Jauregui, who was 16 when the band was formed in 2012, recalled, "We tried our best to be ourselves, [but] we were also adolescents, so you have to think about who you were at that age and being thrown in front of cameras."
“When you’re really disconnected from who you are and you’re ashamed of it, you can write and tell a story, but you can never really tell your story," she explained, addressing the image she felt she was expected to maintain as a member of the girl group. "That’s what separates a lot of artists from others—the connection."
Fifth Harmony -- comprised of Jauregui, Normani Kordei, Dinah Jane, Ally Brooke and formerly Camila Cabello, who quit the band to go solo in December 2016 -- was first formed in 2012, during season two of the U.S. version of The X Factor. They went on to release the chart-topping singles "Worth It" and "Work From Home," before announcing the band's indefinite hiatus last Monday.
"Right now, I’m just exploring myself and getting in touch with myself creatively… to be real, I don’t want to give myself boundaries," she shared, when asked about her plans to release a solo record in the near future.
Jauregui's interest in a solo career seems to be hinged on her desire to add to the cultural and political conversation in America and encourage change and activism among her fans.
"It’s so crazy how little people know about what they can do, about their rights, what they’re putting into their bodies and everything that’s going on globally," said Jauregui, who has been an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump and advocate for gun control, the DACA act and LGBTQ rights. “I believe that art is the core of what starts revolutions."
Fifth Harmony released a statement on March 19, letting their fans know that they would be going their separate ways, at least for a while.
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Fifth Harmony's Lauren Jauregui Urges Fans to 'Keep Spreading Love' During Teen Choice Awards Speech
"After six years going hard, non-stop, we also realized that in order to stay authentic to ourselves and to you, we do need to take some tim, for now,w to go on hiatus from Fifth Harmony in order to pursue solo endeavors,” the statement read. “We are all very excited and grateful to be able to take this time to learn and grow creatively and really find our footing as individuals."
However, ET caught up with Jauregui in December at KIIS-FM’s iHeartRadio Jingle Ball concert at the Forum in Inglewood, California, where she said that all the bandmates were "exploring [our own projects] right now."
"It’s really cool, because we’re branching out to creatively discover ourselves, because we never really got an opportunity to do that since we started this," she said. "It's cool to be able to give each other that space to really explore ourselves individually and grow." Check out the video below to hear more.