Girls Aloud: Cheers, Tears and Ten Years
Nicola Roberts speaks about the girl group’s decade-long tenure, regrouping after their various solo projects and plans for the future - and how getting older has made them more comfortable
Indeed, Roberts is the only member of the band to have a co-write credit on any of the new materia on their recent Greatest Hits album Ten .
"It's always music with me, everything is music,” she says. “I’m just obsessed with being in the studio; it’s just where I'm the absolute happiest, just writing and learning, and working on new sounds and with new producers, and seeing what they do. I like to learn and move fast – so even if I’m obsessing with a particular sound, a few months later I'm over it and looking for the next. Last year, I wrote a song for Little Mix and they put it on their record, and that was an amazing feeling – to have a credit on someone else’s album.”
Such talk might lead one to deduce that Roberts – and her bandmates, if rumour is to be believed – is preparing to take a step back from performing after the current anniversary tour winds down. The absence of a new album has further led to speculation that Girls Aloud are preparing to gracefully resign and allow the younger generation their time in the spotlight. So is this tour our last opportunity to see Girls Aloud on a stage?
“We never decide on anything – we just let it roll,” she says. “We’ve never planned anything. I don’t know why, but we just never have; it’s probably down to how we were formed. It’s always been about whether people want it. You only put a show on if people want to see it; you only make a record if you think people are gonna want to hear it. So we haven’t planned for after the tour at all, but that doesn’t mean anything.”
But when the curtain does eventually come down on Girls Aloud . . .
“It’ll never come down,” she firmly replies, cutting me off mid-sentence. “There’ll never be a curtain on Girls Aloud."
Okay, let me rephrase the question. As Girls Aloud continue as a group, whether it’s on a full-time or part-time basis, what do you hope your legacy says about you?
“Just that we had the balls to do something different,” she says. “Our songs aren’t conventional tracks; every track is different. From the very beginning, the first A&R we ever had, Colin Barlow, said the goal from the outset was to take risks – and that was right up my street. If people look back on our music, I want them to think that we tried to do something different, that we didn’t just follow the call. We did our own thing and had our own way.”
yyy Girls Aloud play Dublin’s O2 on March 16th and 17th. Ten is out now