Jade Thirlwall has admitted that Little Mix felt “intimidated” coming into an industry “dominated by older men”.
The group, comprised of Jade, Perrie Edwards, Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Jesy Nelson, formed on The X Factor back in 2011 – and have gone on to become one of the biggest-selling girl bands.
Jade revealed that upon entering the music industry, the band “did what we were told” for fear of getting on the wrong side of those in power.
“At the beginning we were so scared of pissing anyone off and damaging our career, so we did what we were told,” she told Radio Times.
“We didn’t even realise we had a choice, it was pitched as not having one, so you sign what you are told to and you go along with it.
“As the years went on, we started to realise we didn’t like that,” she continued.
“It took a while for people to not see us as little girls. We are [physically] small and look quite young, so it took some time for us to be able to say ‘no’.”
“I remember in one meeting with one of the head guys and I tried saying, ‘Can we just come to some kind of compromise here?’ and he was like, ‘How dare you? It’s not about compromise, this is what we are doing.’
“I left that meeting crying my eyes out and ringing my mum,” Jade admitted.
“It took a while to be like, ‘Actually, f**k you. I’m just as entitled to an opinion as you are.’”
“The industry is very much dominated by older men and for a while we did feel intimidated by it.
“The minute we started to say ‘no’, a weight was lifted off our shoulders.”
Speaking about the decline in ratings of The X Factor, which led Simon Cowell to announce a “rest” from the show – Jade said: “I think the problem is when it’s like a script.
“When they’re like, ‘This is going to be a sob story,’ then they’ll stop the song halfway through and ask if they have something else.”
“We got so used to seeing that, it lost its authenticity. The minute it doesn’t seem real, you switch off. How am I meant to believe in it any more? I could literally write it myself and tell you what’s coming next.”
Little Mix were signed to Simon’s label Syco until two years ago, when they walked out after a row about the group’s musical direction.
Speaking about the band’s relationship with their ex-manager, Jade added: “I think with Simon it’s all fun and games. We’ve got no personal vendetta against him.
“We moved on and, to be fair, over the years we didn’t actually see him that much. We’re not ones to hold grudges.”
Bandmate Perrie Edwards added: “The best revenge is success.”
On this week’s episode of Goss Chats, Goss.ie CEO Ali Ryan chats with award-winning makeup artist and MRS Glam creator, Michelle Regazolli Stone.
The celebrity MUA opens up about the ups and downs of living through the pandemic, and how her makeup range saved her.
#GossChats is sponsored by top Irish aesthetic clinic Haus of JeJuve.
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On this week’s episode of #GossChats @itsalirose chats with award-winning makeup artist and @mrsglambymichelle creator @mrsmakeup_ie The celebrity MUA opens up about the ups and downs of living through the pandemic and how her makeup range saved her. #GossChats is sponsored by @haus_of_jejuve