29 August 2008

PCD Interview in The Sun Newspaper

HANGING out with The Pussycat Dolls is every man’s dream and every green-eyed woman’s nightmare.

The utterly gorgeous, stylish, talented five are also — damn it — good fun to be around.

Apart from lead singer Nicole Scherzinger, individually, Kimberly Wyatt, Ashley Roberts, Melody Thornton and Jessica Sutta might not be as recognisable as Posh, Scary, Baby, Sporty and Ginger.

But they’re on another level when it comes to singing, slick performances and jaw-dropping beauty.

In the past three days the American all-dancing and singing five have flown from LA to London, and then on to Malaga in Spain, with SFTW along for the ride.

Their hectic schedule has included back-to-back promotion for new album Doll Domination, with interviews, photo-shoots and wardrobe changes and tonight they play an outdoor MTV live show to a crowd of 250,000.

When we first meet at London’s Landmark Hotel, the girls look like they’ve just walked off a magazine cover — no airbrushing required. Surrounded by dozens of pairs of designer shoes that Carrie Bradshaw would die for, Nicole smiles: “I feel fine even though I haven’t a clue what time zone I’m in!

“I never sleep. My mind is always working, thinking about what we’re doing that day and the next. I’m just so excited we’re back. I feel very close to this album. I worked so hard on it.”

Doll Domination follows the girls’ hugely successful debut album PCD which went three times platinum, sold eight million copies and produced five UK Top 10 singles.

“Doll Domination is Pussycat Dolls at the second level. We’ve grown up and are now women ready to take over the world,” declares Melody, clapping hands adorned by some impressive bright yellow painted nails.

In Malaga the girls admit jet lag has finally hit them when we catch up in the hotel bar in the afternoon. Not that you can tell.

Nicole, more stunning than ever in a calf-length, flowing fuchsia dress which enhances her dark eyes and hair, reveals: “I only went to bed at seven this morning.”

Doll Domination is musically more adventurous than the poppy PCD album. Although the final tracklisting hasn’t been decided, I’m treated to 13 possible tracks.


There are two Sixties-style songs as well as urban, pop and hip-hop numbers. Standout tracks include Love Gun, written by Cee-Lo Green; In Person, a Timbaland-produced track written by The Clutch; Halo with Eighties synths, and the catchy I Hate This Part which is the album’s best number.

Nicole says: “It was great to work with Cee-Lo again as he put us on the map. He was the one who did Don’t Cha, our breakthrough hit. Love Gun is such a different style and flavour.

“We’re a performance group as well as a singing group so visually, when we heard the song, we could imagine how we’d perform it. When the concept of the Pussycat Dolls first started, there were a lot of Sixties influences around so it makes sense to do a Sixties-style song.”

Kimberly adds: “And I guess it’s quite topical now, with singers like Duffy and Amy Winehouse having that Sixties vibe.”

Other collaborators include Rodney Jerkins and Rock City who wrote new single When I Grow Up — a satirical take on celebrity culture, One Republic’s Ryan Tedder wrote and produced Whatever Happens, and R Kelly, recently cleared of child pornography charges, and Polow on Out Of This Club.

Nicole says: “It is R Kelly’s first track back and whatever has happened or hasn’t happened, I cannot judge anybody. A hit is a hit and a song is a song and R Kelly is undeniably an amazing songwriter. So it was an honour that he wrote this song specifically for us.

“And Ryan Tedder is a wonderful soul. I think it’s a very powerful song.” For their first album, the girls were a sextet but in February Carmit Bachar quit the group to pursue a solo career.

Jessica says: “It was a bit of a shock. But the five of us have really got it together and have just been communicating better and growing really strong.”

Kim adds: “Carmit’s ambitious and she’s doing her own thing and we support her, we love her, but there’s more room now.”

But while the girls have lost a member it seems they may have gained an extra person in Nicole’s boyfriend since February. British Formula 1 star Lewis Hamilton has been with the girls throughout their travels.

Nicole tells me the British Press have been very supportive of her relationship with their sporting hero. When they recently dined out at swanky Japanese restaurant Nobu in Mayfair, the paparazzi took the photos they needed then left them alone.

Nicole tells me: “It is hard because I’m just trying to focus on the release of the album and I really don’t want our personal life to be public, because it’s hard enough to have a relationship as it is.

”But I do understand that there will be times when we’ll be in the public eye.” She adds: “To be honest, I don’t really understand what Lewis does but I’m happy he’s not in the music industry.

“We’re a good balance and we’re really happy at the moment, trying to make it work in with our crazy lives.”

While Nicole is loved-up with Lewis, the rest of the girls say they are DESPERATE to find decent men — and those they usually meet are terrified of them.


Melody says: “My dad is already pressuring me. He said, ‘Find somebody and get married!’ Just like that. But I think guys are intimidated by us, especially when we’re all together.”

Kimberly adds: “And it’s difficult when we’re on the road because we’re working so much and then sometimes you don’t know people’s intentions.”

Likeably honest, the girls reveal hopes of achieving successful film careers (Jessica and Ashley), writing a book (Kimberly), and following solo careers (Melody and Nicole).

Nicole tells me that her solo album Her Name Is Nicole, which was due for release last year, will follow Doll Domination.

Their commitment and hard work is clear to everyone when, later, they put on a flawless professional live show for their fans.

Nicole says: “We do work incredibly hard. It’s not just about the songs but about the dancing. We’ve really put a lot of thought and work into a really great high-energy show. It does take a lot out of you.

“On the album I did every lead and background vocal with Melody doing some leads and the girls doing additional vocals as well.”

Melody adds: “It just made sense to invest in Nicole as the front-runner and she is one of the best.”

Jessica says: "“Taking care of yourself is really important. It’s just about discipline. You need to make that commitment to yourself with diet and exercise. It’s hard when you travel, though.

“I was just laughing at myself because I thought, ‘Damn, I haven’t been in the gym once on these last couple of tours!’ I get jet-lagged and my sleep is really important but we don’t have a personal trainer with us.”

The girls all agree that Nicole is the most motivated Pussycat Doll.

Melody says: “She motivates us all. We’ll be in the city and there she is on the treadmill for like an hour.”

Nicole says: “I always go jogging to keep my stamina up for singing. I want it to sound like it does on the album. We want everything with the Pussycat Dolls to be pure perfection.”

And, having witnessed three days of Pussycat perfection, global Doll Domination seems assured.

Pussycat Dolls’ single When I Grow Up is out digitally on Monday, as a physical release on September 8, while the album Doll Domination out on September 22.

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