Nadine Coyle UK
EST 2017 | your source for all things nadine coyle

She’s back from the States with a solo album and an open mind about a reboot with her bandmates. But she might need to build some bridges with Cheryl, Nicola and Kimberley first, writes Nick Levine

During our hour-long interview, Nadine Coyle shows me a picture of a T-shirt a fan’s just tweeted to her. He’s had it made especially for her upcoming gig at London club G-A-Y. On the front is a photo of Girls Aloud and the tweet Coyle posted in March 2013, right after the group announced their separation. ‘You should know by now I had no part in any of this split business. I couldn’t stop them. I had the best time & want to keep going. Xxxx.’ Nadine shoots me a look, equal parts bemused and amused, that seems to say, ‘Fans, what are they like?’

Having reconnected with Girls Aloud’s producer and founder of Xenomania, Brian Higgins, Nadine has just released her first solo single since the group’s demise. Go To Work is a motivational pop song on which her voice, always the group’s best, sounds super-gutsy. ‘This song is a good bridge between Girls Aloud and some of the more “out there” songs I’ve recorded,’ she explains. ‘I’m reintroducing myself, and I don’t want to do it by smacking people round the face with some massive song that I’m just singing the hell out of.’

Since Girls Aloud ended, Nadine has moved back to London after nine years in LA. ‘I grew up in Northern Ireland where it was freezing. Having 26 degrees every day is great for a holiday but, after a while, it didn’t feel like my life,’ she says, her thick Derry accent gloriously unaffected by California. Nadine and her partner, former American football player Jason Bell, have also welcomed a daughter, Anaíya, who’s now three. ‘She thinks my job is so much fun,’ says Nadine proudly. ‘I might have to go away with work for a few days, but when I come back it feels like I actually get more time with her. So I feel very fortunate I can do that.’

She admits it’s ‘a bit daunting’ returning to the music business, but says she has a no-nonsense approach to trolls. ‘If I see more than two or three [negative comments] from the same person, I immediately block them. If people say anything negative about the other girls, I block them too. It’s just not nice.’

And what about becoming the subject of memes? An attack by a wasp when Nadine was on stage went viral. ‘Oh God, that wasp was right in my face, it wasn’t going away! And I made it worse by getting freaked out by an insect in front of however many thousands of people and all those cameras. I couldn’t stop myself! It’s not weird that people found it funny.’ I think people like that you’re so natural, I say. ‘I think I’m a very natural person. I’m way more natural than I’d like to be, if I’m totally honest!’

This seems like a perfect time to ask the golden question: to what extent is she in touch with the other girls? ‘I literally just got a Snapchat from Sarah. We Snapchat each other. And I’m really looking forward to meeting up with her at some point in the very near future. And that’s it. That’s as far as it goes.’ Why does she think she bonded with Sarah Harding more than the other girls? ‘I don’t know. We’re completely different. But I think we’re all completely different.’

Certainly, she and Sarah hold different opinions on Girls Aloud’s successors. ‘They all wear next to nothing, all the girl bands these days. Slutty, slutty, slutty,’ Sarah controversially said during her recent Celebrity Big Brother stint. ‘No, I don’t agree with that,’ Nadine tells me. ‘Wear whatever you want and whatever makes you happy.’ And she says of Little Mix, ‘Wear less if you want! You’ve got great figures!’ During her Girls Aloud days, was Nadine ever pressured into wearing something that made her uncomfortable? ‘Not at all. We could always say, “I’m not wearing that.” Yeah, we were in a pop band and there was a certain look, but I never ever feel like I’ve compromised myself or my morals over the clothes I wore or the content I put out. I always felt really comfortable.’

Unlike Sarah, who seems haunted by her old tabloid ‘Hardcore Harding’ image, Nadine’s approach to gossip stories is far more bulletproof. ‘There have been loads of ridiculous stories,’ she says. ‘But one in particular was so shocking because there was so much detail. It said I had gone to The Ivy and taken out some scales to weigh my food. I was like, “Oh my God!” It was quite hilarious.’ But wasn’t it hard when journalists were implying you had an unhealthy relationship with food? ‘What can you do? It’s definitely part and parcel of the job. I always say, as long as the story isn’t something that could put you in jail, it’s pretty much fair game.’

Actually, Nadine is one of the most levelheaded celebrities I’ve ever met. She’s also friendly and unguarded, and says her favourite days are spent ‘chopping and chatting’ in the kitchen with a house full of people to cook for. And she does love her potatoes. ‘I was shocked – I mean shocked – when I first moved to London and asked for a side of mashed potatoes in Pizza Express and they said no. I said, “Well, can I have chips?” And they were like, “No, we don’t do chips either.” I was like, “Well, what do you people eat? I’m just trying to get a meal here!’

As the interview ends, I propose a Girls Aloud reunion – maybe to mark the group’s 20th anniversary in 2022? ‘OK, yeah… that’s five years away. Who knows? But it sounds good to me.’

[Source]

Magazines > 2017 – Grazia – 25th September
Photoshoots > 2017 > Ed Miles [Grazia]

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