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March 12, 2014.
Upon the first time hearing Little Mix's hit
single "Wings," one thing was blatantly obvious: they might just be the
next best thing since Destiny's Child. Their spunky personalities,
cutting-edge song choices and fashion-forward looks make them so much
more than your typical one hit wonder.
Four-piece girl band Little Mix were one of the success
stories from season eight of The X-Factor UK, which was
much more popular than the show's underwhelming run in the US.
While all auditioning individually, Simon Cowell, with his magic eye,
saw potential in putting Jesy Nelson (from Romford, East London),
Leigh-Anne Pinnock (from high Wycombe), Perrie Edwards and Jade
Thirlwall (both from south Shields) in a group - and boy, did he make a
good decision. While being viewed with the same admiration as One
Direction in the UK, Little Mix has just gotten started with the US, and
they aren't stopping anytime soon.
Immediately after winning X-Factor, the girls of
Little Mix signed with Simon Cowell's Syco Records and Columbia Music.
They promptly released their debut single "Wings," which quickly became
every teen girl's favorite song. Shortly there after, Little Mix's first
album DNA was released in November of 2012 - which showcased a
pleasant blend of pop, R&B, and hip-pop. Ever since, they have been on a
fast-paced rise to the top, which is being spurred on by the recent
release of their follow-up album Salute.
I had the privilege to interview the girls just before
their performance on the Neon Lights tour (featuring Collins Key, Fifth
Harmony and Demi Lovato) in Bethlehem, PA. Feeling more like a get
together amongst friends than an interview, our conversation went as
how did you guys come up with the name Little Mix?
Jesy Nelson: Well, originally, we were called
Rhythmix but when we were on the show, we found out that a charity was
called Rhythmix, so we had to change it. We wanted to keep the mix so
we just thought, "Oh, well we're all little." So yeah, we just called
ourselves Little Mix. (laughs)
You guys all started
out as solo singers, what's it like being in a group? What's that
Leigh-Anne Pinnock: It's amazing, isn't it? (looks
around at group whilst everyone nods) Yeah, now, we couldn't
imagine being on our own at all.
And the company is good, too.
Perrie Edwards: Yeah, it's nice if you're having an
off day or if you don't feel well or something. You don't have so
cancel an interview or any shows or anything, because you have three
other girls who can talk and who can answer for that person.
Were you guys
expecting your single "Wings" to get so big?
Jesy Nelson: No! I don't think we were because it
was our first ever song that we wrote since coming off of The
X-Factor. We were just more excited just to see how everyone would
react to our music. Obviously we were on The X-Factor for so
long and we got off. Everyone did and it did really well.
Would you say that you relate to the lyrics in
(an in-sync "definitely" from the group)
Leigh-Anne Pinnock: I mean, yeah, that's why we
wrote it. We write from the heart. If it wasn't written from the heart
and it didn't mean anything we wouldn't be able to sing it. Just don't
let anyone put you down - because we have all experienced it at one
time in our lives. It's just all about not giving a crap about what
anyone thinks about you, really.
awesome. What song on your album do you feel most emotionally connected
Perrie Edwards: The first album, or the second?
group takes a moment to reflect and ponder.)
Jesy Nelson: Well... I'm gonna say "Salute"
because I like to feel like when we're on stage that we like to get
Yeah, it feels like it was where we were always meant to be and we're
I think every time I listen to "Good Enough," I'm like (mocks crying
and the group laughs) I don't know why, that one just really hits a
Do you guys ever listen to your music on your own time?
(a mutual "yeah, all the time" between the
We're very proud. (laughs)
Especially Salute because I felt like, "Oh yeah, we have finally
found our sound now" and what we want to do.
Perrie Edwards: Just after we wrote "Salute," we
were like, "Please can we have a copy?" for the car and all that stuff.
We weren't allowed and we were like, "Excuse me! We were the ones who
wrote it and we want it now!" Because like when it's not a final copy
they get really insecure about you hearing it first. They just want it
to be done. But we were like, "Well, we were there. We know how it
sounds and we want it." As soon as we got that CD, we put it on. We
blasted it. Literally we had it on repeat, and on repeat, and on
What was the most
exciting venue you guys have performed at, or your favorite one?
Jesy Nelson: Over here?
Wherever. Just in
Jesy Nelson: I think UK probably for us. We
love everyone but Ireland is a good one for us, too. They're crazy in
Irish fans are really fun.
Jesy Nelson: I think over here. The first
Are there any rituals you perform before you go
Yeah, we'll do this with the dancers and everyone. We'll put our hands
in and go, "Attention Hut! Attention Hut! Attention Hut!
Attention Hut! Attention Salute!"
Jesy Nelson: If we don't do it, it's bad
Have you ever not done it before?
whole group moans, "no.")
Perrie Edwards: What's really funny is that before
we go on we'll see each dancer and say "good luck." If I don't see even
just one and I'm just like: "Ahhhhhhhh!" Where is everyone?! I'll
think that something bad is going to happen. I'm really superstitious.
Do you guys ever get
stage fright? And if so, how do you cope with it?
Perrie and I, especially. We're the nervous wrecks of the group.
But you're not that nervous on this tour. Or are you?
Ummm, I still get that horrible feeling just before. I have to
control it with my nerve techniques. (giggles)
Jesy is my nerve technique. (everyone laughs)
Jesy Nelson: The only time I get petrified,
well... not petrified but just nervous... is when we perform back on
The X-Factor. But it's good nerves.
Sometimes my mouth flinches, as well.
you need nerves sometimes.
Jesy Nelson: I think you do. I hate not
I think a good bum pinch goes a long way. (laughs)
Is there anything you miss most from day to day
life since your success?
Jesy Nelson: Yes. I think we miss being
able to see our families as much as we used to. [And] Um.. sleep.
We don't get any of that. (laughs)
I miss just being able to look awful. Being able to go to shops in
pajamas, without my make up on, without worrying about someone taking a
I don't like going to the beach anymore because as soon as they catch
you bending over to fix your sand castle... boom! picture!
If you guys weren't singers and not doing what
you're doing now, what do you imagine yourself being?
Jesy Nelson: What we'd like to be doing? Or
what would we be doing?
Let's do what we would like to be doing. I like that.
Jesy Nelson: I've always wanted to be an
actress. I would like to be doing that.
I've always wanted to be Cameron Diaz. (laughs) That obviously
wouldn't have happened, but I would've wanted to be a drama teacher.
I was going to do educational studies at uni and be a private school
teacher. But hearing from other people, it's apparently not the best
job. So I'm glad I'm a singer now.
Honestly, I don't know what. I would just try to do a bit of everything
trying to find something that I love doing. I liked English. Maybe do
something in English.
You could do anything. You've studied literally everything.
We play a game where we're like, "Can you do this?" and she's like,
"Yup." Then we're like," Have you ever done this?" "Yep." Then we're
like, "hmmm ... well can you yodel?" and she's just like, "yep" (everyone
Do you speak a lot of languages, Jade?
Ahh, no. (The whole group screams and points at her, for we have
finally found the one thing she hasn't done.)
I'm surprised you haven't learned a language, actually.
Well, I did go to Arabic school.
(throws hands up) There you go then.
Actually in my handbag I've got a little Arabic learning book. I want
to try and learn it again.
Wow. You should do that.
I can say "hello".
do you say it?
As-salaam alaikum. Arabic is a lovely language. We can also sing and
speak a little bit of Japanese.
So, what country, would you guys say, has your
A big fan-base for us is actually in Japan. We have a lot of fans
in Japan, which is amazing because not many international artists crack
Japan. So that's pretty impressive.
I think when we go somewhere, we never expect to have any fans. We
expect to have maybe three people there. Then we always get so
overwhelmed by how many there are, so it's quite cool.
I think we had a proper Justin Bieber moment in Japan. We just got
off the train. We were in the subway and literally we looked to the
left and it was just like, "Ahhh!" A whole wall of our fans coming
after us and we were like, "Noooo!" (everyone laughs) It was so
Kind of scary though.
Jesy Nelson: It is.
Does it take getting used to?
At first you're like, "Yeah!" At first you're just like, "look at
this!" But after people start getting hurt it's like, "Uh-oh".
Jesy Nelson: Sometimes stupid people mistake
you for a fan and hit you in the head.
But its really cool that we can now say that we might need an extra
security guard around because it's getting that much bigger. That's
You only have one right now?
(they all say,"yes" and point at him)
So do you guys all know what fan-fictions are?
Jesy Nelson: Kind of.
Jesy Nelson: Some are creepy!
I've seen a lesbian one about all four of us.
Jesy Nelson: Yes! It's so creepy!
What are you all talking about?
A fan-fic is a story that fans make up about a
specific celebrity or group and they just... really get into it...
Nice ones are good.
I would say that they're all nice.
It's just that some are weird!
Just think of it as flattering.
So tell us a story. What have they said?
Jesy Nelson: One said that I broke up with
my boyfriend to become lesbian with you. (nods to Pinnock) And
we're in love with each other.
It's always you! I was with you!
(Taken back but almost impressed) Wow.
Now you know why you haven't read them.
Jesy Nelson: But they get detailed.
Like 50 Shades. (referring to 50 Shades Of Grey, an erotic
Oh my god! No! Give me an example, go on. (everyone laughs and screams,"No!")
So, on a more serious
note, your songs obviously come from a very common theme of empowerment.
What one piece of advice would you give to any young women out there?
Jade Thirlwall: Well, the music speaks for itself.
Just be yourself. Believe in yourself and just ignore all the haters,
really. That's what we've learned to do. Look at us now.
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