Nicole Scherzinger: This isn't an easy industry to survive in

Updated: Dec 16, 2019, 10:59 IST | mid-day online correspondent | Mumbai

Nicole Scherzinger gets candid as he returns as a judge on The X Factor: The Band

Simon Cowell and Nicole Scherzinger return as judges on The X Factor: The Band – where either a girl group or boy band will battle it out to be crowned the nation's new pop sensations. No other music show in the world has such an enviable track record of creating globally successful bands including One Direction, Little Mix and Fifth Harmony. In total, acts discovered by The X Factor have sold more than 400 million records globally to date.

Now with The X Factor: The Band, the show is bidding to create the next big girl or boyband…in just a matter of weeks! Simon and Nicole's expertise when it comes to successful pop groups is second to none – with Simon famously guiding the careers of a host of world-beating groups during his illustrious career and Nicole first finding fame in globally successful girl group Pussycat Dolls, who have just reunited after a decade apart.

The pair will be joined by a host of music industry stars - including artists Leona Lewis and Ella Eyre as well as super-producer Naughty Boy. The nation's favourite host Dermot O'Leary also returns to oversee proceedings - and give his legendary hugs to those auditioning.

Simon and Nicole are joined for this stage by guest judge Leona Lewis, who returns to the show she won in 2006 albeit more than 30 million record sales later!

The judges will also again be joined by the music industry experts, who – as well as Carla, Naughty, Eddie and Fred also include Ella Eyre, who won a Brit award with Rudimental in 2014 for single Waiting All Night.

It will be here that both the boy and girl band will be created by the judges – before the two groups go head-to-head in a live final to battle to win the prize of a life-changing and coveted record contract.

Some excerpts from our conversation with Nicole Scherzinger:

One of the great appeals of so many girl bands - from Spice Girls to Girls Aloud and of course Pussycat Dolls - is the dancing. Is that important? Are you looking for that here?
We're letting the talent show us what they've got. We're not going in with any particular preconceptions. It's important to move as a group, though. Our focus is not making them into something they're not. But yeah, they have to have good chemistry, move well within the group, and have an understanding of what the other members are doing on stage.

Although you have industry experts in the early auditions and Leona Lewis as a guest judge for the arena auditions, it's essentially you and Simon as the main judges. How is that dynamic?
It's actually really good! A lot of the professional panels are my peers and colleagues that I've worked with, so we see eye to eye very easily and I think Simon really likes that outside perspective.
So, it all works very well but he and I are on the same page more than ever.

What do those industry experts add?
They've written some of the biggest songs in history, worked with some of the biggest artists. There's nothing better than working with people who are in it, who work in it on a daily basis.
We are looking for a group who can go out there and do it right now. So, what better than to work with people who are in the studio every day writing with, working with, producing for the biggest artists?

One of the challenges for the groups is that they don't have much time to gel or rehearse. Do you think that's a problem?
The right ones will rise to the challenge. We've had a lot of talented people, but they fell short because we didn't feel we had time to develop them. The right people will step forward and shine. In this time frame, people either rise or fall.

How important is image for a band?
It depends on what you mean by 'image'. The industry has changed so much and it's more about individuality. Our modern popstar is Billie Eillish who is more dark and edgy and a tomboy role.
What works for a pop act these days is different than it has been in the past - today we have Post Malone and Lizzo which is so great. Kids gravitate to the real artists. The ones who express themselves and are already unique. Kids are becoming more fearless about expressing themselves.

Given your experience, what tips would you give the bands to survive in the industry - and as a band?
To work hard. You have to be committed to what you're doing. This isn't an easy industry to survive in so just work hard and be passionate. I'm so lucky to be able to do what I love every day and I hope these guys get to do what they love too.

The X Factor: The Band which will air between 16 to 19 December at 9 pm on Vh1 India.

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