A few months ago now I went to see Little Mix at Liverpool’s Echo Arena as a part of their successful Get Weird tour. It was a night I’d been waiting for for so many months and it most certainly did not disappoint. The whole experience was completely off-the-scale, and it reminded me why Little Mix deserved to take home the X Factor crown back in 2011.
When I was watching Leigh-Anne, Perrie, Jesy and Jade bounce around on stage to their hits from the last 5 years, I realised something.
Well, several things.
Their songs are bangers, their dance skills are incredible…and they’re completely underappreciated in the music industry.
Now this isn’t to say they aren’t successful. In the UK, all of their singles have peaked inside the UK top 20, and their 3 albums have all been certified platinum. In the US they have broken several records, including having the highest debut for a British girl group with their first album DNA. They’re a constant presence on the charts, and have proven to be one of the few acts that has originated from the X Factor to have longevity, but that isn’t the problem.
The problem is people don’t take them seriously.
I will admit now, if it wasn’t already obvious, that I have an extremely biased opinion. Little Mix embody the type of music that I listen to, and the quartet are one of my all-time favourite acts, but all that means is that I’m passionate about seeing these girls succeed. There is a lot more to these girls than people give them credit for.
So I made a list.
1. Their songs aren’t just catchy, they spread a positive message
Pop music these days is full of songs about love and/or sex, a lot more so than it ever used to be. Now I’m not saying that’s not a bad thing, after all it’s something a lot of us can associate with (if we’re old enough), and Little Mix have a fair number of songs like this in their back catalogue. But their music is about so much more than this.
Songs like Always Be Together talk about the importance of friendship, whilst others like Little Me encourage people to feel better about themselves. Weird People tells everyone to be themselves, no matter what others think, and Change Your Life inspires you to follow your dreams.
I could go on and on about how great each song is, but I don’t need to. They speak for themselves.
2. The girls know how to put on a show
I’ve been lucky enough to go to some pretty amazing concerts in the last few years, but none of them compare to the experience I had at the Get Weird tour. These girls really know how to entertain, and this something that is vital to the pop music industry.
There’s a reason that artists like Kylie and Britney still perform to sold-out arenas despite not selling as many records as they used to, and that’s because they go all out on their performances. They know how to put on a show.
Little Mix are no different.
I struggled to remain seated during their sets, and it was a relief when they brought everyone to their feet and told them to let loose. Their energy on stage is incredible, and it never runs out. The dance routines are fierce and their costumes sexy (and just that little bit fabulous), and it all contributes to an incredible atmosphere.
I would have been blown away just hearing their beautiful vocals that power through on heartbreakers like Secret Love Song, but the combination of it all just took everything to another level. I can only imagine where they’ll take their shows next…
3. You can relate to them as well as their songs
So this one is maybe a bit of a personal one, but I’m running with it anyway.
I’ve often found with Little Mix that they always have a song for the mood, and even more so, the situation that I’m in. We’ve all dealt with love and heartbreak and all that kind of stuff in one way or another, but these girls just seem to have an in-depth understanding of my love life. Talking about having to keep a relationship on the down-low in Secret Love Song, or being with a boy that doesn’t care for you the way he makes you think he does in Boy – it’s all real to me.
Funnily enough it’s all about the same guy…but I digress.
Whilst there are plenty of songs by other artists that run along similar lines, it’s all a part of the big package. I mean c’mon, sometimes it’s just fun to let loose and get some guy out your hair by listening to feel-good pop like this.
4. They’re waving the flag for girl power
In the 90s we had the Spice Girls. Then in the noughties we had Girls Aloud and the Sugababes. Ever since The Saturdays went on hiatus several years ago, the UK has had an open space for a big girl group, and Little Mix fit the mark perfectly.
Their chemistry is incredible and, more importantly, believable. This isn’t always the case in other pop groups, but the friendship that Little Mix share is clear when they’re up on stage.
Their anthems are empowering and they set a perfect example for so many young girls (and boys) that are growing up with their music. Their outfits and performances may not always be wholly appropriate for a younger audience, but they’re always themselves, and you can’t fault their enthusiasm for what they do.
It’s important to have strong, female voices dominating the charts alongside the guys, and they don’t get much better than the Little Mix ladies.
20 years on from Wannabe we have the modernised version of the Spice Girls, and c’mon, who doesn’t love them?
5. They care!
If you’ve followed Little Mix on snapchat then you’ll know just how quirky these four girls are. They’re always joking around and pulling faces, being the weird people that so many of us are but that you never really see being advertised in the media.
They play such a big role for so many young people, but unlike other artists that have a similar position, they actively try to live up to it and help inspire the new generation. Not many people to come out of the X Factor have made it big, and part of what has made Little Mix so special is that they haven’t lost their sense of reality. They know the struggles that their young fans are going through, having gone through it themselves not that long ago.
If you’ve ever been one of those people that’s complained about the way kids live these days, just be grateful that they have role models telling them to appreciate themselves and follow their dreams. In what can sometimes be such a bleak world, it’s nice that there’s a little positivity out there.
So you may not agree with everything that I’ve said just now, but I stand by what I’ve said. You can take or leave it however you want, just consider it next time you want to start badmouthing acts like Little Mix because they originated from the X Factor, or they don’t produce the kind of music you listen to.
Even if something is not to your taste, it doesn’t mean that they’re not great in their own right.