Little Mix tell Lauren Murphy about living the X-Factor dream,
Little Mix are determined to build on their X-Factor success and prove they are more than just another slice of pre-packaged pop, they tell Lauren Murphy
IT’S EASY to be cynical when you’re interviewing a shiny new pop band, but it can be a tricky task, too. Media training means a there is often a reluctance on the band’s part to speak negatively about anything or anyone, there is generally a dearth of “crazy” stories – and forgive us for generalising on this point – usually, not that much life experience. You can anticipate the uniform buzz phrases before they’re ever uttered: “so grateful/ supportive”, “amazing opportunity/ experience/time/fans”, “working really hard”.
That’s not to say that any of the above applies to Little Mix, of course, but interviewing a pop band – on speakerphone, too – when they’re travelling in the back of sixseater van certainly exacerbates the difficulties.
It’s the morning after their gig at London’s O2, and the girl band are trundling down the motorway on the way to their next show in Brighton. This is the sort of life the young foursome have led since winning The
X Factor in December 2011: a constant treadmill of travelling, rehearsals, meet-andgreets, shows, the odd recording session and the occasional rushed 15-minute interview snatched in the back of a car.
Pop life isn’t always as glamorous as this, though. Although they made X-Factor history by being the first group to win the competition, Little Mix’s debut single – a cover of Damien Rice’s Cannonball – was the lowest-selling winner’s single since Steve Brookstein’s Against All Odds in 2004. It led many to quickly dismiss their chances of having a lasting career, but that criticism just made them more determined, claims Jade Thirlwall.
“To be honest, we were really happy because we got to number one, and that was what we aimed for,” she says tactfully. “And it was one of the highest-selling singles that year – I think in the first week we sold more than most artists that year. We did really well with Cannonball. Obviously some years, winners have sold more – but that’s just the music industry. Sales are down.” “Yeah, every year the number of records sold has been descending,” interjects Leigh-Anne Pinnock – although that’s not quite true: the successor to their throne, James Arthur, sold 490,000 copies
of his single in its