Originally auditioning as solo performers, Perrie Edwards, Jesy Nelson, Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Jade Thirlwall became Little Mix during the 2011 series of The X Factor UK, and went on to be crowned the show’s first ever victorious group. Their single “Cannonball” shot straight to No.1 in the UK & Ireland, and they released their debut album DNA in December 2012. Their story sounds similar to One Direction’s, and in fact, Perrie Edwards and Zayn Malik are engaged! Find out more about this lucky group of women.
Q: How has your life has changed since The X Factor?
Jesy: Oh gosh. Um, it has just been completely epic and dramatic, and . . . ahhhh . . . It’s just been absolutely amazing and we couldn’t have wanted anything more.
Q: Where were you when you first heard “Cannonball” on the radio?
Jade: Ooooh, I think we all were together, weren’t we, like traveling in the car when we first heard it for the first time. And I remember it was such a weird moment. It was the first time we’d ever heard our music on the radio and it was so special. I’ll never forget that really. It was weird feeling.
Q: What is the inspiration for your song, “Wings?” I was reading that it’s about bullying. Have you guys ever been bullied?
Jesy: I think we’ve all been through a bit of bullying like growing up, but I think you just have to surround yourself with people that love you and your friends and just kind of ignore it. During The X Factor, we got a bit of hate, but you just have to learn to ignore it because at the end of the day, for every bad comment you get there’s like a thousand good comments. That’s what the song “Wings” is all about, you know, like when we say, “Don’t let what they say keep you up at night,” and “We don’t let nobody bring us down.” When wrote it, we definitely thought of all the things that we’d be feeling and also what we could write to inspire our fans as well. So yeah, we definitely can relate to that song a lot.
Jade: When we did the album, we just really wanted to relate to our fans and kind of make them all feel really positive and stuff. If we can achieve that, then that will be a job well done really.
Q: What American city would you most want to visit?
Perrie: I’d love to go to L.A.!! It always looks sunny and beautiful in the movies. I can’t wait to see it in person!
Q: Who are your musical influences?
Leigh-Anne: I’m really, really into old-school R&B and like slow jams and stuff. I literally just love anything that’s slow and R&B really. Um, I also love Usher as well. I’d love to collaborate with Usher.
Q: What’s your all-time favorite book?
Jesy: My all-time favorite book is A Child Called It (for ages 12 and up). I love that book. It was so interesting and I just really, really got into it and I literally couldn’t put the book down. And it’s just a really sad story.
Perrie: Any of the Dr. Seuss books. I loooved those growing up.
Q: Who was your very first celebrity crush?
Jesy: Ooh. Justin Timberlake. Unfortunately I haven’t met him yet. Oh, I couldn’t take it anyway.
Q: How did your friends react when you got on The X Factor?
Leigh-Anne: I think most of them were just so proud. All my friends knew from day one how much I wanted to be a singer. So when they saw me up there, I think they were bursting with pride really. I’m so lucky to have the friends that I do because they’re just so supportive and amazing, and none of them have changed like since me doing The X Factor and stuff. They’re all always there for me. I think a lot of them as well were just so shocked by everything. I mean, it’s so crazy. Like even now I’m still trying to let it sink in and still trying to pinch myself because it just doesn’t seem real.
Q: What has been your most embarrassing moment?
Perrie: I have embarrassing moments all the time because I’m clumsy! But to be honest, I just laugh at myself most of the time so I don’t really get that embarrassed!
Q: What would an absolute perfect date would be for you?
Jade: Oooh, I think a perfect date for me would be something quirky and funny. I love Disney, so if my date took me to Disneyland Paris or Disney World, Florida that would be really nice. And Italian as well. I love Italian food. If somebody did something really little and thoughtful, whether it was like, I don’t know, getting a nice little present or saying something really complimentary then I’m quite easily pleased.
Q: What is your favorite motto or a quote that you live your life by?
Jesy: Just be yourself, and never let anyone tell you that you can’t be.
Leigh-Anne: Just believe. I’ve got “Believe” tattooed on my neck.
Jade: My favorite motto is “No day but today.” One of my friends passed away and ever since then, that’s been my motto in life.
Perrie: I believe everything happens for a reason, and good things come to those who wait but faster yet to those who take.
Interview by Marie Morreale