Nadine Coyle on life after Girls Aloud

 "LA is a beautiful place, but it doesn't feel like real life," says the singer

“LA is a beautiful place, but it doesn’t feel like real life,” says the singer

“My favourite smell is bleach,” says Nadine Coyle.

“If I walk into the house and there’s things being bleached, it just makes me feel at home, euphoric almost.”

She pauses and laughs. “I can’t believe we’re having a whole discussion about bleach. Real pop star things!”

The topic has come up because Coyle’s new song, Go To Work, is about a lover who’s hopeless around the house.

Tell me what I got to do/To get you up in the morning?” she sings over an infectious house piano. “Why don’t you go to work?

The song sees the 32-year-old reunited with Xenomania, the songwriting geniuses behind her old band Girls Aloud.

Together they scored 21 Top 10 singles, more than any other female band in history.

Go To Work was inspired, says Coyle, by “general annoyance” with people “who just don’t do anything” to help out, at home or at work.

But she’s quick to point out the lyrics have nothing to do with her partner, American Football player Jason Bell.

“It’s funny, we were watching this programme, Married to a Celebrity, the other night, and people had to write lists of whinges about their partner.

“I said to Jason, ‘what would we write on our lists?’ and he said, ‘I wouldn’t write anything.’

“I was like, ‘that’s a good answer. Well done, Jason!’

“We live really well together,” she adds. “He doesn’t cook and he doesn’t clean, but he makes really good coffees.”

Feel-good pop

Home life has been Coyle’s priority since Girls Aloud split in 2013. She moved back to Northern Ireland after nine years in Los Angeles to raise her three-year-old daughter Anaiya.

Now, though, she’s all fired up and ready to return to the charts.

Nadine’s first solo record was released, somewhat disastrously, in partnership with Tesco.

Six years on she’s signed a deal with Virgin EMI, home to Justin Bieber and Katy Perry, and says there’s already a “four-single plan” for her new album.

Coyle had almost 100 songs to choose from, recorded over a two-year period in Brighton. The overwhelming theme, she says, is feel-good pop.

“We’re not trying to change the world. There’s enough people trying to do that,” she explains.

“We just want songs you can put on and have fun, that make your day better for those three minutes”.

Born and raised in Derry, Northern Ireland, Coyle first came to attention in 2001 on the Irish version of reality show Pop Stars.

She made it through to the final band, Six. But then it was discovered she was 16, two years below the show’s age limit, and had been lying throughout the audition process.

The revelation saw her make a tearful exit from the competition. But Louis Walsh, a judge on the series, kept in touch and encouraged the singer to audition for ITV’s Pop Stars: The Rivals in 2002.

She was the third member to be selected for Girls Aloud, joining Cheryl Tweedy (as she was then), Nicola Roberts, Kimberley Walsh and Sarah Harding.

What followed were some of the best, most unconventional pop hits of the 21st Century.

Biology, for example, took two minutes and five (five!) musical movements to get to the chorus, while Sexy… No! No! No! grafted a lyric about sexual liberation onto a ’70s heavy metal sample.

To begin with, Coyle was very much seen as the star.

“She’s the one with the big solo career,” Louis Walsh told the BBC in an (unpublished) interview from 2005. “All she wants to do is sing.

“She’s kind of lost in the group really, because no one knows how good she is. But if they were the Supremes, she would be Diana Ross.”

It didn’t quite turn out like that.

When Cheryl signed up for X Factor, she began to eclipse her bandmates. On later Girls Aloud albums, she received a bigger share of the lead vocals.

And it was Cheryl’s solo career, not Coyle’s, that produced platinum albums and number one singles.

But there was no bad blood, and Coyle happily signed up for a Girls Aloud reunion tour in 2013 – an experience that nearly ended in disaster when a floating platform malfunctioned during rehearsals.

“We came down on the platform and it tilted and nearly tipped us off,” she recalls. “We were all screaming and clinging on for dear life. Thankfully, we were all fine.”


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