Since their appearance on The X Factor seven years ago, Little Mix have gone from strength to strength. Not only have they released five chart-topping albums, but they have also conquered the world of beauty and fitness. Now, they have a new sportswear range with USA Pro, which is just as sassy as their catchy tracks. We caught up with Jesy, Perrie, Leigh-Anne and Jade to talk workouts, self-confidence and life lessons they have picked up over the years.
We are loving your new single, Woman Like Me. What inspires you guys to keep making music, seven years down the line?
Perrie: ‘The fans, definitely. I think my family and friends, too. Even when I’m exhausted and I’m just having a bad time I’ll just think of them. People listen to our music and say it’s changed their lives and that feels amazing.’
Jade: ‘When I’m writing music I try to remember that there’s not really enough artists out there who write about things that mean something – things like female empowerment, LGBT rights… I think we hold the flag for that a bit, so we always bare that in mind when writing music to inspire and encourage our fans to be themselves.’
Jesy: ‘We just love music, I can’t imagine life without it! If I feel sad then I need to listen to music, and if I’m happy then I listen to music. I’ve literally got a tattoo saying music is the strongest medicine because I actually believe that it can really make you feel a certain way.
If you could talk to your younger self, what message would you give her?
Perrie: ‘To embrace life to the fullest and not let anybody’s negative energy reflect on your energy. Also stop worrying, I was a worrier when I was a kid and I think everyone goes through that stage where they worry about everything and you just need to learn to keep it calm.’
Leigh-Anne: ‘I would say stop worrying about what you look like because nobody cares that much. You always think everyone is judging you and you care so much about what people think but why is that? Just care what you think, that’s what I’d say.’
Looking back at how far you’ve come since you first started out in The X Factor, what valuable lessons have you learnt along the way?
Jade: ‘I’ve learnt to try and sit back and really appreciate what I’m doing and just enjoy every moment because it all happens so quickly, especially when we’re on the road.’
Perrie: ‘It sounds cringey, buy I just say ‘you only live once’, so live your life how you want to live it and do whatever makes you happy.’
Leigh-Anne: ‘I’ve learnt that not everyone is going to love and understand you and you just have to be yourself at all times and be happy with who you are instead of feeling like you’ve got to change. I think growing up that was one of my struggles, and it’s still hard now with being in the spotlight as you feel like you’ve got to please everyone. But then I realised that you’ve just got to be yourself and love who you are.’
Jesy: ‘For all of us as a group, I think we’ve just learnt not to care what people think too much, and to love you for you and be yourself. If other people don’t like that then so be it!’
On the topic of self-acceptance, what would be your advice to women who feel self-conscious at the gym?
Leigh-Anne: ‘Just don’t care what people think about you. Everybody is there for the same reason, so do your own thing, put your headphones in and go into your own little world.’
Perrie: ‘The gym is a place to feel good in. I think you should just go in there, do the workouts and come out feeling amazing!’
And what is your advice for people who don’t like sport, but want to be more active?
Perrie: ‘Growing up, I hated sport. I was one of those that begged my mum to write me a note so I didn’t have to do P.E, or I’d purposely forget my P.E kit because I just used to cringe at myself. But, as I’ve got older, I do actually enjoy sport. I think because my boyfriend is so athletic, I find it fun being competitive because that’s just how I am – if I lose I get annoyed! So, I think if you can try and find something that you find fun, or maybe unlock your competitive side, it makes working out a lot more enjoyable.’
Jesy: ‘You have to find a sport that you find fun. I personally hate running on a treadmill as it doesn’t motivate me. I love boxing workouts because with me doing a lot of dancing, boxing feels a bit like a routine. So just find something you want to do and that you find fun, otherwise it’s difficult to feel motivated!’
How often do you guys work out?
Jade: ‘I work out about two or three times a week – usually in the morning before I go to work. And then obviously we do a lot of dancing as well, so at the minute I’m exercising a lot more than I usually do – and I definitely feel better for it!’
Jesy: ‘I literally just work out whenever I’m not feeling good! I always feel happier after I’ve trained. When we’re on tour we dance constantly as well, so we don’t really need to go to the gym.’
You’ve got a new sportswear range out with USA Pro, whose lines are designed by women, for women. Do you think that’s important?
Jesy: ‘Massively, because I think some girls can feel quite threatened when going to the gym, so I think it’s really important to feel good when you go to the gym. You need to be comfortable and feel confident!’
Perrie: ‘I think that’s really important. I think, for me anyway, in fitness clothing I can feel really self-conscious at times, so I wanted to create something flattering for any shape and I think that will resonate with a lot of women.’
Leigh-Anne: ‘Every woman is different and I think the great thing about our USA Pro range is that there’s a shape for everyone.’