In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, half of Little Mix (Perrie and Jesy) talk DNA and so much more.
What ties DNA together for you?
Perrie: I think “Wings” is a good introduction to what Little Mix is about. “Wings” says it all, but I don’t think you can sum it up with one song though. We’ve got the up-tempo songs, and we’ve got the ballads. We’ve got lots of different sounds going on.
Jesy: The album has something for everyone. It’s got a bit of R&B, a bit of pop, and a bit of rock.
Was it important to incorporate various genres?
Perrie: Definitely, we wanted to have a good mix. If you’re feeling a bit emotional, you might put on a ballad. If you’re feeling happy and you’re about to go out, you might listen to “Stereo Soldier”. It’s all different kinds of feelings.
Jesy: Individually, we all love different styles all of music so we wanted to incorporate those into the album. It’s got the harmonies and such.
What does “Wings” mean to you?
Perrie: It’s upbeat and fun. It’s got an inspirational message about being yourself and being confident. I think “Wings” encompasses the inspiration and energy.
Jesy: “Wings” is literally about not letting anyone put you down. It’s about believing in yourself. Haters are going to hate. You have to believe in yourself and who you are. That’s what “Wings” is about. It’s a strong message for our fans. We love it, and we think it’s quite uplifting.
What’s the story behind “Madhouse”?
Perrie: When we were writing that, we were thinking about how music takes you over and gets inside of you. It’s so good that you can’t help but move. It makes you go crazy when you hear that song. It turns a bit creepier and creepier. We had those effects over “Welcome to the madhouse”. It ends the album well!
Jesy: We were in the studio, and they played us this really unusual and funky beat. We decided to make a song about how music can take you over and make you crazy. That’s what “Madhouse” is. I like that one too!
Was working with Missy Elliott and T-Boz a dream come true?
Perrie: Having Miss Elliott on a track is absolutely incredible. We actually cried when we heard it back. We were so happy and shocked that it happened. Having T-Boz was amazing. There’s a lot of girl power on the album. We grew up listening to TLC so this is cool. Jesy has been in love with Missy Elliott since she was really young.
Jesy: It was absolutely amazing. Missy Elliott has been my idol since I was a little girl. It was the coolest thing. We couldn’t believe it. We look up to T-Boz and TLC so much. They were massive influences on us. It was lovely having them on our tracks.
What’s the chemistry like between the four of you?
Perrie: We’ve done all different kinds of studio sessions. Once we did a session where we all had to write and record in separate rooms, we hated it [Laughs]. When we’re in the studio, we come up with great concepts and ideas together. We love being in the studio together. We’re a group, and it’s amazing. We know what we want, and we’re very passionate about it.
Jesy: When we get in the studio, sometimes we start from scratch. Other times, we have a beat. We work with the producer, and we’ll figure out what we want to do. All of four us will bring something else. It’s really inspiring.
What artists shaped you?
Perrie: I listened to Journey when I was young, and I still listen to them now!
Jesy: I love Missy Elliott. I love Destiny’s Child. I love Beyoncé.
Why did you choose the title DNA?
Perrie: “DNA” was one of our favorite songs. We thought it would be such a sick name for an album. We believe that what we’re doing now was always in our DNA. We were born for this. We thought it was a nice title.
If you were to compare your album to a movie or a combination of movies, what would you compare it to?
Perrie: I could imagine “Wings” be in a movie about the end of the school year—just when school’s out for the summer. I could also imagine “Turn Your Face” over a really sad emotional heartbreak film [Laughs]. Whenever we’re in the studio, we think, “Oh, this could fit over a movie!”
Jesy: It might be a thriller because it’s exciting and you never know what’s coming [Laughs]. As far as naming a movie, I couldn’t name just one. It would be all different types.
What’s next for you?
Perrie: We’re in the studio at the moment working on the second album. We’re just starting on it. We know what we want. The inspirational messages will still be there, but it’s going to be a bit more mature and maybe a little more R&B, while still keeping the girl harmonies. We’ll hopefully be back to America soon. There’s so much going on!
Jesy: The new album will be a bit more mature, but it’ll still be Little Mix. We promise it’s going to be exciting.