Jade Thirlwall: ‘We’re always going to have each other’

Jade Thirlwall of Little Mix joins Rebecca Judd on Apple Music 1 to discuss the release of the group’s new album “Between Us”. During the discussion she reflects on Little Mix’s 10th anniversary and shares her hopes for the group’s future, reveals her bandmates Leigh-Anne and Perrie are “raring to get back”, shares some of the anxieties the group felt early in their careers, plus tells Rebecca about her solo business ventures and the importance of investing in her hometown and much more.

Jade Thirlwall Tells Apple Music About Little Mix’s New Album “Between Us’”

Yeah, it definitely feels a bit different. I think because obviously, yeah, a lot of the hits are on there as well as new songs as well. But I think we have got so used to that pop band cycle where every year you churn out an album, you spent ages working on it, writing it, recording it. So this one was obviously a little bit easier. It was like, right, throw that one on, that’s a hit, throw that on. So there’s five tracks, we did do a lot of writing for it. But yeah, I think obviously this year as well, both the girls have had babies. So it was more about finding the best way to celebrate the decade together and getting new stuff as well for the fans.

Jade Thirlwall Tells Apple Music Her Little Mix Bandmates Are ‘Raring To Get Back’…
No, they’re good, they’re good. They’re actually raring to get back as well to be honest, we message every day, call each other just about every day. And I think they’re getting major FOMO seeing me out and about doing bits. Yeah.

Jade Thirlwall Tells Apple Music That Her Little Mix Bandmates ‘Still Slay’…

I mean, now was a good time I think for the girls to settle down, have their babies and stuff. I think in lockdown, everyone had a bit of a perspective shift, didn’t they? Of when was the right time to do what they truly wanted. But that doesn’t mean they can’t still slay.

Jade Thirlwalll Tells Apple Music About Future Plans & Says Little Mix ‘Will Always Have Each Other’…

10 years time. I don’t know. Well, obviously, I think that Little Mix will still be around. We’re always going to have each other. I think when you’ve got that sort of bond … I’ve spent my whole adult life with the girls and that’ll probably never, ever change, no matter what happens. Until now and then, maybe I’d like to see more girl bands come through and I’d like to help with that as well. So yeah, hopefully in 10 years time, there’ll be another big Little Mix to share the spotlight with. Maybe I’ll settle down. I haven’t got any intentions here. I like traveling around too much. Yeah, I had a couple of weeks off actually. Me and my boyfriend just got a dog and he lives in Margate and I was there and I was like, “I do get it.” I do love that more simple, lovely life. You get up every day, you walk the dogs, and you go out to the beach. And I love that, but I’m definitely not ready to give it all up anytime soon.

Jade Thirlwall Tells Apple Music About Choosing The Tracks For “Between Us”…

So, we had to pick together what was going to make the initial album. But then yeah, we thought it would be cute as well for the fans as well to show them what our faves have been over the years. Obviously I put ‘Wasabi’ on because I never shut up about it.Yeah. I’m thinking it should have been a single, just as ‘Wasabi’, but we move on, not bitter about that at all. And then what else did I put on it? ‘Mr. Loverboy’ I think I chose.

Jade Thirlwall Tells Apple Music She Might Get A Tattoo To Celebrate 10 Years Of Little Mix…

I’m sure we’ll have a party as well. I’ll probably get a tattoo, something like that. Yeah, why not? I mean, I quite enjoy a tacky, memorable tat, I’ve got a heart on my ankle from when all my friends went to Ibiza. So maybe it’s going to be a dolphin on the back of my back just above my crack with Little Mix 10 years with a little dolphin flying above it.

Jade Thirlwall Tells Apple Music About The Businesses She Owns In Her Hometown…
I still have that inner saboteur a little bit. Even when I bought a bar up north, I was like, “If it all goes wrong, at least I can be like Peggy Mitchell in my bar.” And I’ve got the Plan B still…But no, I’m really proud of that actually. I’m very keen on investing in my hometown, so I’ve got a bar and a nightclub there. It’s quite good actually for testing music. If I play one of our songs and it’s just crickets, I’m like, “Ah, maybe this isn’t the next single then.” So no, it’s quite a good tester. And we have live music on there every week and it’s nice getting young Northeast talent. So I’m hoping to work on that more. What else have I got going on? I’ve got shares in South Shields FC.

Jade Thirlwall Tells Apple Music Her Mum Has Advised Her Against Getting A Hand Tattoo In Case She Needs To Get A Regular Job…

It is funny that even my mum’s the same. I’m getting a hand tattoo soon. And my mum’s like, “Don’t get a hand tattoo Jade, because if it all goes wrong, what are you going to do for your next job? People don’t take on people with hand tattoos.” I’m like, “Mum – you know what? I’ll be alright.” But I quite like that I’ve maintained that side of us, haven’t got too big headed.

Jade Thirlwall Tells Apple Music About The Emotional Experience Of Listening Back To Their Old Songs…

I do feel warm and fuzzy. When I listen to songs like ‘Wings’, when we had to pick the track listing for the album, I listened to every record back to back on the train to my mum’s up north, and I literally sobbed all the way. I was like, “Oh God, we’ve come so far.” But yeah, I think you can hear how young we sound. I feel like, I don’t know, maybe nobody else can feel this, but I can genuinely hear the excitement in the first tracks of how new we were and excited we were. And doing the absolute most on every song, it was like, here is an eight part harmony, here’s as many bits of production we could throw at it. It was very much the kitchen sink when it came to ‘Wings’.

Jade Thirlwall Tells Apple Music That Little Mix Didn’t Expect To Win The Brit Award For Best British Group..

43 years. The Brit awards, not one girl band had won…So when we got nominated this year, we kind of obviously wanted to win but expected unfortunately not to. But I actually think if we hadn’t won the fans would’ve like started a riot outside … Because they were like, they were literally trolling the Brits every day. “You better make sure Little Mix win this time.” But yeah, that was a huge moment for us. Because as you say it was monumental for female empowerment in the music industry. But also I feel like 10 years in to win that award was like, okay, we’ve really established ourselves and solidified our place in the music industry. Because as you know I think for a lot of, especially in the initial few years we did feel like we were always fighting to be seen as credible. Or be taken seriously in the industry, which we got, girl band and pop music and all that stuff. But yeah, it took a long time to get to the best group with the awards.

Jade Thirlwall Tells Apple Music That Little Mix Feared Being Dropped By Their Label Early In Their Careers…

You’ve got to remember what’s most important and chase and what to hit and I think we did that. There was in the middle period of Little Mix, the ‘Black Magic’ era, we were constantly on edge that we were going to get dropped because I think sometimes, and I know this happens for a lot of artists, when you first start off, you have a huge album or a huge hit, it’s almost like, “Well, what happens now?” Because now you’ve got to maintain that or get better. And if you don’t, you’re weirdly seen as a failure in the public eye. So we were very super conscious as well of that weird stigma of like, “Oh, expect those to have one hit and then they disappear off the face of the earth.” So yeah, we always had that underdog mentality and it’s got us here.

Jade Thirlwall Tells Apple Music About Writing Songs For Other People…
I actually really love it. Yeah. I do really love it. I think obviously with the girls, when they first came off on maternity leave, I had a bit more spare time. So I started doing more and more songwriting, went to LA. Because I’ve done that, I’ve had a couple of cuts. I’ve had a couple of K-Pop group cuts, which has been amazing. I’ve got a new song with Billy Porter, whos like an icon. But it’s really fun getting in a room and being like, you’re writing for this artist, this is the brief, it’s quite nice being assigned something to do. And it takes the pressure off I think because sometimes with Little Mix you would go in a room and be like, “You’ve got two weeks to get a hit.” And you’d be like, “Okay,” and you’d sit in the room.

Jade Thirlwall Tells Apple Music About Returning To Live Shows…
It’s been two years now since we’ve done a big show. So I think I’ll be a bit nervous and I haven’t really let myself go, but I’ll always joke to Jordan [Stephens], he met me after lockdown and I don’t really exercise. I eat what I want. It’s all very that, and he’s super healthy and I’m like, “You don’t know what I used to be like. I was very fit and healthy,” and he’s like, “All right.” And now I feel like I’ve put pressure on myself when I do start this tour to prove a point to Jordan that I actually am capable of lasting out an hour and a half sure and not passing out.

Jade Tirlwall Tells Apple Music About Her Costume Ideas For The Tour…

Rebecca Judd: What are we saying for old time sakes? Any old outfits that’s going to make an appearance again? Like the ones you wore on X-Factor.

Jade: I did actually push for this. And then everyone was like, “No, I don’t think that’s going to work.” So initially I wanted to do a House of LM concept for the tour. So each section would be an era of Little Mix and I love a full costume moment. I want to bring back the braces and the bow tie and the knee high socks.

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