Jenny Entwistle caught up with former Girls Aloud redhead Nicola Roberts to talk about everything from the band’s reunion to her stance against tanning.
Jenny Entwistle (JE): Listening to the album (Nicola’s debut album Cinderella’s Eyes) it’s apparent that each track addresses life issues that you’ve faced – in particular the track Sticks and Stones; was it important when making this album that you make it so personal?
Nicola Roberts (NR): I think that when you’re writing an album, it, like all things, comes from inside you; they come from your emotions, or the way you think about certain situations. Because everything is how you see it or what you feel. I think it’s always going to be perceived as being personal.
JE: The album gained massive critical success; does that mean more to you because you made it on your own terms rather than as a team effort, like with Girls Aloud?
NR: I literally walked out of the classroom and on to the stage. I was in the band when I had just turned 17, so I suppose for me to have the support of the other girls for so many years and working together as a team was amazing but it’s kind of nice to have had that 18 months of solid work on that little square CD and see my own little journey.
It was important to me that everyone that we worked with, wanted to be on the team.
I never wanted that situation where I would go into the studio and I would feel like “oh we’re writing a song today” but tomorrow I’ve got her, and the day after him, I didn’t want to feel like just another one on the conveyer belt. It felt like everyone wanted to be apart of the project and that’s why I think it worked.
JE: You’re releasing new single Yo-Yo on January 8. You’ve previously said that you thought it might have been your debut single, so how does it feel to finally have a release date set and for the video to be out there?
NR: It’s mental isn’t it! When you think about it like that. I’m not sure, it’s strange because like I said Yo-Yo was supposed to be the first single. So for nearly the whole time when I was making the record in my head I just had Yo-Yo as the first single so it’s funny that through all that time I thought that and now is it sort of coming out there.
JE: You champion a lot of causes, but most notably the stance against tanning and the use of sun beds. As you’ve got older you’ve been able to embrace the fact that you have a naturally pale complexion and started your range of Dainty Doll makeup – what sort of advice can you offer to people who may be going through the same insecurities?
NR: Just bite the bullet. I think I had, what’s the word when you’re addicted to tanning? But it’s like anything that you go through as a person you have to make a change. So many people like all the girls would be like ‘oh my god please just stop tanning, it’s much better when you’re pale!’, but I was so wrapped up in it that no one could tell me. I think that you, whatever your situation in life, have to personally make the change but it takes time.
JE: You’ve mentioned before about having the persona of “Little Nicola” do you think branching off and going solo has made you more confident and accepting of who you are or did that happen during the later years with Girls Aloud?
NR: It sort of happened around the last album. I don’t know, something just clicked. I had the most amazing summer holiday with all of my friends from Liverpool and I had just become single.
I started to go to all the fashion shows and change my mentality about beauty and commercialism, everything. My whole aspect and everything I looked at just changed.
JE: Do you think a solo tour would be something on the horizon for you in the new year?
NR: Doing more solo gigs would be something I would love to do. That would be amazing.
JE: It’s Girls Aloud’s 10-year anniversary next year; do you have any plans to celebrate?
NR: Yeah we’ll definitely be celebrating. We’re actually nine today. It’s crazy isn’t it?! It’s nice, but definitely, I am super looking forward to that. As so much of my life was spent in Girls Aloud you just couldn’t not celebrate it.