready out­run their com­peti­tors. They even have their own range of Bar­bies, de­spite Di­nah not be­ing able to af­ford them as a kid. She’d in­stead play at her cousins, who had boxes of them. “It’s a bless­ing to have my own Bar­bie,” she says, “I’m look­ing at my own Bar­bie, I’m look­ing at my own re­flec­tion. I think what makes my Bar­bie unique is that she’s Poly­ne­sian. I’ve never seen a Bar­bie that’s Poly­ne­sian be­fore and I think I’m the first Poly­ne­sian Bar­bie.” She’s not – there was one in 1994 that came with a grass skirt, lei and flo­ral gar­land – but she’s cer­tainly the first Poly­ne­sian Bar­bie from a chart­ing girl band.

It’s all rather camp and may go some way to ex­plain­ing their ap­peal to their US gay fans, which Di­nah is audi­bly ex­cited to get talk­ing about. There are woo-hoos.

“We ac­tu­ally do have a lot of gay fans, we’ve met so many. I mean, I have a lot of gay cousins, so I’m just ‘Heyyyy.’” Need­less to say, she ticks all the boxes, loves her gay fans and gets the most con­fi­dence from her gay fans in the crowd. But we were more in­trigued by the mild ho­mo­eroti­cism we found among 5H fans when we dipped a toe­nail into the in­sane on­line hys­te­ria that fol­lows the girls wher­ever they tweet. We learnt a new word, we’ll let Di­nah ex­plain.

“Shipping? I didn’t know what shipping was ei­ther, un­til I started be­ing in this group. Es­pe­cially with Camila, she was like the big­gest ship­per kind of girl. So shipping is putting two peo­ple to­gether, a cou­ple to­gether, or who­ever. Let’s say Se­lena Gomez with Justin [Bieber], plac­ing them to­gether and then you mix the name to­gether. I guess their name is Ju­lena? That’s it. I didn’t know what it was be­fore ei­ther, I was like, ‘What the heck is shipping?’”

It’s not just Ju­lena, Fifth Har­mony fans do it all the time. There are sep­a­rate fan Wiki pages on each ship.

“But it’s so cute when they ship us girls with each other. We all ship around. Ev­ery­one has a favourite ship.”

Which begs the ques­tion, what’s yours?

“Erm, lemme see…” She pauses over the quandary of pick­ing her favourite like-a-sis­ter band mate. Fi­nally she says, “I ship ev­ery­one!” And laughs, “I need to fig­ure out names to ship all five of us.” We came up with Alau­r­mani­lanah, but surely the point of the band is that they’re al­ready one big ship? We’ll just stick to call­ing them Fifth Har­mony.

gay­times.co.uk

WORDS BOB HEN­DER­SON De­but al­bum Re­flec­tion will be re­leased on 27 Jan­uary, Bo$$ and Sledge­ham­mer are both out now, fifth­har­mony­of­fi­cial.com, @fifth­har­mony.

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