They recently notched up their third top ten hit in Australia with ‘Black Magic’ (also their third UK number one) and, over the weekend, saw their new tune ‘Love Me Like You’ leap into the top 30.
But that’s not all UK girl group Little Mix have up their designer sleeves. It’s just over a week ’til they release their third album ‘Get Weird’ and, as part of their recent promotional visit, confirmed that they’ll tour Australia in May next year.
While in the country, we got the chance to chat with Leigh-Ann and Jade from the band about the album they threw away, working with UK dance diva Jess Glynne, which Aussie cities are in line for shows on their 2016 tour and what we can expect from their new album ‘Get Weird’.
Here’s what went down in our latest pop chat.
Congratulations on the UK No.1 for ‘Black Magic’ first and foremost. It must feel good to get your third No.1 under your belts…?
Jade : Oh definitely. It did so well… it was number one for three weeks, which is insane.
Are chart positions important to you? Presumably they’re more important to your record company?
Jade : For our label, obviously it’s amazing for them to have number ones, but they’re more concerned about sales in the long run. But I think for us to have three weeks at number one is just amazing, isn’t it?
Leigh-Anne : Yeah.
Jade : When you get number one, that means you’re number one… you’re winning!
We wanted to ask about ‘Move’. It was a real departure in sound for you that highlighted your incredible vocal talents as a group. Were you upset that it didn’t make the No.1 spot in the UK?
Leigh-Anne : Yeah. I’m not going to lie. I think we were a little bit disappointed. Just because we loved it so much and we’re always going to want our songs to get to number one. So to miss out, we were a little bit upset.
Jade : It was a competitive time, I think. It actually outsold ‘Wings’ in its first week, but ‘Wings’ was in the summer and it went straight in at No.1, whereas ‘Move’ came out at a more competitive time.
We felt it marked a superb progression in your sound and really showcased your vocal talents as a group. How fine have you found that line to tread between progressing your sound and finding that right pop formula that’s going to keep the Mixers happy?
Leigh-Anne : We don’t make music that we’re not passionate about and obviously it’s important, as you said, to find that pop hit, that radio hit or whatever. But I think our fans appreciate everything that we do, if that makes sense. With ‘Black Magic’, we just wanted to do a classic pop song that was going to work, didn’t we?
Jade : Yeah.
Leigh-Anne : We wanted it to be able to have lots of radio play. And that is ‘Black Magic’. It’s so catchy, perfect for the radio and I think we did a good thing with that. But we’re never going to make music that we’re not passionate about. I think that’s the point that I’m trying to make.
Are you trying to tell us that perhaps ‘Black Magic’ was your (ahem) perfect pop potion?? (both laugh)
Leigh-Anne : I think so, yes. It did really well over here too, right?
Leigh-Anne : Top ten, which is incredible. And we weren’t even here to promote it, so it’s very exciting stuff.
How do you feel you’ve changed as an act since the last album?
Jade : I think we’ve matured slightly and as the albums go on, we care less about what people think and just enjoy it more and more. That’s the main thing, I think. Every time we do an album, it becomes more and more of exactly what we want. This album particularly is very honest, isn’t it?
Leigh-Anne : Yeah, definitely.
Now you scrapped album number three – and you’ve got to be bursting with confidence to be able to do that. So in lots of respects, ‘Get Weird’ is really album number four. What was it about its previous incarnation that didn’t connect with you?
Jade : We wrote so many songs for it and even now we still love some of the songs that we did for it. But as a body of work, when we listened to it, something wasn’t gelling. It didn’t have that magic to it really. It was a big risk scrapping the majority of it, because obviously we missed about three deadlines trying to finish the album. But it’s got to be perfect at the end of the day. We’ve got to be 100% happy with it. We don’t want to release something that could’ve been better, so we kept going until we nailed it.
How did the label react to your decision?
Jade : They kind of agreed. We were meant to have an album ready for last Christmas. Once we got down to it and listened to it, we just said to the label that it’s a great album, but we know we can do better. So they, ‘okay, if you think that, then let’s keep going’. So it was kind of a mutual decision. And I think it’s the best decision we made, because before that point, we didn’t have ‘Black Magic’, we didn’t have ‘Love Me Like You’ or ‘Weird People’. Amazing songs that otherwise would never have happened. So it was a good call.
How many songs from that original edition have made the tracklist for ‘Get Weird’?
Jade : I think about two.
Leigh-Anne : Yeah, literally.
Jade : ‘A.D.I.D.A.S’ just scraped the barrel. Got through. In terms of those that we wrote, not many at all. There still lots of other songs and we’ll probably keep them for the next album to see if they fit better with that. Or we might pick some out and see if any other artists want them.
Jade : Oh yes. That was a big worry for us in that gap. In the pop world, a year is like ten years. So we were starting to feel that pressure of ‘oh god, I hope people don’t forget about us because it’s such a big gap. Will somebody fill our place?’ But by the time ‘Black Magic’ came out, we just knew that it was good enough to bring us back with a bang.
So what can we expect from ‘Get Weird’?
Jade : I think ‘Get Weird’ is just a brilliant pop album. And I know every artist has to say that they’re bringing out an album that’s the best one yet, but ‘Get Weird’ is absolutely the best-written album that we’ve done so far. It’s more honest, it’s got so much personality to it. I honestly believe that every song on the album could’ve been a single, which is a dilemma that we had in deciding what was going to be the next single. It’s a great problem to have.
What are your favourite songs on the new LP? Leigh-Anne?
Leigh-Anne : Oooh I would say ‘I Love You’.
Awww. We love you too!
Leigh-Anne : (laughs) Awww. Very much so. When we first heard it…. It’s a slow song. It’s beautiful. And I think we’ve got attached to it. The melodies in it are so beautiful and basically it was like a cool vibe, the instrumental, and it got changed and we literally hated it. I’m just going to say it… we did. And it was just such a back and forth thing. The label wanted it one way and we wanted it another way and we just couldn’t agree. But in the end, we came to this agreement and it’s perfect now. It’s almost like if we didn’t stand up for what we believed in, then it wouldn’t have been how we loved it. So I’m just so happy that we took a stand. We always do that. We’re always – what’s the word…? We know what we want.
Jade : Oooh well I absolutely adore ‘Lightning’. ‘Lightning’ is like the big sister to ‘DNA’. We absolutely adore that one. And also there’s a song we wrote with Jess Glynne called ‘I Won’t’, which is really special to us, because like we said before, when we were all sat worrying about the big gap and were we ever going to find the single and getting really worried. And we were in a session with Jess Glynne and she was saying, ‘come on girls – stop feeling sorry for yourselves, write your song, show everyone why you still deserve to be smashing it’. That’s where the song ‘I Won’t’ came from.
Well her track record of hits in the UK is phenomenal so far.
Leigh-Anne : It’s ridiculous. Everytime she releases something it goes to number one. But her voice is infectious. It’s beautiful, her voice.
So perhaps that single could be released as ‘Little Mix ftg. Jess Glynne’. Just get her name on there. That could be worth its weight in chart gold!
Jade : Yeah, we’d love to! Two of the songs on the album we wrote with Jess. We’ve made a really good friend in her, so we’d love to collaborate with her properly.
Just for a little bit of fun… what do you both do to ‘Get Weird’ in your downtime?
Leigh-Anne : The majority of the time when we’re weird is with each other. We are just crazy.
Jade : We bring out the weirdness in each other.
It must be weird to be living in each others’ pockets constantly. Surely that must put a lot of pressure on your personal relationships with each other?
Jade : You know what? Everybody says that, but we are constantly together and we wouldn’t have it any other way. We don’t get sick of each other. The only time we’re not together is Christmas and we literally get withdrawal symptoms across that week. We’re literally joined at the hip and even after we finish work, we’ll kick back in our hotel rooms. It’s healthy how close we are. I don’t know anybody who’s as close as we are.
What’s the worst rumour you’ve heard about each other?
Jade : Just the ‘arguing’ ones.
Leigh-Anne : Yeah, there was one that said how we were going to split up. When we had that big year gap, they were saying that Little Mix were going to split up. It was just like, ‘no… that is not going to happen anytime soon’. But you just have to ignore it.
Now… you’ve announced a tour in May next year… Though we’re in the dark really about much else at this stage. Which cities will you be visiting?
Jade : Yeah! Well so far, we’ll be doing Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.
Oooh you know Adelaide’s going to be pissed off.
Jade : Everybody says that. But we’ll see. It’s still early days yet, so you never know. But that’s where it’s at at the moment. It’s our first ever tour, so we don’t know how to gauge it. We’re just going to see how it goes.
So what you’re saying at the moment is that if Adelaidians want to have you in their city, they’d better start an online petition now.
Jade : Well if there’s enough of them… If the petition’s got about 10,000 people, we’ll be there!
What can we expect from this Little Mix live experience?
Leigh-Anne : Oh god, you can expect a tonne of energy, lots of fun on stage. The show doesn’t stop. I think when you watch us, you’ll get tired watching us. We’re just constant. Just expect an extravagant, incredible show….
Little Mix’s singles ‘Black Magic’ and ‘Love Me Like You’ are available now.
Their album ‘Get Weird’ will be released on Friday November 06.
Little Mix will play live shows in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth in May next year. Tour details are coming soon.