12 Sep 2017
Catagories: Interview 10

“My favourite smell is bleach,” says Nadine Coyle.

“If I walk into the house and there’s things being bleached, it just makes me feel at home, euphoric almost.”

She pauses and laughs. “I can’t believe we’re having a whole discussion about bleach. Real pop star things!”

The topic has come up because Coyle’s new song, Go To Work, is a withering riposte to a lover who’s not pulling their weight.

“Tell me what I got to do / To get you up in the morning?” she sings over an infectious house piano. “Why don’t you go to work?”

The song sees the 32-year-old reunited with Xenomania, the songwriting geniuses behind her old band Girls Aloud. Together they scored 21 Top 10 singles, more than any other female band in history, before calling it a day in 2013. (Coyle says the split was “silly” and refused to put her name to it. But more on that later.)

Go To Work was inspired, says Coyle, by “general annoyance” with people “who just don’t do anything” to help out, at home or at work.

But she’s quick to point out the lyrics have nothing to do with her partner, American Football player Jason Bell.

“It’s funny, we were watching this programme, Married to a Celebrity, the other night, and people had to write lists of whinges about their partner.

“I said to Jason, ‘what would we write on our lists?’ and he said, ‘I wouldn’t write anything.’

“I was like, ‘that’s a good answer. Well done, Jason!’

“We live really well together,” she adds. “He doesn’t cook and he doesn’t clean, but he makes really good coffees.”

Feel-good pop

Home life has been Coyle’s priority since Girls Aloud split in 2013. She moved back to Northern Ireland after nine years in Los Angeles to raise her three-year-old daughter Anaiya.

Now, though, she’s all fired up and ready to return to the charts.

Nadine’s first solo record was released, somewhat disastrously, in partnership with Tesco.

Six years on she’s signed a deal with Virgin EMI, home to Justin Bieber and Katy Perry, and says there’s already a “four-single plan” for her new album.

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10 Sep 2017
Catagories: Interview 13

It’s been seven years since ‘Insatiable’, why was now the right time to come back?

Now is the time, because now we have really good songs. It took all that time.

I mean, I hadn’t been working, it wasn’t like I’d been trying to do songs. After ‘Insantiable’ I didn’t do anything, literally I didn’t sing at all until the Girls Aloud reunion tour, and we did ‘Something New’.

And after that, I stopped singing again, but when I started back with Brian [Higgins, the founder of Xenomania] it was almost like something clicked. It was like, ’that’s right, that’s right, I love doing this stuff’.

I had been, like, ‘I don’t wanna be a singer anymore’, so dramatic, but when I was [recording with Brian] I was like, oh my god I love this, I love these songs, I love what this is. And then we just kept on working and working until we got more songs.

How did the two of you wind up working together again?

Basically, we have always had a great time together in the studio. I was in a car somewhere in London, and there were these amazing songs on [the radio], and I’d just moved back to London. And I was like, ’I wanna do [that]… who does amazing songs?’, and then I was like, ‘Brian Higgins, let me text him!’

So I sent him a text, and he was like, ′Nadine, I’ve been trying to get hold of you, you must have changed your number’. So we met a couple a days of later, and we were in the studio not long after that.

How was it getting back together after such a long gap, did it feel like anything had changed?

It didn’t feel like a day had passed. And it’s funny, because I’ve known Brian since the very beginning, since I was still auditioning to be in the band. And it feels like time hasn’t moved on. We’re still the same way, and still as focussed and as passionate about it as what we were trying to do the first Girls Aloud album.

When you started out, were the two of you conscious of trying not to replicate Girls Aloud’s sound?

It was more about just singing a load of stuff. Because my voice has changed since then. So it was about what’s going to mix in. I’m not gonna sing about jumping in tutus now, because it might seem a bit weird, you know?

So there was that thing of, ‘what kind of stuff would it be now’, ‘what kind of stuff can I sing?’, ‘what sounds best?’… but it was a blank canvas, we weren’t trying to make it like Girls Aloud, we weren’t trying to make it completely different. We just wanted to do stuff we enjoyed, stuff that’s fun and that we feel really good about, and that’s what happened.

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9 Sep 2017
Catagories: Performance 12

Nadine performed at tonight’s We Are Manchester benefit concert, raising money for a memorial to those who lost their lives in the devastating terror attack in May.

She sang Go To Work for the first time live, and also Girls Aloud classic, Call The Shots. I’ve recorded them below for you to listen if you missed it.

Go To Work

Call The Shots

9 Sep 2017
Catagories: Interview 10

Nadine Coyle is back – and she’s not messing about. Some seven years after her debut solo album Insatiable, the singer is back and doing what she knows best: working on music exclusively with the production team behind Girls Aloud’s hits, Xenomania.

Led by Brian Higgins, Xenomania were responsible for the group’s first single after forming on Popstars: The Rivals, Sound of the Underground, and together they notched up 21 Top 10 singles – including four Number 1s.

The first fruits of their two years in the studio together, Go To Work, was released yesterday; and it’s a slice of ’90s-tinged house pop that feels bang up to date. We sat down with Nadine to find about more about what we can expect from this long, long awaited reunion.

Nadine – you’re back! What took you so long?

“It really was just about getting the songs. The best songs I could get. And a team. It takes a long to get good songs, it really does! But we’re here now.”

And the single, Go To Work, is a bit of a banger isn’t it?

“It’s classic Xenomania, isn’t just? Just throw all the hooks in there. Why have one hook when you can have ten?”

It’s also perfect timing what with it back the ‘back to school’ period of the year…

“Back to school, back to work, GET ON WITH IT basically!”

What alcoholic beverage would Go To Work be?

“An Espresso Martini. It’s strong but classy. Don’t drink those at night by the way. I had three in one evening and was still up watching the sun rise the next day.”

And if it was an emoji?

“The nail painting one. My favourite emoji is the wink and kiss emoji, but that can come across a bit creepy can’t it?”

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9 Sep 2017
Catagories: Interview 11

In an ideal world there would be a commemorative plaque above the entrance of Liverpool’s Echo arena. “Here ended Girls Aloud, the last great girl band” it would say. On 20 March 2013 Nadine Coyle – one fifth of the genre-bending, pop-reshaping rabble – was getting ready for the final night of the band’s reunion tour. “I was in hair and makeup,” she explains in a north London restaurant, “going through my nightly ritual.” Rather than taking delivery of a good-luck bouquet, Coyle received some news via the band’s PR and manager – the other girls wanted to call it quits. Not the more fashionable “hiatus”, which they’d already done in 2009, but a proper split. With the band working to majority rule, there was nothing she could do.

“It was shocking. We’d signed a new deal and recorded what was basically another new album.” Confused, she marched into the venue’s green room, ignoring video directors there to record the tour for posterity (a DVD), and confronted recent Celebrity Big Brother winner, and closest ally in the band, Sarah Harding. “I said, ‘Do you want to break up the band as well?’ and she was like, ‘Oh fuck it, I can’t be arsed with it, I fucking hate everybody.’ That last show, all emotion was switched off as far as I was concerned, with any of them.”

Further ignominy followed: it had been decided the split announcement would be made that same night. Via a tweet. “A tweet?!” Coyle roars in her thick Derry accent. “I saw the draft and just said, ‘Remove my name from that.’ We’d been saying since the start we were properly back.” In the end the tweet went out as the stage was being dismantled. After an end-of-tour party that lasted until the next morning (“[the band] wasn’t drinking together, but we were in the same room”), Coyle posted her own tweet: “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.” Aside from Harding, she’s not spoken to the rest of the band since.

Fifteen years after they formed via ITV’s Popstars: The Rivals, and four years since the split, Coyle has reunited with Girls Aloud’s unofficial sixth member, Howard Hughes-esque production genius Brian Higgins and his coterie of pop mavericks, AKA Xenomania, for new single Go to Work. Alongside lyricist Miranda Cooper, Higgins masterminded 20 of their UK Top 10 singles, including Biology, Love Machine and Something New, shredding the pop rulebook, spray-painting it neon and then painstakingly suturing it all back together to create a Frankenstein’s monster-pop that made everything else – with its boring verse-chorus-verse structure – look decidedly pedestrian.

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