UK girl-group Little Mix made history last year, when they became the first group ever to win 'The X Factor' UK - a feat that even the mighty One Direction couldn't accomplish.
While in Australia recently on a promo visit, the four-piece's resident blonde Perrie Edwards, gave Coup De Main a call to discuss everything from her New Zealand best friend, to her obsession with Kelly Kapowski and advice for 'The X Factor' NZ hopefuls.
"...we knew that we wanted to be involved in the writing process as much as possible. Because if your fans are listening to the music and they can relate to it, they’ll relate to it a lot more if it comes from us."
COUP DE MAIN: How are you finding Australia, Perrie?
LITTLE MIX - PERRIE EDWARDS: I'm absolutely loving it. I think it’s amazing!
CDM: And apparently you used to live in New Zealand?
PERRIE: Yeah I did, I lived there for a year when I was about eleven.
CDM: What do you remember from living here?
PERRIE: I just absolutely loved it. I didn’t even want to leave, I thought it was absolutely incredible. I went to Mt. Eden Normal [Primary] school - do you know it? I can’t remember where it was, but I went to Mt Eden Normal school and absolutely loved it.
CDM: The big question all your New Zealand fans would like answered is... when are Little Mix going to be coming here?
PERRIE: I don’t know! Hopefully soon! I really wanted to come, but yeah, it would be amazing if we could get there as soon as we can. It would be amazing to go back, just so I could go back because I haven’t been since I was younger, so I would just love it.
CDM: Is there anything on your wish-list that you and the girls would like to do in NZ?
PERRIE: Well, when I get there I would like to see my best friend Mandy - because I had a best friend called Mandy, and then when I left I haven’t seen her since I was eleven so a nice reunion would be nice, it would be nice to see her again.
CDM: What was the recording process for your debut album 'DNA' like?
PERRIE: It was absolutely amazing. It was really fun, we had such a laugh in the studio and we always just came in laughing because it was just so fun. And at first it was quite hard because we were trying to find our style and we didn't know what we wanted with all that, but then when we started to put the vocals in - after that the album just took off. As soon as we heard 'Wings' we knew it was going to be our first single, so yeah, it was really good.
CDM: Was it important to you to co-write some of the songs on the album?
PERRIE: Yeah, it was really important - when we first came off the show ['The X Factor UK'] and we went straight into the studio, we knew that we wanted to be involved in the writing process as much as possible. Because if your fans are listening to the music and they can relate to it, they’ll relate to it a lot more if it comes from us. Obviously, we’re so young and we have been through stuff as well, so it’s nice for them to relate to it.
CDM: Who are your biggest musical influences and inspirations?
PERRIE: I like Steve Perry, from Journey - he’s like my all-time favourite, and there’s a groups we like, Beyoncé and Destiny’s Child, like all the girl-bands, Spice Girls, all that kind of thing. And Michael Jackson as well, I love stuff like that.
CDM: Since you're named after Steve Perry, do you have a favourite Journey song?
PERRIE: Oh my gosh, I wouldn’t be able to pick! I love all of them. I love ‘Don’t Stop Believing’, I love ‘Oh Sherrie’, I love ‘Faithfully’, I like ‘Mother, Father’, I like ‘Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin'' <laughs> I love all of them!
CDM: How would you describe your music to people that haven't heard it before?
PERRIE: Well, hopefully once they all get our album, they’ll be a lot more shocked because it’s got something on there for everyone, it’s very versatile. I think every song is different on the album as well, so everyone should have their own favourite.
CDM: What was your favourite part of the album to record?
PERRIE: Gosh I don’t know! Every time I listen to the album I have got a new favourite and I like a different part. I think every song on the album has a memory behind it, and that’s a pretty cool thing - because looking back on when we recorded 'Wings' it was just such a good time and a really cool experience to be able to go into the studio and have a laugh. And then when we recorded 'DNA' the second single, I remember I was listening to how it started and just all the little stories, we were all talking about how the future would be nice. And when we listen to the album it reminds us of each story.
CDM: Are there any particular songs that you are most excited for your fans to hear?
PERRIE: All of them! I just can’t wait for them to all hear the album because it’s going to be cool to see what people’s favourites are... obviously we have our favourites and they change every day, so it's going to be nice to see what the feedback is like and see what it is most popular and what people like - maybe little girls will like certain songs more then the older generation - so it's going to be really interesting to see what everyone thinks.
CDM: What are your favourite lyrics that you sing on the album?
PERRIE: I like the lyrics in 'Going Nowhere' - I just think it’s a really cool song. It’s something that a lot of girls in relationships go through - with their boyfriend being a complete bum. And like, just stuff like that. So yes, every song has got something you can relate to, so I like the lyrics in all the songs really.
CDM: What do you want people to take away from listening to your music?
PERRIE: Whilst I am being cliché, hopefully loads of emotion - like hopefully when they listen to the upbeat ones they are all happy and getting ready to go out and having fun. And then for some of the ballads, hopefully they can connect with ballads and stuff like that as well, so it’s all different emotions hopefully.
CDM: What is the most memorable thing that a fan has ever said to you?
PERRIE: Probably just how they used to be insecure and they felt uncomfortable wearing different things and being themselves and stuff like that and then they say that our music sometimes can help, so it makes them a lot more confident and it makes them want to wear what they want, like dress-wise, and then not be scared of what people might say.
CDM: 'The X Factor' is going to be launching in New Zealand soon with a local version, what advice would you give people wanting to compete?
PERRIE: Just be yourself, be confident. Try and stand out - but in a good way. Stand out for being yourself other then wearing like a chicken suit or something... <laughs> And yeah, just have fun and take every bit of experience that you can as well.
CDM: How important do you think it is to make choices on what you want to do, versus what the judges want you to do?
PERRIE: Sometimes it comes onto you differently then what the judges think, because everyone’s got their own opinions and if you feel uncomfortable with something that they are trying to make you do it can be hard, but a lot of the time as well you have gotta respect their decision and think ‘hold on a minute, they are a judge for a reason’. Their criticism is really important sometimes because they know what they are talking about, they are really experienced, and sometimes you have got to take on board what they are saying as well as what you think.
CDM: If L.I.T.T.L.E. M.I.X. was a real-life acronym, what would each letter stand for?
PERRIE: 'L' would be lively, or luck... yeah luck. And then 'I' would be Individual. 'L' would be... no <laughs> I can't even spell! 'T' would be talkative. And the next 'T' would be trendy? <laughs> 'L' would be laughter and then 'E' would be emotion. 'M' would be mental. 'I' would be interesting. 'X' would be x-ray.
CDM: What are your five favourite things in the whole wide world?
PERRIE: Animals! My family! My friends! Clothes... and make-up.
CDM: Tell me something that no-one else knows about each member of the band...
PERRIE: I don’t have a sense of smell, but I think people already know that... but that is pretty much all that I could think of. I don’t know! I don’t think there is anything about us that people don’t already know, we're really honest. And if we tell each other's secrets too much, people will just think we're really weird.
CDM: If you could be any Disney princess, which one would you want to be and why?
PERRIE: Oohhh... that’s a good question! I like 'Tangled'. I like her, I like Rapunzel, or Sleeping Beauty, or Cinderella. All the blonde ones!
CDM: Who are your top five favourite girl-groups of all time?
PERRIE: Spice Girls, Destiny’s Child, B*Witched, All Saints and TLC.
CDM: What do you think about when you are performing live?
PERRIE: Nothing really goes through my head when I’m performing live, I normally just look out into the crowd and see the fans and it makes me feel really happy - especially when they all sing the lyrics back to us, it’s amazing.
CDM: If you could have the clothes from any character in any movie, who would you choose?
PERRIE: Can it be a [TV] programme instead? Do you remember 'Saved By The Bell'?
CDM: Of course!
PERRIE: You do?
CDM: Yes! Totally!
PERRIE: Well, I would have Kelly Kapowski’s wardrobe, I’m obsessed.
CDM: If you could have magical powers, what would you want and why?
PERRIE: I would be able to pee through my finger.
CDM: Who are your top five girl-crushes of all time?
PERRIE: Kelly Kapowski, Rihanna... and what’s her name, from 'The Mask Of Zorro'? Catherine Zeta-Jones. Beyoncé and Jennifer Aniston.
CDM: If you were a superhero, what would be your superhero name?
PERRIE: Princess Perry!
CDM: A friendship-crush is someone that you have no romantic interest in whatsoever, but just really wish that you were best friends with them. Who would be your top five friendship-crushes, living or dead?
PERRIE: Johnny Depp, Michael Jackson, Orlando Bloom, Beyoncé and Rihanna.
CDM: Where do you get your fashion and style inspiration from?
PERRIE: I like Kelly Kapowski from 'Saved By The Bell' - she’s like my style icon if you haven’t noticed already! <laughs> And I love like the 80s look - 80s and early 90s, like the high-waisted jeans and the crop tops, and the floral prints, and flowers and stuff like that. Big baggy jumpers... yeah, stuff like that.
CDM: Do you girls have a stylist?
PERRIE: Yeah we do, we have got two and they work together as a team and they are really really good, they are really nice. And we have a hair stylist - she’s amazing, so we’re really lucky to have her, she comes in and she knows everything.
CDM: How much of a say do you individually get on what you wear?
PERRIE: We get a lot of say, like a lot of the time, because obviously we have to feel like we are comfortable in the way we dress, so yeah it is really important to get as much of a say as you can. But sometimes you do have to compromise - say if we are doing a performance and we have to look really good and we all have to wear shorts or something, there will be a few people that will have to be like: "I don’t want to wear shorts but I’ll compromise for the group."
CDM: Lastly, do you have a message for your New Zealand fans?
PERRIE: I absolutely love you! You are just so supportive and amazing and hopefully I will get to come to New Zealand and see you all because I would love to go back where I used to live and yeah, a big shout out to Mandy as well! <laughs>
Little Mix's debut album 'DNA' is out now - featuring the single of the same name and 'Wings'. Click here to purchase via iTunes.
Watch out-takes and highlights from CDM Issue #6 interviews below...