Interview: The Saturdays
Emma LeeChart conquering girl group The Saturdays are all set to bring a sprinkling of sassy pop to Thetford Forest. EMMA LEE speaks to singer Rochelle Wiseman.Emma Lee
Chart conquering girl group The Saturdays bring a sprinkling of sassy pop to Thetford Forest tonight. EMMA LEE speaks to singer Rochelle Wiseman.
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She may only be 21, but Rochelle Wiseman is already a music business veteran. She cut her teeth as a member of S Club Juniors and is now one fifth of the Saturdays, the five-piece girl group tipped by some as the successors to Girls Aloud, whose natural habitat is the higher reaches of the chart.
Along with Frankie Sandford (also a former S Clubber), Mollie King, Una Healy and Vanessa White they gatecrashed the top 10 with their debut single, the gleaming pop gem If This Is Love, and the follow up single Up followed suit with their first album Chasing Lights going platinum.
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Last year they were chosen to record the official Comic Relief single, Just Can't Get Enough, and their sophomore album, Wordshaker, which spawned more hits including Forever is Over and Ego, was released in the autumn.
Tonight, ahead of the release of their new mini-album Headlines, they're heading to the forest - Thetford Forest to be precise - for a concert under the stars.
Grabbing a chat with Event en route to the playback of the video for their new single, Missing You, which is out next month, Rochelle says that the band loves the outdoor concert season and she's really looking forward to their Thetford date.
'I'm really excited. It's a different kind of venue for us. It's going to be wicked,' she says.
It's shaping up to be a busy summer for The Saturdays, or Sats, as their fans call them.
The pop band that it's ok for grown ups to admit they like too du jour, they're equally as at home among guitar toting indie boys as at seaside radio roadshows.
Last year they went to T in the Park, where Lily Allen pogoed to their set at the side of the stage, and V. And they've already ticked the Isle of Wight Festival off this summer's list.
Even though, as Rochelle says, they're technically at festivals to work, they still try and soak up some of the vibes.
'Anything goes at a festival - I even put stuff on my face like hearts and stars,' she laughs.
And what items are in her festival survival kit? 'I think for a festival you should always bring baby wipes. Definitely no heels,' she says - which must be a hard rule for a self-confessed Louboutin lover like herself to follow.
'Sunglasses, because it's definitely always sunny,' she laughs. 'Maybe wellies. Anything goes at a festival. Wear whatever you want!'
It may seem glamorous being in a band, but fame doesn't come without hard graft. That's why when she does get a precious day off, Rochelle spends it kicking back with her nearest and dearest - including her boyfriend, teen heart-throb Marvin Humes from JLS (and cue screams).
'When I get a day off I spend it with my boyfriend chilling - nothing strenuous. Nothing that's going to be too much hard work,' she says.
Born in Barking and Dagenham, Rochelle showed an interest in music from a very early age.
'My mum says I was singing before I could walk,' she says. And she's always been set on the same career path, idolising some of the biggest lungs in the business.
'I'm lucky to have always known what I want to do. It's always been a massive thing for me. I love Whitney, that's what I grew up listening to. I love Mariah. I look up to anyone who's successful,' she says.
Rochelle had a string of adverts and chorus line credits to her name before her age had even reached double figures.
In 2001 she auditioned to sing with S Club 7 on a tour, and she ended up as a member of S Club Juniors, which later became S Club 8.
When the group disbanded, she bagsied a job presenting on Children's BBC.
In 2007 she auditioned for the Saturdays - and must be one of only a handful of people who have taken part in the identity parade round of the pop quiz show Never Mind The Buzzcocks to graduate to becoming a guest on the panel. Such is the fickle nature of pop, it's usually the other way round.
So Rochelle has achieved her dream of becoming a popstar twice over. What would she say is the best thing about being in the Saturdays?
'I literally get to do what I love every day,' she says, contentedly.
Looking ahead to August and the Saturdays have the new single and mini-album coming out.
Cheesy question alert: your new album is called Headlines. What's the strangest thing you've read about yourself in the newspapers? 'I read that I'd had a boob job. That's one of the weirdest things,' Rochelle laughs.
t The Saturdays play Thetford Forest tonight.
t New single Missing You is out on August 8. Mini-album, Headlines, is out on August 16.
t Further listening: www.thesaturdays.co.uk