Nicola Roberts Interview

Listening to the album its apparent immediately 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 lyrically personal?

I think that when you’re writing an album it like all of the things come from inside you; like they come from your emotions or the way you think about certain situations. Coz everything is how you see it or what you feel. I think it’s always inevitably going to be perceived as being more personal.

The album gained massive critical success; does that mean more to you the fact that you made it in your own terms rather than being a team effort like with Girls Aloud?

For me I literally left school, walked out of the classroom and onto the stage – like I was just in the band when I just turned 17 so I suppose like 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 now nice to have that 18 months of solid work on that little square CD and to sort of just to see maybe my own little journey on that little CD. It was important for me that everyone that we worked with, as i’m used to working in a team, and I like to work in a team, it was important that everyone I worked with on the record I felt like they 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.

You collaborated with some amazing producers on this record [Metronomy, Diplo etc]… who would be on your dream list for album 2?

Oh! …M.I.A, Kate Bush, Missy Elliot… oh my god could you imagine? A little far-fetched…but!

You’re releasing ‘Yo-Yo’ on 8th    January; 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?

It mental isn’t it! When you think about it like that. I’m not sure… it’s strange because like I said Yoyo 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 yoyo as the first    single so its funny that through all that time I thought that and only now is it sort of coming out there.

The visuals and aesthetics to accompany your music are obviously very important to you, and with ‘Cinderella Eyes’ a lot of the artwork centralised around the fairytale theme, with very bright and bold colours. Is this a theme you’ll continue into your second album or something created specifically for Cinderella Eyes?

The whole of the artwork was made to compliment, everything had to compliment… like electro music. The   album has electro music so there’s so much going on in that thread of music that colour really and detail were the only real things that could compliment it. I think that this album, in terms of the sound, its ‘up’ I see it as being ‘up’, and so colour is a reference to that. You look at each thing as it comes; so ‘\beat of my drum’ I was really interested in all of the prints, and like the tribal prints and all of the colour patterns. ‘Beat of my drum’ to me was all cheerleader and super Mario sounds but it’s cool, you know? So that was for that. Whereas for ‘Yoyo’ now everything a bit darker, and actually the song, it’s like the needy sound of love. The side of love where you don’t know if you’re coming or going… it’s proper, it’s a bit of a head fuck, you know? It draws you to wear darker things and wear things are a little bit more serious; older and darker.

You’ve come from being criticised in the press by the way that you look to being hailed as a fashion icon. You collaborated with Atlanta Weller to create the shoes you work on the Cinderella Eyes album cover; do you think fashion designing is something that you would like to do more of in the future?

I would love the opportunity to have a collection… I would absolutely love it. As long as I’m being able to be creative, being able to create things, be it in the studio or working on Dainty Doll it’s where I’m most happy and where I’m the most confident. So to be able to sort of have a collection… I feel like I would never want to just jump on the bandwagon of having a collection, I would have to take it far more seriously. It’s about timing and I think that fashion is very much a personal thing to me. Its like, when you put something on in the morning and it determines whether… like I wont leave the house unless I feel like what I’m wearing fits my mood or creates the mood that I feel like I should be in that particular day whatever situation I’m going to be in. its very much a personal thing than just wearing a nice coat.

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’ – what sort of advice can you offer to people who may be going through the same insecurities?

Just bite the bullet. I think its like I had… what’s the word when you’re addicted to tanning… but its 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, its 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 the situation in life that you have you personally have to change but it takes time.

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 who you are or did that happen during the later years with Girls Aloud?

It sort of happened around the last album, I don’t know, something just clicked. I had 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. Then as soon as it did I just felt like… I felt looser. I think its important to feel loose, I really do.

Do you think a solo tour would be something on the horizon for you in the New Year?

Doing more solo gigs would be something I would love to do, I really would. I would be able to perform some songs from the record that I haven’t been able to performance live yet that would be amazing. Just going to have to wait and see what happens!

It’s Girls Aloud’s 10 Year anniversary next year; do you have any plans to celebrate?

Yeah we’ll definitely be celebrating – we’re actually 9 today. It’s crazy isn’t it?! It’s nice but definitely I am like super looking forward to that. As so much of my life was spend in girls aloud you just couldn’t not celebrate it, it just couldn’t happen.

I’ll just finish up on your tips for 2012; and artists or designers you’re looking to see more of in the New Year?

There’s a young designer that I’ve worn some stuff from on the album cover called ‘Tour de force’ its little accessories, pieces that you can occasionally wear to fit outfits but I’m a fan of that. When I’ve got the time I love to check out the new up and coming designers. Do you know what? I was SO… I felt so happy the other night when Victoria Beckham won the designer fashion brand of the year award [at the British Fashion Awards]. I just thought ‘you know, she really deserved that’. I just think that its incredible… her collections are amazing. Just what she’s done I just feel like that she totally deserves it. Amazing.