Little Mix star on working with Nicki Minaj, female empowerment, cyberbullying, and inspiring the next generation

Little Mix star on working with Nicki Minaj, female empowerment, cyberbullying, and inspiring the next generation

Leigh-Anne Pinnock of British girl group Little Mix tells us about their rise to fame as a band that stands for girl power and solidarity

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Little Mix will release their fifth album next week.
Photo: Sony Music Hong Kong

Seven years after Little Mix were crowned winners of British TV contest The X Factor, the girls – Perrie Edwards, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Jesy Nelson, and Jade Thirwall – have proven they are unstoppable. With four albums under their belt and the fifth – LM5 – to be released on November 16, the foursome have established themselves not just as a successful British pop group, but as a global phenomenon.

Young Post got to speak with Pinnock two days after their performance this week with Nicki Minaj at the MTV Europe Music Awards.

“It was an absolute dream to first collaborate with her, and then perform with her. We are still on cloud nine,” says Pinnock.

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Minaj features on the group’s new song Woman Like Me, a power anthem about honesty, taking responsibility for mistakes, and overcoming insecurities.

The track, co-written by superstars Jess Glynne and Ed Sheeran has reached number two on the British charts, and is the lead single from LM5. “She supported the song so much. We couldn’t have asked for a better artist to feature on it; and we owe so much to her.”


The girls’ professionalism is clear to see through their heavy involvement in the creative and decision making process of their new album. “We wanted to create an album that would make people feel amazing, especially in this day and age, owing to how cruel people can be sometimes, especially on social media,” says Pinnock.

The girls wanted to create songs that celebrate imperfections and promote girl power. “We wanted [to encourage people] to never to hold back on anything. I can’t wait for it to be out so everyone can hear it!” she adds.

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Still, the group’s fame has come at a price. The girls have, since they burst onto the music scene, been under continuous scrutiny from the media and the public about their relationships, their choice of clothing, and their choice of lyrics. But, in an age where tabloids try to pit women against each other, they have proven that their collective female force cannot be stopped.

“We have really stuck together, and powered through all the hard times,” says Pinnock. “Our relationship has gone way past friendship now; we are a family.”

But a humbled Pinnock is also quick to mention that she never imagined they would ever be this big. “I remember exactly where I was when I applied for The X Factor,” she says.


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“I sang Super Bass [a Nicki Minaj song] for my audition. Now, we’ve just performed with Minaj on stage. It’s so surreal.”

And through their performances, their songs, and their albums, the girls have shown that they play off each other’s strengths and weaknesses perfectly, and they have embraced their new-found fame as feminist icons for the younger generation.

“It’s incredible to hear we inspire young girls,” says Pinnock. “We didn’t ask for it. But it happened quite naturally through our music.

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“When we first got together, we wanted to make music to make people feel good; and that’s exactly what we’ve done.”

LM5 is an empowering album that feels almost like a personal diary for the girls.

“I think people will see that the album is what four girls want to get off their chest and say to the world,” says Pinnock.

“Always stand up for what you believe in, give your opinions, and stick to your guns. Go with your gut feeling. We rely on that a lot, and it’s good to trust your instincts.”

Edited by Nicole Moraleda

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Fierce feminist foursome

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