Think you're busy? Not compared to Nicole Scherzinger, who's currently promoting her second album, Big Fat Lie
, while preparing to make her West End debut in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats
revival in just six weeks' time - all while making sure there's not a splodge of yoghurt on her schnozz. Earlier this week I called Nicole for a quick catch-up and she was, obviously, a total hero.
How are you coping with promoting an album and preparing for Cats?
"It’s a lot to juggle but I’m a work horse. It’s good and I’m grateful for it. It’s just hard balancing everything else - personal life, sleep, taking care of yourself, all that stuff. It’s hard."
Do you know when your next day off is?
"This was supposed to be it! It was my first one in a month and a half at least. I’ve been to so many countries since then and today was supposed to be my day off but now I'm doing phone interviews. If I’m lucky I might be done by 7pm tonight."
The album's called Big Fat Lie, which is obviously a track on the album but it's also kind of an unusual title. What made you pick it?
"It just felt strong to me. I feel like there’s a lot of misconceptions about me. Things aren’t always what they seem to be and sometimes the biggest lies are the lies we tell ourselves. I’m finally revealing more of myself and I’m learning that once you reveal something, you’re on your way to healing and growing. I’m also finding that by digging deeper with all this, and being more honest, I’m feeling more like I'm supposed to feel as an artist. I think you just have to be as honest and as authentic as you can be - otherwise why would people care?"
What are the misconceptions people have about you?
"Oh, they say things like: everything comes so easy, you’re so pretty, you don’t have any problems, you can’t sing, you’re arrogant...it’s just a whole bunch of crap."
But it feels like in the last two or three years, Britain has really warmed to you: we get you. Why do you think that is?
"Definitely. When I speak about misconceptions, that’s more about the US. With regards to the UK, I feel like you guys have adopted me and taken me in and hopefully warmed to me. Through the show [The X Factor
] you saw that I was a real girl that you could go to the pub with - that I'm not all glitz and glamour. I did a charity ball show the other day and everybody kept saying to me ‘You’re schamazing, you’re schamazing!’. In the US, I'm not sure how well the 'schamazing' thing would go over, but here you guys love it."
I was at your intimate gig in London last week and obviously you sang amazingly - but also you were super funny and self-deprecating. I think that's something that we Brits have warmed to.
"Yeah, I try to show light and shade. I try to put so much heart and soul into what I do, and you guys have a lot of heart and soul, you’re real salt of the earth people, so I think that helps us connect too."
I loved the version of Your Love you sang at your gig last week - when it became: "Your sex makes me feel like..." Is that how the track was originally written?
"That’s how [songwriter/producer] The-Dream originally wrote it, yeah. Then we moved it to 'your love
' because we thought that was little bit more friendly for the market and the fan base."
Would you consider recording it as Your Sex - like a late-night version of the song?
"Yeah, I recorded it that way originally! So maybe that'll come out in some form in the future."
Looking back, how do you feel about your debut album Killer Love? It was a big hit at the time.
"I love it. I love all my music. I’ve done so many songs that have never come out but I love them all because at the time I recorded them, that’s where I was as a person. I do feel like I’ve grown a lot since then - not only as a person emotionally and spiritually, but also as an artist. I look back at my Killer Love Tour
and I see things I'd change about it. Certain videos like Right There
, I would change things about them too. When I did The X Factor
, working with my contestants so closely made me re-evaluate myself and ask myself whether I was being as authentic as I can be, and things kind of changed from there."
In the gay clubs Killer Love's most underrated single, Wet, is always a big favourite. Does that side of you still come out when you get a night off?
"Yeah, of course! Absolutely! It’s who I am: I still know how to throw it down!"
Nicole Scherzinger's new album Big Fat Lie is out now.