‘I was struggling’: Jesy Nelson reveals she hasn’t spoken to Little Mix in two years as she admits she was never ‘prepared’ for fame
Jesy Nelson has spoken out about her devastating mental health battles during her time in Little Mix – while revealing she has not spoken to her former bandmates since she left the group in 2020.
The singer, 31, who released her second solo single Bad Thing on Friday, rocketed to fame with the girlband after all four original members auditioned separately for The X Factor in 2011.
After the ITV talent competition’s judges put them together into the band, they went on to win the show in December that year.
But Jesy left the group in December 2020, and she says she has not spoken to the other stars of the band – Perrie Edwards, 29, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, 31, and Jade Thirlwall, 30 – for two years.
At the time of her departure, Jesy admitted she found the ‘constant pressure of being in a girl group and living up to expectations very hard’, with the pop star now admitting she was never ‘prepared’ for the job as she was ‘just a barmaid’.
Troubles: Jesy Nelson has spoken out about her devastating mental health battles during her time in Little Mix – while revealing she has not spoken to her former bandmates in two years (Jesy pictured this month)
Fame game: The singer, 31, rocketed to fame with the girlband after all four original members auditioned separately for The X Factor in 2011 (L-R: Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Jade Thirlwall and Perrie Edwards pictured in May 2022 before their split last year)
She told The Sun: ‘Being in a girl band, you are a machine going all the time. You don’t have a minute to breathe and take time out if you just need space. That was something I struggled with.
‘For me my mental health issues were an ongoing thing while I was in Little Mix. I was struggling with my body issues, I was constantly being trolled and I really, really struggled.
‘I was in it for nearly 10 years. I think I was never prepared for what was to come. I didn’t have social media or any of that. I was just a barmaid working in Dagenham.’
While she insists she had amazing times in the band, she said she had to pause and look after herself as her mental wellbeing took a hit.
Jesy said she will always ‘cherish the memories’ but revealed: ‘We haven’t talked since then. Never say never, but I honestly wish them the best on their solo journeys now, which is so exciting.’
After Jesy’s 2020 departure, the three remaining members of Little Mix went their separate ways last year.
It comes after it emerged Jesy is already working on her second solo album.
Although she has yet to release her debut record, Bad Thing singer Jesy revealed that she is already hard at work on a follow-up.
Songstress: Jesy has been praised by fans for showing a ‘realistic’ portrayal of a domestic abuse victim in her music video Bad Thing, which was released on Friday
She’s back: In the new track, Jesy emulates the likes of Billie Eilish and Raye with her moody second solo single
Jesy told The Sun: ‘Bad Thing is the start of the album. I feel like this song is an indicator of what it’s going to sound like but it’s not all slow songs at all.
‘I don’t want to give a release date yet as things move but I can say the album will 100 per cent be this year. For sure, 100 per cent.
‘I’m open to collaborations and it would be nice but right now I’ve not done any for the album.
‘I’m already thinking about a second one.’
Jesy will release her debut solo album as an independent artist after splitting from her label Polydor last year.
Meanwhile, Jesy has been praised by fans for showing a ‘realistic’ portrayal of a domestic abuse victim in her music video Bad Thing.
Her new sound emulates the likes of Billie Eilish and Raye with her moody second single.
Jesy worked with Women’s Aid to charter the highs of lows of a toxic relationship in the 1960s music video.
Release: It comes over a year after her solo debut Boyz was released – and Jesy is hoping for the ultimate music comeback after she parted ways with her record label Polydor
Emotional: Directed by Charlie Sarsfield, Jesy cried real tears after her onscreen boyfriend (played by Sid Ellisdon) grabbed her by the throat and shouted at her
Directed by Charlie Sarsfield, Jesy cried real tears after her onscreen boyfriend (played by Sid Ellisdon) grabbed her by the throat and shouted at her.
The video documents Jesy’s onscreen partner battling infidelity, being in with the wrong crowd and drugs in London’s East End in the sixties, while she struggled to leave as he consoled her after their explosive argument.
Viewers watching the video, which went live on Friday, said the storyline was so compelling they cried.
One fan wrote: ‘ The music video to Jesy Nelson’s Bad Thing is so good I cried.’
‘They did an amazing job! it’s very powerful,’ another said.
A different viewer wrote: ‘Bad Thing by Jesy Nelson is a bop,’ while another typed: ‘Did she actually cry here? I know she has been affected by this in real life but damn. Also I can’t watch this part without feeling uncomfortable it’s too realistic. Glad they gave the TW at the beginning.’
Other praised her mature sound and said she should have scrapped Boyz completely and launched Bad Thing as her debut single to truly make her mark on the music scenes as a new solo artist.
One wrote: ‘Jesy Nelson really should’ve had Bad Thing as her first single and avoided 2022 completely
Important message: Jesy worked with Women’s Aid to charter the highs of lows of a toxic relationship in the 1960s music video
Tough watch: The video documents Jesy’s onscreen partner battling infidelity, being in with the wrong crowd and drugs in London’s East End in the sixties
In Bad Thing, Jesy recalls a romance with an ex-boyfriend and being ‘love blind’ through the powerful lyrics. The star has had a string of high profile romances but hasn’t delved into who the song is about.
She sings: ‘Hey, we started at the end, another second chance, to f**k it up again.
‘I know I’m good alone, but you feel just like home. My favourite kind of wrong, familiar as a song.’
In the chorus, she belts: ‘When I’m about to say bye bye, I forget what I cried about last time.
‘Only thing I’m seeing clearly is I’m love blind. I would trade common sense for a good time.
‘Damn, I’ve done a bad thing, I know you’re damaged goods. Is it a bad thing that I wanna treat you good?’
Jesy spoke about her decision to work with Women’s Aid and why she wanted to include a domestic abuse storyline to accompany the son.
She said in an Instagram Q and A: ‘I just feel like so many women in my life have been through horrific experiences like this and I just really wanted to raise awareness about it,
Painful: Jesy has spoken candidly about her mental health battles and revealed in her 2019 BBC documentary, Odd One Out, that she attempted suicide after being subjected to trolling
‘I think it’s such an important topic that hardly anyone ever speaks about. There’s so many people that go through it and they’re too scared to talk about it and so I just think it’s really important.
‘Everyone thinks that my makeup artist just put streaks of mascara down my face because they ran in the most perfect lines but they genuinely were real tears.’
Women’s Aid also took to Twitter to praise Jesy on raising awareness. They wrote: ‘We are proud to have worked with #JesyNelson on her new video #BadThing which provides a powerful snapshot of the reality of domestic abuse.’
Jesy has independently released her second solo single after parting ways with Polydor in July last year due to ‘creative differences’.
It follows claims that Jesy is about to sign a major new deal with Warner Records.
She is said to be in advanced talks with the label and they will be keeping a close eye on her and fan reaction to the song before offering a deal, according to reports.
Jesy shot to fame with Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Perrie Edwards and Jade Thirlwall as part of The X Factor-winning girl group Little Mix in 2011 but quit the group in 2020.
Little Mix then continued as a trio and released the hit album Confetti together before going on hiatus in 2022.
Way back when: Little Mix were put together on the X Factor in 2011 and had global fame with many of their hits – before Jesy suddenly left the band (pictured with mentor Tulisa)
Jesy was the first to make the move into solo music with Boyz before Leigh-Anne, 31, signed a solo deal with Warner Records in March 2022.
Jade, 30, has also been in the studio working on her album with help from her Rizzle Kicks star partner Jordan Stephens.
Meanwhile, Perrie, 29, has also been working on solo music but said she does not have a ‘set timeline’ and has been enjoying being able to discover her own sound.
If you are affected by anything you have seen in the video then help and support is available at https://www.womensaid.org.uk/
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