Little Mix’s Perrie Edwards Talks ‘Glory Days': ‘It Was Kind Of Like Therapy For Us’ [Exclusive]
It's been a whirlwind five years since the forces that be thrust the women of Little Mix together, in what turned out to be one of pop music's more harmonious unions in recent memory. The newly minted group became the first to ever win the coveted X Factor crown, and they've gone on to release three albums since -- each of which has sounded markedly different from the last, while never once betraying Little Mix's signature pop appeal.
Their forthcoming studio release Glory Days is out on November 18 and it promises to be the group's most honest and eclectic yet. Member Perrie Edwards was kind enough to speak with us about the therapeutic nature of songwriting, the evolution of the Little Mix sound, their forthcoming 2017 tour with Ariana Grande and why they decided -- as a group! -- to be so candid and revealing in their recent book Our World.
This interview has been edited and condensed.
I know it was only two years between Salute and Get Weird but it felt like much longer. Thankfully, there’s a shorter wait for Glory Days since it's out in November. Was the writing process easier this time around? What inspired you guys to put out an album more quickly than before?
I think with the Get Weird album, it was the hardest album we’ve ever made so we had no idea what sound we wanted to go for, we didn't really know what we wanted to write about...and so it took a lot of time. But the Glory Days album literally just kind of fell into place. It was kind of like therapy for us, I think. We spoke about everything we’ve been through over the past year or even the past five years in our career. And it just felt like the easiest album to make. It's just been incredible, and we’re so excited about it. That’s why we can’t wait to get it out.
So would you say Glory Days is more autobiographical than your past albums?
I think so. Honestly, I think we poured our hearts and souls into this album, so it’s a very kind of love and heartbreak album, but we’re just really passionate about it.
Your sound has evolved a lot since DNA. That album had more of a straight-up pop sound, Salute was more R&B, and then Get Weird incorporated more rock and ‘80s pop. So your sound has shifted a lot over the years, which is great because it keeps things from getting stagnant. Where would you say Glory Days falls, sound-wise?
The thing is with us is, we never want to be predictable. But at the same time we know what our fans love and we know what kind of sounds we want to get across to everyone. But this album is definitely more eclectic — it’s completely different to what we’ve done on our other albums. Take all the best things of our other albums and jam them into one. Our second single in particular that we love, it’s so cool — the sound production, the harmonies, the melodies — it’s very catchy tunes that people just want to listen to.
Where did the album title come from?
So Glory Days is, basically, we’ve been saying that these are the best days of our lives and we’re gonna look back on this when we’re really old and think "Wow, we had so much fun, we absolutely loved it and we had the best times of our lives." I feel like we’re living our glory days now.
Let’s talk about the lead single, "Shout Out to My Ex." Why do you think it’s so relatable as a concept...the idea of moving on from a toxic ex or a disaster ex?
I think when you go through a breakup, the first initial thing you do is put on music. I think everyone can relate to music. It doesn’t matter who you are in the world, where you are in the world. Your initial reaction is to listen to really sad songs and get upset and get emotional. But I feel like we’re kind of missing that anthemic, I don’t really care anymore song that makes you feel amazing and makes you feel empowered and it’s inspirational. And everybody in the world can relate to it, because everybody’s got an ex, and everybody needs a little pick me up I think, which is nice, so that’s why we did it. We want everybody to feel great about themselves.
Can you give me any details about shooting the “Shout Out to My Ex” music video?
It’s definitely our best video yet and we filmed it in Spain in a desert, so it was right hot and we were all in leather pants and stuff, dripping with sweat. But I think the video just kind of shows our friendship and how much fun we have together and how we're always having a laugh and how close we are. It’s really colorful, really fun. It’s wonderful!
That’s something I really love about you guys. If I hadn’t known you were put together on the X Factor, I wouldn’t know it didn’t come together organically, because you guys have that camaraderie that feels really natural. And that doesn’t work for all the bands they put together on the show.
It’s good to have a genuine friendship and a genuine sisterhood because we work together 24/7 and we’re around each other 24/7. There’s always a stigma attached to it as well that you don’t get along or there’s always someone who wants to be in the limelight more. But we just have such a good balance and fully support each other. I always say if girls stick together we can be the strongest force ever.
I’m sure that helps with touring. You’re opening for Ariana Grande next year. Have you guys mapped out what your sets are going to be like? Are you excited?
We are so excited, we love Ariana Grande! She’s an absolute queen, she’s incredible, so we can't wait. We start rehearsals after Christmas, so we come back January. We just want to put on the best show we possibly can — it’s gonna be so much fun, I’m very excited.
I also wanted to talk about your book Our World. Just based on a few excerpts that came out ahead of the release, I know you and Jade were both really frank in what you wrote about. You talked about your breakup and then Jade opened up about her past struggle with anorexia which I thought was really selfless of her, even though I'm sure it was an incredibly difficult thing to do. So I was wondering what made all of you decide to come out with such a personal narrative when you probably could’ve just written a fluff book to get it out. Was it cathartic?
That's exactly what we wanted to go for. We did another book a few years ago and we had just started out in our careers, and we were very young and we hadn’t experienced an awful lot. So it was very clouded with certain things like makeup and hair and when we were approached to do a book again, we sat down together and we were like, if we're gonna do a book, we wanna do it right. We're gonna talk about our lives from childhood to where we are now and tell everyone what we've been through.
We are normal girls, we’re not gonna put on a front and pretend that we've had everything perfect because we did go through things that loads of people go through. Opening up in our book and telling the world what we've been through as individuals, it helps our fans who have had the same kinds of issues and have been through the same things. Again, same with the album, it’s like therapy to talk about our lives and it felt amazing to get it all off our chests.
Have you ever felt any hesitation about writing a certain lyric or anything you think might be too revealing? Or do you just go all in?
Definitely, maybe a year ago we would've been a bit more hesitant to write about anything that was too out there or honest, but with age we get more comfortable and more confident, and our fans have grown with us as well. Our fans are a lot older than they were when we first started out and we’re just talking about things that are more honest now. We don't really think about it too much. We put everything into a song, we make it as raunchy and as out there as possible and then we reign it in if we have to.
Glory Days is out on November 18.
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