Fifth Harmony’s Normani has always had star potential, but here’s the song that truly proves it. “Waves,” with 6lack, is the type of mid-autumn, bass-bumping, R&B slow jam that gets stuck in your head and turns the party into a grindfest. Above a speaker-blowing, low-end synth, “Waves” is alluring and hypnotic, drawing you in quite like the song’s narrative of a hard-to-beat lover. 6lack is a perfect vocal partner to Normani — whose range is never showcased too ostentatiously — but he clearly is only hear to complement her.
This single follows a year of surprising releases from the budding solo star. She kicked it off with the sleeper hit “Love Lies,” a Khalid collaboration with a surprising amount of longevity given its slow melodic burn. More recently she released a two-track EP with Calvin Harris that feels like more of an extension of the DJ’s funkier recent work than a revelation of who Normani is. “Waves” shifts the narrative entirely, feeling worthy of the type of star Normani sees herself as and wants to be.