Little Mix's Glory Days sees the British girl group celebrating their fourth album without any indication they're slowing down anytime soon. Cheeky lead single "Shout Out to My Ex" hit No. 1 in the U.K. and it's the group's second-biggest hit in America to date, but the music in Glory Days indicates how far the foursome has come as artists, songwriters and vocalists. Like I said upon the release of 2015's Get Weird, Little Mix is definitely here to stay, and this new LP foreshadows how much bigger they can be with some of their most promising and honest material to date.
While a chunk of the album's hype has been fueled by rumors about breakups and shout-outs to exes, Fuse spoke to member Perrie Edwards about the new material. The 23-year-old powerhouse squashes a few rumors and opens up about why the bond with her band mates is the most important part of their career.
FUSE: Congratulations on Glory Days, your fourth album, Perrie! Not too many girl groups can say they've gotten to album No. 4, but here y'all are, still on top and killin' it.
Perrie Edwards: It feels amazing. We never even thought we'd get a second album, so to be on the fourth album is incredible. It's really hard for girl groups because this industry is very fickle so we always said we'll do as best as we can, and we love what we do, so we feel very blessed.
With "Shout Out to My Ex," I thought of Taylor Swift—not sound-wise, but concept-wise, as you took the media's narrative and made it a hit song. Did you consciously try to make it stand for something larger?
Um, yeah, I think we just knew this song could relate to anybody in the world. Everyone has an ex—and who doesn't have a bad one?—and we wanted that kind of anthemic song, so when you break up with someone, you don't go back to your room and cry about it. We wanted people to feel empowered after a breakup.
Looking forward to the other songs, have you considered a second single?
We haven't announced what it's going to be yet, but we just shot the video for that and it'll be out very soon. We're very excited about that.
“We've had our ups and downs, and it's times like that we stick together the most.”
I have to say, "Touch" is such a standout...
Ohh! Interesting choice! [Laughs]
Is it, now? Well, I really love it. It's very trendy, very sexy, has so much potential around the world. Could tell us a little more about that song?
We absolutely love it because we feel it's quite different than what we've done before so it's a lot more bass-vibe, that's really cool. "Touch" was one of those songs we heard and we just fell in love with it straightaway. We're just happy everyone's loving it since it went out as an instant-grat track and it went down really, really well. I really love "Touch."
I was reading about this song when it came out and Ariana Grande's name kept popping up as some mysterious collaborator. You'll be going on tour together soon, is something in the works here?
No, unfortunately, there isn't a collaboration. I mean, we would absolutely love to because we love Ariana. Other than the touring with her next year, there isn't a collaboration or song. Unfortunately. That would be wonderful, though!
Can you give some insight into your songwriting process on other songs?
Weirdly, this album came more natural than any of the other albums. The first album we were experimenting with our sound, Salute ended up being quite R&B, quite dark, [while] Get Weird was totally crazy, we had so much fun, but that was the hardest album to make ever—we didn't know what sound we wanted to go for, didn't know what to talk about, didn't know what to write about, it took a long time. Whereas this album kind of fell into place. Amazing songwriters were bringing songs forward that were perfect and we didn't want to change anything. Some songs, we just wrote. "Private Show" and "Down & Dirty" we wrote in the same session and it took about 20 minutes! Literally!
We definitely work better as a four. On this album, we did sessions where we did two and two, but it's so hard because you never know what kind of vibe you're going to come back with or it might not fit the album necessarily...It's always so different, but this album is definitely the easiest and most honest.
And working together as a four, we have to talk about the amazing friendship y'all always have on display. How did your friendship change while recording this album?
This is cheesy like cheese on toast, but the longer we stay together the tighter we become, the more we look out for each other and have each other's back. We always have from the very beginning, but it's been a traumatic year for a few of us, we've had our ups and downs, and it's times like that we stick together the most. We're very lucky to have each other to have each other, I don't know what we'd do without each other.
You've even worked with other girl groups like Flower in Japan. Do you guys keep your eyes on Asia, where the girl-group market is huge?
Oh yeah, we love a bit of J-pop and K-pop! I personally love Girls' Generation, they're insane, I think they're so cool. I like "I Got a Boy," I love the video. But I love Korea and Japan—probably my favorite place in the world is Japan, to be honest. I love everything about it: The people, the fans are amazing, all of the style, I love the food. It's a whole new other world out there.
Are there any other girl groups' teamwork or friendship you look up to or admire?
I don't really know how other groups get on, but I don't think I've ever met another group that's as tight as we are. You have to have that bond or it's never going to work.
Glory Days is available now and Little Mix will be on tour with Ariana Grande when the Dangerous Woman tour kicks off in America in February 2017. See how far the girls have come with one of their first Fuse interviews below: