Incredibly, it’s 15 years since Nadine Coyle entered TV talent show Popstars – The Rivals and won a place in Girls Aloud.
The successful girl band went their separate ways a few years later, amid rumours of jealousy and arguments, and whilst the other girls turned their hands to presenting, acting, judging and cringeworthy reality TV show appearances, the Northern Irish singer has continued to make music. As her new 4 track EP is released and debuted at number 3 on the UK iTunes chart, ESP reporter Sarah Tempest caught up with a clearly delighted Nadine Coyle…
“I’m feeling very good!” she laughs, “and very surprised! We knew the songs were good but we didn’t even think about this happening! The fans are so great and have been so supportive.”
Nadine describes the EP as “like a bridge between the old and new [music]” with influences, and indeed collaborators, from the Girls Aloud days.
“They’re the kind of songs you can put on, have a really good time and dance around with your friends. You should download it just to have some fun” she says, “and then tweet me to let me know what you think!”
As well as releasing the EP, Nadine is about to embark on a seven date UK and Ireland tour in May, something she’s very excited about.
“I love touring! The most stressful part is putting the show together – how many numbers, how many costume changes, are we going to do this, are we going to do that, how many dancers, are we going to have explosions, stuff like that. There’s a lot of work goes into it.
“I’m very hands on with making the decisions – if I don’t do it, who’s going to?! People always ask me if I have a lot of creative input and I’m like, YES!” As she points out, it’s important that the people putting the show together know what an artist is prepared to do, or not do, as the case may be. “Some of their ideas can be off the wall,” she says, such as suggesting a 20 metre high trapeze?
“Exactly! [They may ask]’“how do you feel about aerial work?’ and I’m like ‘actually, I don’t feel like doing aerial work at all!’ Some people might be willing to do it but I’m most certainly not!”
Although Nadine hasn’t always come off favourably in the press regarding the Girls Aloud split, she comes across as warm, open and very down to Earth. So much so that she admits the most ‘showbiz’ thing on her tour dressing room rider is a bottle of rosé wine. “Love a bit of rosé,” she giggles. Other than that, it’s pretty bog standard stuff like, “bottles of water – I’m so boring!” and, disappointingly, not a blue M & M or 600 thread count pillowcase in sight. “No!” she says emphatically, horrified at the thought. “I’d be so embarrassed!”
As well as performing her solo songs and tracks from the EP, Nadine has revealed that she’ll also be singing a selection of old Girls Aloud favourites in her show, a decision which to Nadine, was a bit of a no brainer – “The songs are just so good!” she enthuses. “It would just be silly to not have them be part of the set! Everybody’s going to have a much more fun time with those songs.”
Surely, though, it must seem strange performing the old favourites without her bandmates?
“It was strange kind of at the start because, like in The Promise Sarah does the Primrose bit and you just automatically stop to let her come in with it and then you’re like – Oh, of course. She’s not here, I have to do it! But it definitely gets a lot easier with practice and rehearsals. Obviously there’s backing tracks and singers on there so it’s not just me doing everything. But it’s definitely exciting times.”
But if she did ever tire of performing solo, who would be her fantasy stand ins for Cheryl, Nicola, Kimberly and Sarah? “Mutya from Sugababes, definitely,” she replies without hesitation, “I’d be like Mutya, don’t even worry about the dancing. Just stand there and sing and you’ll be grand! And Nicole Scherzinger, Dua Lipa and Rita Ora. That sounds like quite a band,” she laughs. “I like it!”
The tour will take her all over the UK and Ireland in May but she admits she’s especially looking forward to the final show, in Belfast.
“Going back home is really great, always. It’s great because, geographically a lot of my family or friends I grew up with can just drive to the Belfast gig.” And it’s just as well her homecoming gig is the final date of the tour; “You just know there’s going to be a party afterwards. And it will be a late night. I won’t be capable of doing a show the next night!”
Sounds like that’s going to be quite an end of tour bash; here’s hoping she remembers to put extra rosé on the rider that night!
Read more in the April issue of ESP Magazine in print now or online on this website.