British girl group Little Mix embodies everything we love in artists — they’re mega-talented, driven and unapologetically weird. If you’re a fan — a “Mixer” — you know first hand just how amazing they are.
The girls — Perrie Edwards, Jesy Nelson, Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Jade Thirwall — first came into our lives back in 2011 when they won the U.K.’s X-Factor. In the four short years that they’ve blessed the world with their unworldly voices they’ve sold seven million albums and have two platinum records. They’re basically slaying everything. They’ve even managed to break the Spice Girls’ long-held record of highest debut U.S. chart position for a U.K. girl group when they released their debut album DNA.
Their songs are strong, fun and the very definition of self-empowerment. Their personalities are unique yet complementary, and we can’t forget their style- they’ve got that in spades!
Obviously, we here at ANDPOP fangirled pretty hard when we got the chance to talk to group member Leigh-Anne over the phone about third-album nerves, that time she felt like Nicki Minaj, and the weirdest thing she’s ever done.
Real talk: I don’t think I’ve been more more impatient waiting for an album than this one. I wonder who’s more anxious: you guys or us?
Oh my god literally we cannot wait til’ it’s out! We obviously spent a year on this album and for everyone to just finally hear it, it’s the best feeling. We’re so, so excited!
When we hear our fans sing back to us and cry the lyrics, it’s such an emotional experience.
Since this album’s called “Get Weird” I have to ask: what’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done (that you can tell us, of course)?
Oh my gosh there’s so many things. I’m such a weirdo. We’re all weird, all four of us. I’m one of those people that if the girls dare me to do something I’ll do it. I’m just weird like that. I like to pull practical jokes. There was one time where I pulled practical joke on the set of one of our videos. All the extras were around and the director was there and I thought it be funny to make a big announcement that I was pregnant and they were all like “WHAT?!” and clapping and extras were coming up and hugging me, and the director was hugging me [laughs]. It was so bad, oh my gosh. I don’t think I should do that anymore.
Oh my gosh, yeah, you probably have to be careful with things like that! All right, let’s talk about the album. The message behind “Get Weird” is so important right now, because I feel like these days it’s so difficult for female artists especially to really be themselves without being scrutinized or judged. Talk to me about why you guys felt now was the right time for this album.
Yeah, I just think it’s always the right time. “Get Weird” is all about being yourself and not being afraid. It’s about just having fun, right? Life’s too short. Don’t worry about what people think about you or what people say.
Speaking as a fan I have to say that one of my favourite things about you guys is your ability to make your fans feel more like friends. How do you guys make sure you keep that strong connection?
Aw thank you, definitely yeah. I think a lot of it is that they can relate to us. We’re so normal. We’re just four crazy girls who don’t take themselves too seriously and that might make them feel like they can relate to us and our music.
You’ve released these really big self-empowerment songs like “Wings,” “Salute,” “We Are Who We Are,” that became anthems for your fans. How does it feel to create these songs that become a part of such a big part of your fans’ lives?
It’s an amazing feeling to know that because those songs are anthems for our lives and that’s why we write them — to inspire us as well. When we hear our fans sing back to us and cry the lyrics, it’s such an emotional experience. It’s really an incredible thing.
Do you have a personal anthem? A song or artist that’s become a part of your life the way your songs have with your fans?
I love Jessie J’s “Who You Are” from her first album. It’s amazing, very inspiring.
What was it like to write with her?
She’s such an amazing talent. She’s an inspiring presence and that’s why we really wanted to write “Clued Up” and it’s literally just about unveiling our insecurities and it’s very personal to us. It’s about how we feel and when people hear the truth they know it comes directly from us.
You’ve talked a lot recently about the different sounds that come from the album- there’s a bit of an 80’s vibe, a little bit of 60’s… how did you decide that those kinds of genres would be the next direction you wanted to take musically?
Well we’re always dabbling in lots of different musical eras, like that’s what we love to do. We love to mix things up. We hate coming up with the same things. We’re four different girls who love different types of music and that really comes out with this album. I’m hoping everyone loves it just as much as we do!
You and the girls are writing more for Get Weird — which is amazing. Writing songs is such a deeply personal thing- what have you learned about yourself from writing music?
Mmm I think we literally love writing and it’s something [that] this time around was really hard, I don’t know why. We couldn’t find a single, nothing was good enough. We were worried. We waited for so long that we worried we’d never get back to it. And what we did learn is that we wanted to be together forever! [laughs] We waited for so long to find that single and to create this album. We just never ever want to feel like that again and there was almost a point when we thought we weren’t going to come back. That really scared us. But thankfully that didn’t happen, and we’re excited for everyone to finally hear the album!
Let’s talk a bit about your style, because you guys are killing it as a group and individually. I can imagine you guys get a lot of say in the costume designs for music videos and tours?
Oh yeah 100% everything is from us. We wouldn’t wear anything if we didn’t like it. It’s really good that we’ve all got different styles and we really do compliment each other. We have so much fun.
Do you have a favourite look from all your music videos?
Hmmm….. that’s a tough one. I really love what I wore in “Salute.” I felt like Nicki Minaj!
Of course I have to save the best question for last: when are we finally going to get you guys in Canada?!
Oh my gosh [laughs] soon I hope! We’ve been on the Demi tour, and we loved it. It’s just beautiful there. I think what I loved most was what we could be in a sort of town bit and then you turn around and you can be in the mountains. If you’ll have us we’d love to come back!…Perrie just said she’s excited to come to Canada!
Tell Perrie I’m doubly excited!
[Laughs] Perrie, she says she’s doubly excited! Haha, I love it!