In 2011, Little Mix became the first group to win the British talent show The X Factor. Now the foursome’s catchy brand of pop music with a positive message is a big hit in the U.S. The group’s first album, “DNA,” rose to No. 4 on the Billboard 200 chart. That’s the highest debut for a British girl band since 1997, when the Spice Girls hit No. 6.
TFK Kid Reporter Amelia Compton caught up with Little Mix in Los Angeles, California. The girls— Jesy Nelson, Perrie Edwards, Leigh-Anne Pinncok and Jade Thirlwall—talked about their musical influences, how they feel about their new-found fame, and much more.
Can you explain the name Little Mix?
We were originally called Rhythmix, but we had to change our name because there’s a charity with the same name. We wanted to keep “mix” in our name because we are a mix of different races, different everything. So we kept the “mix” and we added “little” because we're little. It works quite well, really.
Why is it important to you to perform music that empowers your fans?
We have a lot of young girl fans and young boy fans, and we think it's really important to give them a positive message. We want our music to inspire them to be more confident and to not let anybody put them down. When we were younger, we had to deal with a lot of negativity. At school, we all experienced bullying and things like that. We wanted to have music that can make people who have such terrible experiences feel better about themselves.
Can you describe the reaction of U.S. fans to your music?
We felt like Justin Bieber when we came here to the U.S. It's just amazing. Our fans are incredible and we can't believe we're in the position that we are at the moment
What do you enjoy most about your fame?
It’s the best feeling to wake up every day knowing that you're doing something you love. Touring is my favorite. You get to perform every night and see fans screaming for you. It's just incredible. It's also great to be with these girls every day.
Which song is your favorite to perform?
“DNA” is my favorite because it allows you to become a character. You can be this sort of weird, obsessed, serious sort of woman. It's really fun.
Who are your musical influences?
As a group we love Beyonce and Destiny's Child.
What do you do when you're not performing?
I love spending time with family and friends. It's an important thing because we don't really get to see them that much.
How do you feel about being described as the next Spice Girls?
It’s definitely a massive compliment. We all grew up listening to the Spice Girls. They were one of the biggest girl bands in the world, so to be compared to them is very nice!
Are you friends?
No! We hate each other! I'm joking. We're not friends; we're more like sisters. We're so comfortable with each other. When we’re touring, it feels like being on the road with family.
How did you become interested in singing and performing?
I've been singing since I was little. My mom used to listen to Motown and Diana Ross and that music was a big influence on me. That's how I started.
My whole family is into music. My brother likes to sing and play guitar. My dad's a singer, my mom's a singer and even my nana's a singer. Singing was just a normal way of life for me.
I've been singing since I was nine and I've loved it since I started. I couldn’t imagine being anything else but a singer.
I only wanted to become a singer about two years ago. I was a dancer before. Then I thought, “Oh, I'd like to do a bit of singing, too.” And that was that!