Fifth Harmony, who hit the Fillmore Miami Beach Wednesday, represent a new generation of pop music. Created by Simon Cowell after auditioning separately for the The X Factor, they’re Latina, African-American and Pacific Islander. Since their debut in 2013, the girl power-pop quintet has blown up with hot singles, Bo$$ (shout outs to Michelle Obama and Oprah) and Worth It, and their passionate fans call themselves Harmonizers.
The Miami Herald talked to the group’s two Miami members: Lauren Jauregui, 18,and Camila Cabello, also 18.
What was growing up in Miami like for you?
Lauren: I was always surrounded by lots of Cubans and South Americans. I grew up with Latino grandparents, family barbecues, Latin music — very family oriented.
Camila: My mom came with me to the United States with just the clothes on her back. She wanted to provide a better future for me. We moved to Pinecrest, and she got me in one of the best public schools. I went to Palmetto Middle and High School — go Panthers!
Why and how did you start singing?
Lauren: I always sang for myself in the shower. I was the girl always humming in the hallway. It wasn’t that I wanted to be a star. I wanted to make music. Singing and performing onstage makes me happy — I feel like myself.
Camila: I sang in the bathroom. I’d make up my own covers of songs because it was what I liked to do. I was really, really shy, and I was uncomfortable singing for other people, even in front of my family. I was so happy when I was home alone because I would sing while they were out. My first time performing in front of a crowd was really nerve-wracking, but the thrill was addictive.
Do you think it’s important that the group is so ethnically and culturally mixed?
Camila: The fact we all have such different backgrounds means a lot to our fans. We come from Third World countries, and we made it in amazing America. A lot of our fans connect to that because they’re minorities or from those places as well. They see themselves in us — they have those dreams, too, and through us they feel that it’s possible.
What does girl power mean to you?
Lauren: For me, girl power is the coming together of women. Girls realizing they need to support and help each other. We all wanted the girl power thing in our music, the self-love.
What’s been great and what’s been hard about the group blowing up?
Lauren: How many people I get to experience and lately getting to travel — Australia, London, Hawaii, places I never thought I’d see. On the flip side, I’m only 18, and sometimes, I’m presented with decisions that are overwhelming.
Camila: The best part is getting to connect with somebody when you perform, making someone happier and giving them something to hope for. Being away from family and home is really hard. I was 15 when I auditioned. When I’m home, I try to spend as much time with family as possible. They’re the people who really have your best interest at heart.
Fifth Harmony performs at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Fillmore Miami Beach, 1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach. The show is sold out.