"When we first got together I think we realised that there wasn’t anyone that was representing girls in a positive way without being overly sexual. I think we’ve filled that gap now", says Jade Thirlwall, one quarter of Britain’s biggest girl band since the Spice Girls.
Little Mix are sitting opposite me in Rankin’s office, a bundle of excitement while discussing their upcoming third album, which, they say, unashamedly, is “100% girl power”, a positive message for their legions of impressionable fans, and something that several other popstars could probably use a healthy dose of. “At first we were worried about getting girls on our side”, continues Jade, “but thankfully they came flooding in. I think young girls needed an ally in music.” Leigh-Anne Pinnock continues, “We’re going through the same things as our fans, and music can really help you when you’re struggling.” When it comes to their careers though, Little Mix haven’t had much of a struggle. Thrown together on The X-Factor, they endured a swift name change from Rythmix to Little Mix and after more than a few belting performances, became the first group to win the show. But don’t expect any Sugababes style feuding here; while all four entered as solo artists the girls are either fantastic actresses, or really do get on. After spending the day with them, we’re banking on the latter.
According to them though, it was after The X-Factor that hard work really kicked in. “When we came off the show we never sat back and thought, “that’s it, we’ve won”. We knew that people would be expecting success from us so we had to deliver it”, says Perrie Edwards, the feistiest member of the group. "If you come off The X-Factor and expect everything to be handed to you, that’s when it falls apart", continues Jesy Nelson. “That’s where a lot of artists that come off The X-Factor fall down, they’re there and then they’re gone in a flash. We had to work so hard and I don’t think people realise that – it was never easy – but we kept that mentality up and that’s why I think we’ve been successful. Anyone that says it’s not credible, I’d like to see them give it a go!” she continues. “That’s what annoys me about people slagging off The X-Factor – it can give you a platform to go from sweeping the streets or working in Tescos to being able to change your life, and why diss that? If someone’s been given an opportunity like that then good on ‘em.”
And you couldn’t ever claim that Little Mix have squandered opportunity. Since releasing their first album, DNA, in 2012 the band have sold 7.5 million records, scored a handful of number one hits, followed up with a second album, Salute, and even cracked that elusive American market, breaking the record for a highest charting debut from a British girl group, a record previously held by the Spice Girls. As Perrie lets us know, "We’ve learnt that when us four girls stick together we’re a strong force, we’re not be messed with." (read the interview here)